We all want to be more productive, right? Yet for some reason our day gets away from us and we find ourselves scratching our heads wondering where did all the time go and what did I really accomplish during it? There is hope. You can be more productive and use your time more wisely. Here are a couple of "lifehacks" that can help move you into a more productive place in work and life.
Pretend Like You Are Going On Vacation
I seem to be the most productive when I know that I am going on vacation or leaving on a long trip. I know that time is at an essence and therefore I work more efficiently and focused.
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, recommends applying that mentality to your work at the end of every week in order to help you be more productive:
Most people feel best about their work the week before their vacation, but it's not because of the vacation itself. What do you do the last week before you leave on a big trip? You clean up, close up, clarify, and renegotiate all your agreements with yourself and others. I just suggest that you do this weekly instead of yearly.Take Short Breaks
It is a very good idea to take breaks during the workday in order to get more energy and become more productive. Here are some examples from this infographic below:
Don't Check Email In The Morning
The choices you make in how you spend the first few minutes of your work day sets up the remainder of it. Ron Friedman on Harvard Business Review explains why we should spend the first 10 minutes of every morning performing a brief planning session:
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at your desk? For many of us, checking email or listening to voice mail is practically automatic. In many ways, these are among the worst ways to start a day. Both activities hijack our focus and put us in a reactive mode, where other people’s priorities take center stage. They are the equivalent of entering a kitchen and looking for a spill to clean or a pot to scrub. A better approach is to begin your day with a brief planning session.Minimize Distractions
Although some of the distractions we face at work come from our coworkers coming uninvited into our workspace to talk or distract, many of the distractions we face throughout the workday are electronic. Our workday is filled with chimes, beeps, rings and bells. If you are going to be more productive you got to put boundaries around your gadgets and online life. Here are a few tips and tools.
- Let calls go to voicemail. Don't answer calls. If it is important - it will go to voicemail and you can check it later.
- Turn off email notifications - you don't need to know when every email enters your inbox.
- Pause your email - inboxpause.com - read your email in batches, only during certain times of the day.
- Block your social media sites during work - anti-social.cc
Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, says our obsession with multitasking is one of the culprits or our lack of productivity.
When we multitask, we don’t actually do things simultaneously; we switch back and forth between tasks. So, working on an email, while on a phone call, then responding to instant messages that pop up makes you feel far busier than you would be if you managed only one task at a time and gave it your full attention.Focus on important projects alone...for 50 minute chunks at a time. Don't believe the lie that you can do 2, 3 or 4 things at once.
And HERE is a BONUS ONE!
Just find a way to start that important project. Just like physics, an object in motion tends to stay in motion, therefore if you can get just a little motion it will propel you and move you forward. Try the 2-minute rule, which we posted about earlier HERE.
Please tell us what ways, tips or techniques you use to be more productive during the day?