10 Productivity Hacks to Help You Be Twice as Productive

Learn how to get more done and make the most of your time with these productivity hacks, tips, and resources!

If you look back on the last few days and analyze the things you did, how would you define your overall performance?

Did you do most of the things on your to-do list? Were you efficient? Did you do focused work on important tasks or wasn’t that concentrated and most of them weren’t that meaningful? Did you waste time procrastinating and just doing nothing?

In other words, can you say these days were productive?

Often the answer is no. And that doesn’t mean you didn’t do your best. It just means you weren’t productive.

Productivity is to do all the important things that need to be done, to do them in little time and with focus.

You can cross everything on your to-do list but that can take days, while it’s planned for just one.

You can do them, but not properly, which will lead to bad results. You can be done eventually but realize that most of what you did was unnecessary.

To avoid these and other mistakes we need to apply productivity hacks. To find loops in the system, to use efficient tools, to prioritize and be mindful of what we’re doing if we want a certain outcome.

Start with The Basics

Latest Productivity Articles

Productivity Hacks to Get More Done

Here are some ways, tips and strategies for becoming more productive with less effort.

1. Start your day early.

Waking up really early gives you the chance to do some work without distractions.

The morning itself is productive and this also helps you start your day this way. And a fresh start usually keeps you going until the evening.

Waking up early is not a daily habit of mine, but when I do it, I also do a morning routine, which helps me jumpstart my day and makes me feel great. Not to mention the results I achieve compared to those in the days I oversleep.

This is one of the so-called keystone habits Charles Duhigg writes about in his book “The Power of Habit”. Those are certain big habits that provoke a chain reaction and immediately make us change other behaviors of ours.

Waking up early is a good example of one of the top productivity hacks.

For me, it’s connected with a few minutes of meditation, a quick workout, a healthy breakfast, a fresh and positive start of the day, reading affirmations out loud in front of the mirror and reading or writing something inspirational.

Otherwise, I don’t do each of them often. Getting up early is what causes that routine. And it’s extremely productive.

Read also:

2. The 2-minute rule.

If you have things on your to-do list (or even in your head – just random things you know you need to do at some point) that take a few minutes, do them right now.

If you leave them for ‘later’, you’ll probably carry them over for a few days, or more. Until they become a burden and you find yourself overloaded with little things to do.

Don’t wait for them to become urgent so that you get them done, do those that take little time immediately. That will save you a lot of stress and unwanted worries. Plus it’s a great starter for the bigger tasks.

3. Keep a detailed journal.

Keeping a journal can be a powerful tool for improving productivity in several ways.

For a start, writing down your short-term and long-term goals provides clarity and helps you stay focused on what you want to achieve. A journal also allows you to break down larger goals into smaller, actionable tasks, making them more manageable.

Using your journal to plan and schedule tasks can enhance time management. You can allocate specific time slots for different activities and prioritize accordingly.

Regularly reviewing your journal can help identify patterns in how you spend your time, allowing for adjustments to improve efficiency.

Journals are effective for creating daily or weekly priority lists. This helps you focus on high-impact tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed by a long to-do list.

Writing your thoughts down also allows you to reflect on your experiences, successes, and challenges each day. This reflection can provide insights into your habits and areas for improvement.

Documenting mistakes and setbacks in your journal can serve as a valuable learning tool. You can analyze what went wrong and develop strategies to overcome similar challenges in the future.

Journals are excellent for brainstorming ideas. Freewriting or mind mapping in a journal can help generate creative solutions to problems or spark innovative thoughts.

It can serve as an emotional outlet. Expressing thoughts and feelings on paper can help reduce stress and clear your mind for better focus on tasks.

By incorporating journaling into your daily routine, you create a personalized tool for self-reflection, organization, and goal pursuit. The act of writing helps reinforce your commitment to productivity and provides a tangible record of your journey toward success.

Looking for journal prompts? Here are some:

4. Time blocking.

Time blocking is a time management technique that involves breaking your day into blocks of time and assigning specific tasks or activities to each block.

Instead of managing your schedule by a to-do list or a series of tasks scattered throughout the day, time blocking helps you allocate focused time periods for specific activities.

This method is designed to enhance productivity, minimize distractions, and improve overall time management.

5. Don’t break the chain.

It’s also known as Seinfeld’s productivity secret.

What you need is a big wall calendar. Decide what the thing you want to do more and better is and put a big X each day you do it.

Soon you’ll have a chain (after a week or two) that you will see every time you pass the calendar and wouldn’t want to break.

The point is that everyone enjoys seeing all his efforts at one place which in this case is the days you’ve been doing the activity (exercising, dieting, writing, etc.)

As the chain grows larger, you’re less likely to break it. Because once you do, you will feel like all the work so far doesn’t count. Which, of course, is not true, but it’s a little trick to deceive our brain into being motivated and more productive and to continue doing the task every day.

Not doing it for a day means there will be no X on the calendar and the chain is broken. That makes it easier for you to skip a second one, and a third one.

But all that also makes you stick to the schedule as you’re proud of yourself and happy with the results. Being reminded of what you’ve achieved so far gives you the power to keep moving forward.

Your progress is visible and that helps you stay on track. The bigger the chain, the better the result.

6. Do the hard things first.

All experts in the area suggest doing the tasks you hate the most first thing in the morning so that for the rest of the day you will have to do easier things or stuff you enjoy.

This one of the top productivity hacks is hard at first. That’s why it’s better to just rush into it without thinking too much and get that thing done. Otherwise you’ll put it off for later. And the more you procrastinate, the more you stress about it, think about it and ruin your whole day.

And after you’re done with it, your day will be much more relaxed, productive and successful.

It’s also a great way to start your day as it boosts your productivity and fuels you for the next tasks on the list.

7. The 80/20 rule.

I love that productivity hack because it’s so true and we rarely realize it before we really think about it.

It says that only 20% of the activities we do are worthwhile and are what brings 80% of the results. The other 80% lead to only 20% of the final result and only waste your time.

This can apply to anything.

If you focus only on the 20% of your clients that bring 80% of the revenue, and invest more time in building these relationships, your results will multiply.
The other 80% of the people that use your service or else are not that important.

What you need to do to increase your productivity is to identify what the 20% consist of (whatever area you’re working on), and focus on that while you eliminate the rest or stop paying so much attention to it and waste time and effort.

8. Plan and make a list.

Sounds simple but really works.

Make a detailed plan of the things you have to do from the night before. Write it down.

This way you will know what to do in each moment of the day, the things will be in some order, and you won’t be wondering what to do in the gaps between.

You don’t need to memorize them. Just carry a notebook or list with you wherever you go and cross the things out once you’ve completed them.

9. Create a not to-do list.

We’re all familiar with what a to-do list is. And whoever uses it, knows the benefits of having all your tasks written down in advance, and then always knowing what’s left to get done.

It’s a simple and yet powerful strategy to be productive and finish all the important things you want to.

But the problem comes when people start to include many more items in it than they should. Then this list – that was supposed to be short and to the point – gets bigger and bigger, and at some point you start avoiding even looking at it.

Also, we often lose focus, get distracted, start doing other things that only waste out time and get us nowhere. That’s when it’s time for a not to-do list.

It’s the opposite of the to-do one, and as Tim Ferriss says:

“Not-to-do” lists are often more effective than to-do lists for upgrading performance. The reason is simple: what you don’t do determines what you can do.

I’m sure there are things you find yourself doing without realizing, stuff that takes you hours but doesn’t really change anything, old procrastination habits, and so on.

Well, write all these down and be mindful of them.

Sit down and take some time to figure out what these activities are, and make a list for the next day. Then, look at it as often as you look at your to-do list.

The result?

You’ll get much more done, will feel proud of yourself, won’t be under the control of the time-wasting habits of our generation (like social media), will have more time for meaningful tasks, and will be more focused throughout the whole day.

What can you include in a not to-do list?

  • checking email more than 2 times a day;
  • using your phone in bed;
  • getting up after 8 am;
  • being late;
  • watching TV;
  • thinking about editing when writing;
  • spending time with people that make you feel bad about yourself;
  • doing tasks someone else is supposed to do;
  • eating sugar;
  • drinking coffee on an empty stomach;
  • trying to do more than one thing at a time;
  • feeling upset about something you can’t change;
  • drinking during the week;
  • etc.

You get the point.

Include all the things you want to stop doing, the stuff you feel is taking you nowhere, the annoying habits you have that you want to avoid.

Once you make such a list your mind will consider them something important than needs to get done. And it will be more conscious of these activities, in this case – its goal will be to avoid them no matter what.

So that’s a simple and easy technique, but which can be powerful beyond measure once you implement it and make it an important part of your days.

10. Eliminate distractions.

The last one of the productivity hacks you should try is to eliminate distractions. That’s a big issue these days with all the technologies we’re surrounded by.

Constantly receiving notifications from different sources can be quite distracting.

So try to turn the sound off while you’re working on something important. Do everything possible to be focused because otherwise the task won’t be completed properly.

Use software or different applications that don’t allow you to go online for a fixed period of time. This way you can work on your writing, for example, without having the chance to just check your email or social media and find yourself browsing without purpose again.

More Productivity Hacks to Take Things to The Next Level

11. Batch Processing

Group similar tasks together and tackle them in batches. For example, respond to emails at specific times rather than throughout the day.

12. Delegate Tasks

If possible, delegate tasks that others can handle effectively, allowing you to focus on high-priority responsibilities.

13. Mind Mapping

Use mind maps to visualize ideas, projects, or plans. Mind mapping can enhance creativity and help organize thoughts.

14. Task Automation

Automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks using tools like Zapier or IFTTT. This frees up your time for more critical activities.

15. Limit Meetings

The next one of the productivity hacks is to keep meetings concise and purposeful. Consider alternatives like asynchronous communication or standing meetings to prevent unnecessary delays.

16. Clear Workspace

A clutter-free workspace can reduce mental clutter. Organize your physical and digital space for better focus and productivity.

17. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Learn and use keyboard shortcuts for your most frequently used applications. This can significantly speed up your workflow.

18. Regular Breaks

Take short breaks to refresh your mind. Going for a walk, stretching, or practicing deep breathing can help recharge your energy.

19. Single-Tasking

While multitasking may seem efficient, it often leads to reduced overall productivity. Concentrate on one task at a time to improve focus and quality of work.

20. Review and Reflect

The final one of our productivity hacks is to regularly review your goals, tasks, and achievements. Reflecting on your progress helps refine your strategies for future success.

Usually, the simplest way is the best. So give these productivity hacks a try, if you haven’t already. I hope they will help you do all your tasks better, in no time, with less effort and more focus.

Looking to increase your productivity and get more done in less time? Here are 20 productivity hacks and time management tricks to use: