Productivity Hacks To Work Easier
Did you leave Trek World with as many items on your task list as I did?
If so, you could use these productivity hacks as much as I can. They are simple to implement and will hopefully pay off big time.
Wake Up Early
Decide what you’d like to accomplish each morning, and build your morning routine around that. Want a bike ride? Do it. Healthy breakfast? Go for it. Check email? Fine. The mornings are a fresh start, peaceful and free of ringing phones and constant email notifications.
Cleaning your workspace helps workflow immensely. With everything clean and organized, and all extra distractions removed from your desk, what else can you do but focus?
Now, with distractions minimized, zero in on the task at hand. Don’t check email, don’t work on five projects at once. Work on that one task, and work on it with concentrated focus until you are done.
Make a To-Do List and Stick To It
It's really easy to make a to-do list and then just sit on it. If you're really committed to making yourself more productive, put the hardest tasks on your list first. Instead of having a slew of Post-it notes littering your desk with separate tasks, make one master list--keep all your responsibilities in one easy-to-digest format and get cracking.
All you need is pen and paper, but there are a ton of great tools available to help. While many of our clients use Evernote, we prefer Wunderlist for simple task management. It isn't good for complex projects, but that's not the point of this post.
Work in Bursts, Take Downtime Outside
It’s better to work highly focused for short periods of time, with breaks in between, than to be partially focused for long periods of time. Think of it as a sprint, rather than a marathon. You can push yourself to your limits for short periods of time, so long as you have a clear stopping point. And after a rest, you can sprint again.
Make sure to take advantage of your downtime. Nobody wants to see you sitting at your desk, clicking through Facebook. What to do? Get outside! Taking a stroll through the park is an instant mood booster, and will restore your energy for the next sprint toward the finish line.
Do Your Most Important Things First
The things you most need to accomplish each day should take priority over everything else. However, we all know that fires come up throughout the day, interruptions through phone calls and email and people dropping by, new demands that will push the best-laid plans aside. If you put off your MITs until later in the day, you will end up not doing them much of the time.
Try to get all three of your MITs done before moving on to anything else. If you can do that, the rest of the day is gravy!
Put The Phone Away
That pocket cubicle may go by the name of Android or iPhone, but by any name it's just as distracting. When our phones are constantly buzzing, they don't let us monotask on the complex problems we have to deal with--undoing any creativity before it gets done. So put that thing into airplane mode--then you can really fly.
So if you're going to use your phone use it as, well, a phone--not a tool for distraction.
Avoid Unnecessary Work
If we just do any work that comes our way, we can be cranking out the tasks, but not be productive at all. You’re only productive if you are doing work that moves you towards a goal. Eliminate non-essential tasks from your to-do lists, and start to say no to new requests that are non-essential.
If you do not take these steps and speak up, and say no, then you will be overloaded with work that you simply do not need to do. Cut out the non-essential tasks, and focus on those that really matter.
Do Something You Are Passionate About
This might not seem like the normal productivity tip, but give it a thought: if you really want to do something, you’ll work like hell to get it done. You’ll work extra hard, you’ll put in even more hours, and you’re less likely to procrastinate. It’s for work that you don’t really care about that you procrastinate.
Prepare For Tomorrow, Today
Take the last 10 minutes at the end of each day getting organized for the day ahead. Identify the first 3 tasks that you are going to accomplish when you sit at your desk, that way you won't wander when you hit the office in the morning. Always review your calendar and be sure that you are ready for any upcoming appointments.
I hope this helps. Happy doing!