10 Productivity Hacks That Will Help You Get More Done
There are few feelings comparable to that of a day spent working hard and, crucially, effectively. When you finally get home, kick off your shoes and sink deep into the sofa, you know that you’ve truly earned this rest. This is your time; job done.
If those super productive days feel ever more elusive, though, something has to change. You may not realize it but you can make yourself more productive by simply changing the way you approach work. In fact, here are ten ridiculously simple tasks that will help you do just that. Why not go ahead and try them for yourself?
1. Choose your colours wisely
You may not think that the colors you use in your work have all that much to do with your productivity levels, but what if you’re wrong? Actually, according to a study by University of British Columbia, there are certain shades out there that could help to unleash your creativity and even make you work harder. It might sound like a leap, but according to the research, just changing the colours you tend to use could make all the difference.
So, what colors should you be using? Well, if you’re lacking focus, grabbing a red pen could be the way forward; the color has been shown to help people enhance their attention to detail. What’s more, if you use blue, it helps you to think more creativity. These two powers combined are sure to boost your productivity levels in a dramatic way.
2. Exercise at work
We all know that we ought to get more exercise on a regular basis. Still, what with our busy schedules, social lives, and work commitments, who has the time? Though it may well sound a little odd, spending some time working out while you’re in the office could help you to get more done.
Yes, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that by devoting just a little of your working day to doing some physical exercise, you can become more productive in an instant. With that in mind, why not try a quick cardio burst in your lunch hour?
3. Learn how to timetable
How would you rate your timetabling skills? Do you just note everything down in your diary and hope for the best? Or, on the other hand, do you pencil in time slots for each of your daily chores? Well, if you’re hoping to get more done, it’s the latter that you should be doing when it comes to planning your day out.
In truth, having a vague ‘to do’ list is not the most effective way to go about scheduling things. Instead, if you give yourself realistic timescales for each of your chores, you should find that you have more motivation to get them done. So, if you think replying emails will take you 30 minutes, schedule between 9.00am and 9.30am to get it all done. That should keep you on track.
4. Hide your phone away
The biggest hinderance in the modern working world fits neatly into the palm of your hand. While you may not think that your smartphone is so much of a problem, the chances are that it distracts you each and every day. Warning: If you have nomophobia, i.e. the fear of being away from your phone, this could be seriously hard.
Think about it — every time you check your smartphone or, indeed, social media, you’re wasting precious seconds, minutes, and hours of your working day. While, of course, quitting altogether could be hard, try instead to limit the amount of time you spend on your phone. Put it in your bag and only check it during break times.
5. Reward yourself now and then
You should never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. If you’ve got some pesky tasks that you’ve been putting off for quite some time, you may find that this next hack helps you greatly. Give yourself a reward. It really is that simple. Tell yourself, ‘After I’ve completed these annoying tasks, I can have a coffee/chocolate/break.’ That way, you know that after the boring chores are over, you will have something to look forward to.
6. Empower yourself and say ‘no’
Working in a busy office can sometimes be distracting, not least if you happen to be something of a ‘yes’ woman. When people ask you for small work-related favors, do you find yourself saying yes, yes, yes every single time? Remember, there’s very little thanks in being a people-pleaser so it’s not worth wasting your time here.
The next time someone asks you to do something consider a) if you you need to do it and b) if you have the time to do it. If the answer to both of those questions is no, then you know what you have to say. Sometimes, refusing to do unnecessary tasks can feel utterly empowering.
7. Batch small tasks together
If you haven’t heard of the ‘batching’ technique, you’re in for a real treat. We all have those little tasks that sink to the bottom of our lists each day. Whether it’s replying to emails, updating your LinkedIn profile, or just keeping your accounts in check, it’s easy to ignore these small things. That’s where the technique comes in.
So, here’s what you need to do: First of all, make a list of all the small tasks you’ve been avoiding. Next, set a timer for 25 minutes and get started. Dedicating just a small amount of time to these tasks could be just what you need to pull them off and get them out of the way. That way, they don’t just sit on your list — they get done!
8. Unsubscribe to newsletters
Most of us live and die by our daily emails. Whether it’s messages from clients or even our bosses, you need to stay on top of these. What you don’t need to do, though, is get uber distracted by them. If you have extra emails (such as promo deals and the like) coming through all day, you’re hardly going to get anything done at all.
Unsubscribing from these marketing messages is just what you need to do. On the bottom of each email, you will find that there is a (usually well-hidden) ‘unsubscribe’ button. Go ahead and click it. You don’t realize what a massive difference it will make to your working life.
9. Do your hardest tasks first
For many of us, the morning is the time when we ease into work. We check our emails, make a coffee, and get things started at a slow and steady pace. Well, what if you tried something different? Starting the day by diving headfirst into your most difficult task may sound like a recipe for disaster, but it could help you get more done. Once you’re over the hump of the first task, everything will be smoother and easier.
10. Focus on your own happiness
You might think that the words ‘happiness’ and ‘work’ need never be used in the same sentence. However, you could be wrong. According to a study by the University of Warwick, people actually work harder when they feel happy. So, if you want to make each workday better, working on yourself could be the way forward.
One of the easiest ways in which you can boost your happiness levels if to treat yourself now and then. Whether it’s relaxing with a book (just because) or going ahead and having that extra cookie, these small things could make all the difference. Go on — be good to yourself!