9 top productivity hacks you don’t have time to ignore
If you are super busy this is the summary post of a series on the top 9 productivity hacks that you don't have time to ignore. They are tried and tested and are the easiest and most effective productivity tips to fit into your life.
If you are looking for ideas to improve your productivity, planning and organisation you will find them right here.
If you are super busy this is the summary post of a series on the top 9 productivity hacks that you simply don’t have time to ignore.
If, like me, your life is so busy, you have a million and one things to do. The last thing you want to do is read through another list of productivity hacks that you can’t implement into real life.
You don’t have time to read a list that is 30 items long. Nor can you afford one of your many spinning plates to drop while you try to fit in a new process.
You just want something that is easy to fit into your busy life.
There are hundreds of productivity hacks out there. Most will work in one way or another, but will depend on what you are looking for.
The ones we are interested in will work for all areas of your life, work or personal.
Only the ones that are quick and easy to implement and have proven great results have made it onto the list.
Using them WILL improve your daily organisation, productivity and effectiveness.
[blockquote]”If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done” – Bruce Lee[/blockquote]
Productivity hack #1. Take control of your to do list
No surprise that this is first on the list from someone who is a list freak!
Many people go straight for completing the easy tasks first and putting off anything more difficult or taxing until later. This can result in you having to panic to finish off more critical taks too late.
To break the cycle, always start with essential tasks first, no matter what.
Write a list of everything you need to do. Don’t be shy, list everything, big and small.
Then prioritise each item.
Pick the top 3 prioritised items and work on those until completed.
By being able to tick off the most important tasks then you will be motivated to continue with more.
Basing your actions on importance you will feel more more fulfilled and accomplished at the end of the day.
Who wouldn’t want that.
Read more about how to take control of your to-do list in this post.
Productivity hack #2. Declutter your online life
How much time do you spend checking your email, reading blogs, watching youtube?
The list could be endless but the time can certainly be better spent.
Do the following and you will soon see great chunks of your day be returned back to you:
Block yourself from sites
Outsource and automate
Don’t check your email
Doing all, or even just some, of the above will make you much more productive and less distracted, allowing you to focus on tasks that you really do need to do.
Read more about how to declutter your online life in this post.
Productivity hack #3. Do similar tasks together
Whenever possible, group like tasks together, it’ll definitely make your day flow better.
Time is lost every time you switch tasks, as your brain has to adjust to the new processes that it has to deal with. So more time is saved if your brain doesn’t need to switch between tasks and can focus on similar activities in rapid succession.
I have taken full advantage of this approach in my cleaning routine. My routine involves only doing one task per day, but complete it for all rooms in the house. This way you only have to get the cleaning tools out for that specifc activity and you can really speed up your cleaning.
Read more about how to similar tasks together in this post.
Productivity hack #4. Be like Zammo – Just say no
Maybe that Grange Hill reference is showing my age too much! (Here is a link to the children’s TV show that was a great part of my youth). It’s got nothng to do with Productivity but hey, the phrase works!
Do you feel like the world is conspiring against you to dump all of its crap at your front door?
If so then it is time to start being difficult.
No more Mrs Nice Girl.
Saying yes to every task can leave you overwhelmed, but saying no can fill you with guilt for letting people down.
Learning to be difficult when it counts really helps.
Fortunately a few simple routine changes can make bothering you so much more painful for people that they will leave you in peace.
To make it easier to say no identify what type of requests you usually can’t say no to and create a strategy in advance to deal with these requests.
Productivity hack #5. Take 15 mins at end of each day to plan for the next day
You are normally most motivated first thing in the morning and most stressed at the end of the day.
To help get you a good nights sleep take 15 minutes at the end of each day to write down a plan for the next day.
We have a Daily planner to help you document this and keep you on track throughout the day.
This means you can then use your precious productive time in the morning actually completing a task.
Once you are in the routine of planning your days each evening, try taking the next step of planning for the coming week. This can be just loose ideas of which tasks you want to try and tackle. But it will suddenly start giving you structure and you will feel more in control. Reducing your stress levels.
Another benefit of creating a plan is that by assigning work to scheduled times reduces the urge to procrastinate. You are no longer deciding whether or not to work during a given period; the decision is already made.
Read more about how to create a daily plan in this post.
Productivity hack #6. Schedule in breaks
You have a to-do list a mile long, with lots of itty bits on it that you just never get round to.
We’ve all been there!.
Here is a tool to help you hit these in one fell swoop and provide you with the motivation to keep going.
The theory is you allocate a specific amount of time to working, a specific amount of time to a break and repeat until you have completed your list or allocated time.
It is called(10+2)*5, I know not the most catch title.
The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. Although any of the numbers can change to suit your list.
During the work allocation time you work with single-minded focus on moving toward completion on a single task.
During the break period go and do whatever you want but be ready to start work on the next task on your list in the next work period.
Repeat for however many time are appropriate for you.
The result? You’ll bash through an hour’s worth of work and will find yourself looking forward to both the breaking and working parts of the cycle.
Read more about how to schedule breaks in this post.
Productivity hack #7. Be kind to yourself
It is no good beating yourself up about never getting anything done.
It is not going to help.
You are only going to feel more stressed.
So firstly breathe!
Once you have got organised using points 1 and 5, this should allow you to relax a little and get some sleep.
You absolutely need sleep if you want to be productive.
Researchers now know that, as your brain tires, it sucks energy away from the areas needed from critical thinking, in favor of those areas that keep you alert. So you can turn up – you just can’t think very well.
Trying anything you can to get those extra hours asleep is vital.
A positive outlook goes a long way toward keeping you happy, healthy, and productive.
To get into the positive mindset start a gratitude journal, or simply add it to your Daily Planner, and make sure you jot down 3 things you are grateful for that day.
Read more about how to make time to be kind to yourself in this post.
Productivity hack #8. Do a 10-minute workout in the morning
How many times have you felt like you can’t be bothered to exercise. It’s only after you force yourself to go, you feel so good, you wonder what was the problem in the first place.
Exercising increases energy, alertness, productivity and improves mental health by releasing endorphins and serotonin.
Some studies have also shown that exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours following your workout.
When you exercise, your brain releases serotonin that helps you feel better and improves your state of mind, making stress easier to handle.
Here’s are some 10 minute no equipment workouts that you can do at home https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/10-minute-workouts/ .
If all it takes is 10 minutes of your time and a little bit of sweat to be less stressed and more efficient it’s definitely worth setting that alarm 30 minutes earlier.
Read more about the benefits of a 10 minute exercise routine in this post.
Productivity hack #9. Schedule your chores
This is one of my pet subjects and I can’t tell you about its virtues enough.
I used to spend all my free time cleaning the house and it really did feel like a chore. And still my house looked a mess.
Now after creating my cleaning routine, I feel like I am in complete control. And it only takes me 15 minutes a day.
The added benefit is that it has freed my brain from having to think about what needs doing today. This means I can get on with clearing my to do list of other activities.
Read more about the benefits of a creating a cleaning routine in this post.
Create good habits to last a lifetime
There is so much to be said about creating good habits, that help you improve your productivity.
Hopefully by going through my top productivity hacks some of them can become new habits that you can build into your life.
The trick with making and sticking to habits is to do them consciously and consistently until they become a habit.
These small changes really can make a MASSIVE difference.