Productivity grants us a sense of fulfillment. When we’re productive, we’re maximizing our time and making the most out of the task we’re attending to. In order to be more productive, you may need to change certain habits or simply remove distractions from your work area(s). Here are seven productivity hacks to implement this week to achieve more.
Do you have trouble getting distracted by certain websites while you’re working? Shopping sites, social media, blogs, and more, can distract you from the task at hand and make your productivity drop dramatically. Distractions serve to derail your brain from what you should be focused on.
Using site blockers will ensure you can’t access the websites that so easily distract you from your tasks. These handy tools will block just about any site you want; from social media pages to shopping sites to blog and news sites. Once you’ve eliminated these distractions, you should have no trouble focusing on the tasks at hand.
A little planning can truly go a long way. Planning ahead is one of the best ways to identify and set goals, providing you with direction from the moment you open your eyes until the moment you close them again to sleep. Something as simple as writing your goals down for the next day before bed can help motivate you for increased productivity.
Planning out your tasks will ensure that you address them accordingly and that your time is properly delegated to each one. Without proper planning, things can easily fall into chaos as distractions take over, and without a plan in place, you don’t have anything to strive for. The best way to reach your bigger goals is to accomplish smaller goals day by day.
Using apps that track your time is a great way to ensure you’re maximizing every hour. They’re also useful for those professionals who work on an hourly basis since they’ll be using the time tracker to create invoices and eventually get paid for their work.
Time tracking shows you exactly what you did during the day, and how long it took you to do it. Using this knowledge, you can identify problem areas and work to increase your productivity and efficiency. Maybe you’re taking too long to respond to emails, or your paperwork shouldn’t take you two hours to complete. Once you know what’s taking up your time, you can figure out why it takes up so much of it and work to address it.
Just Say No!
Just say no. Some people have a problem with saying yes to everything. Even if they’re buried in work, they’ll say yes to a new project or account. Quantity will never replace quality, in the workplace, at home, or at school. Quality says “I gave this task my very best”, whereas quantity says “I got twice any projects done, but I didn’t work very hard on them”.
Would you rather be known for the quality of your work or for turning in more projects with half the value? Employers want professionals who work hard and stand behind their projects. Someone who stands behind their work and spends the time required to make it the best work possible will always have more chances for advancement and more opportunities to be successful than someone who takes on too many projects at once.
Music for Improved Focus
This is a simple hack but has been proven to create results. Listening to music can help focus your brain on the task at hand, therefore increasing your productivity. The more focused you are, the more you can accomplish!
Some music is actually more effective at creating a sense of focus than others. Instrumental music, such as classical or chamber music, is one of the best genres to listen to for increased focus and productivity. Try music without lyrics, as singing along to the lyrics while writing important emails or proposals can actually be distracting.
Templates for emails, proposals, charts, and more, are available on the web for commercial and personal use and act as a shortcut of sorts. If you’re unsure how to create a certain spreadsheet or an invoice, you can use a template to skip the design part and get right to the meat of the project.
Using a template saves you time. Saving time and maximizing the time you do use is the best way to increase productivity. The more efficient you are, the more you’ll get done each hour, and therefore each day.
Put Your Phone Away!
What is one of the biggest distractions we face on a daily basis? Our phones. We take them everywhere; to the bathroom, to work, to family events. Phones have become so ingrained in our society that it’s rare to see someone not on their phone in the timespan of an hour.
Putting your phone on silent or simply leaving it in a desk drawer while you’re working can help prevent distraction during the day. Unless it’s an emergency, nothing your phone notifies you of will be as important as the task at hand. If you spend an hour working on a project, but ten minutes of that hour was used to text or scroll social media, you’ve wasted 16% of that hour. Think about that. Sixteen percent of your hour spent on your phone. That’s time you can’t ever get back!
Put your phone away for a few hours and you might just find that you enjoy that time without having to constantly attend to notifications. Disconnecting will increase your productivity and may even help reduce your stress and anxiety!
Got some productivity hacks you love? Share them with us!
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