We’d all like to get more work done with minimal effort, right? Let’s get real for a second here. Being a productive human being for all hours of the day is simply not possible. Shoot, being a productive human being for all hours of the workday is even impossible. Some of us can barely make it to lunch, and many more of us shut off between the hours of 10AM and 11AM.
Sad, but true. We’ve all been there.
There’s so much going on at all times that it can challenging to remain focused on one thing for an extended period of time. And unfortunately, multitasking typically hurts more than it helps. But hey, if you’re attempting to multitask, you’re probably a little better off than all of those people who shut off in the morning hours.
So although productivity for every minute of the day isn’t achievable, it is possible for you to be more productive than you are now—for you to extend and strengthen those periods of productivity when you do manage to snatch them up for yourself. Here are a handful of useful productivity hacks to help you do just that.
Listen to motivational music.
So many people underestimate the power of some solid tunes. When you find yourself in a rut, or totally unmotivated, or overwhelmed by the mountain of TPS reports in front of you, listen to some music. Pop in your earbuds, open up Spotify, and browse. There are playlists already created based on mood, genre, seasons, etc. You don’t even have to sit there and make a playlist, it’s made for you! Some great options to start with are focus playlists or studying playlists. Some find it distracting to listen to catchy songs with words, while others may hugely enjoy it. Find your sweet spot and watch your mood meter go from salty to sweet in approximately 2 minutes.
Note-taking is a great habit for anyone to fall back on, because it helps your brain feel less stressed. How many times have you sat down to work on a project only to realize you can’t remember anything about the project? You can’t really be productive here now can you? Or how about when you have a meeting and then you forget what you discussed, so you send out a few emails or arrange a second meeting to remember everything you forgot? How counterproductive is that? Do yourself a favor and carry around a notebook. Or at the very least, make sure you bring one to any discussion or meeting held throughout the day. You’ll be glad you did.
Turn off that smartphone. Now.
Mobile devices have to be one of the biggest productivity leeches on this planet. Most people refuse to part ways with their phones, and as a result, they find themselves checking their devices all day long. Every beep, every vibrate, and every lit screen is just another excuse to drop what you’re doing and text, snap, and scroll for much longer than you should.
If you truly want to be productive, then put your phone away. Stuff it in a drawer, turn it off, or switch it to the “Do Not Disturb” mode. You can give yourself five minutes of every hour to check your phone, or if that’s asking too much of you, then five minutes of every half hour. You’ll be surprised how much you can get done without the constant interruptions.
Get a legitimate planner.
Calendars don’t work well for everyone, but that’s just because people can struggle to find their own special way of using one. However, if you can manage to find a good calendar (or time management platform), it can do so much good for your productivity. Some people like to keep all items on the same calendar (from personal to professional), while others prefer to have a separate calendar for each part of their life. Whatever you choose to do, though, calendars can be beneficial because they can show you the bigger picture, as well as your life piece by piece—all of which is extremely important when you’re trying to maintain that productivity.
Whether you choose to use a calendar or not, sectioning off your day can be one of the most effective ways to manage time and control your productivity. Give yourself a block of time for each task or project, and you can better allot time for activities like breaks and meetings. You’ll be surprised by how easy it is to remain motivated during a time-block; you’ll feel the need to finish, and you’ll have the ability to pace yourself out successfully.
Get some real beauty sleep.
If you’ve ever seen any of the Freddie movies, then you know exactly how unproductive those teenagers get once they start losing sleep. If you haven’t seen any of the movies, then let’s just say it doesn’t end well for any of them. Sleep is absolutely necessary for your productivity; it keeps you focused, alert, and energized, and it’s probably better than any productivity tip we could ever give to you. Shoot for seven and a half to eight hours of sleep every night, and you’ll be golden, ponyboy.