Have you ever been caught in the cycle of “Too many things to do and yet so little time?”
Have you ever ask yourself why do you keep on rushing your work to keep up with the deadline?
Or does it take you forever to finish your tasks?
We often wonder how other people do so much things in a day while we can’t even account where did we spent most of our time. I was like that too.
For so many years, I dreaded the word “Deadline” because that would mean working longer hours and crunching time so I would be able to finish my task on time. However, my dilemma would be there were so many things that require immediate attention (read- ASAP, Urgent, Need This Now!). So what would I do?
Luckily, I discover several ways on how to manage my time and to increase my productivity in no time. And surprisingly, these life hacks are so easy to do! Even more impressing is that these foolproof hacks are highly used and recommended by achievers and successful people too.
Do you want to know the secret of increasing your productivity and getting more things done in no time?
Let me share to you seven easy life hacks to boost your productivity. There are so many ways to do it. But you can always start with the easiest ways.
- Wake Up Early
The old adage “the early bird catches the early worm” is an understatement in this productivity hack. Successful people start their day early so they can do a lot of things in a day.
According to Kristina Karlsson, founder and CEO of the Swedish stationery brand Kikki K., all her big ideas were written at 3 AM. Thus,
Waking up early gives you more time to do your personal stuff or your daily rituals so you won’t start your day cramming up just to prepare yourself for the day. Yes, it includes your weekends too.
My typical work day starts at 4:30 in the morning. That accounts for my “getting ready for the day” and to give me ample time to commute going to work which by the way takes up one hour to one a half hour depending on the traffic. I do my planning and journalling in the morning while eating my favorite breakfast and sipping coffee. Sometimes, I can leisurely read a chapter or two of my current read or wath a Tedx Talk to inspire me throughout the day.
So imagine if I wake up a little bit late? I will not have time to enjoy the little personal pleasures that I do every morning because I will be constantly hurrying up not to be late to work.
Key point: Time can be your friend or your enemy when you want to be productive.
2. Tidy Up Your Work Space
No, just because you know where to find every little knick knacks in your work space you will neglect to clean up. Study reveals that the state of your work space affects your mood and your ability to do your task. I mean, who wants to work in a cluttered work space, right?
When you spend most of your time looking for that pen that must have been buried somewhere in your table or you come in late for a very important meeting because you missed that paper somewhere in your file, you are losing valuable chances to increase your productivity and achieve bigger goals.
Save yourself from the hassle of missing out important things by decluttering your work space before you start any task you scheduled for a day. Remove unnecesarry things that may distract you from your work on your table and stow them away neatly in your drawers or cabinets.
Do note that this includes your computer’s desktop too. Organize your file in your computer and if possible leave only folders or files that you will be using to perform your tasks in your desktop for easy access.
3. Have a To- Do List
So, what now? Where do you begin? When is that important board meeting going to happen?
Most of us do not know how to start our work. We only see tons of works which are either urgent, important, or need this ASAP. Thus, it is important to make a to- do list so you will know how to progress within the day.
Start by blocking off the time of important meetings that you badly need to attend in your calendar so you will have a visibility how much time is left for you to do the different tasks within the day.
Then list down all your tasks and start categorizing them as (1) “Important & Urgent”, (2) “Important But Not Urgent”, (3) ” Urgent But Not Important” and (4) “Not Important & Not Urgent”. All tasks that fall under no. 1 should go to the top of your priority list while tasks under no. 2 can be park and scheduled for another day. Delegate to others the tasks under no. 3 and do follow up before the end of the day and refrain from doing tasks under no. 4 to avoid distraction.
Be realistic with your time. If you can only finish 1 important and urgent task in a day because it is difficult to do, so be it. Schedule the other tasks the following day.
When you exercise or you play any sports, you might be aware of the importance of warming up before starting your game. The same way, you need to do a warm up task prior to any big task to set your mood and your work rhythm.
Choose one task that you can easily finish in five minutes and complete it before you jump into your bigger task. It may be as finishing a simple school assignment or downloading references for your paper.
Finishing an easy task allows your brain to transition to working mode without stressing yourself too much. It also gives you motivation to tackle your task at hand because you already accomplish something early on.
If you cannot find something to start on, you can always go back to tip number 2. 😊
5. Steer Away from Social Media
A lot of us are guilty of this. Nowadays, un-necessary mobile browsing is one of the biggest culprit why we do not finish our task on time. We know that that paper is due tomorrow but you just can’t resist the urge to peek on your FB or IG or Twitter.
If you find yoirself constantly spending your time on your mobile device than finishing your task, mute that notification button and put down your gadget face down (so you will not see the screen). If this does not work wnf you are still tempted to sneak into looking at your messages, turn off your gadgets and put it away from your reach until you finish your task so you can avoid distraction.
Just make sure that if you are turning off your gadgets especially your phones, notify your loved ones so they will have a peace of mind that you are not MIA.
6. Use Pomodoro Technique
I really sweat on this prpductivity trick. Pomodoro technique helps me survive even the toughest task that I need to finish.
Pomodoro technique helps you break your task into manageable span with just enough concentration that is bearable to you. Here’s how it works.
Set your timer to 25 minutes and do you task within that period of time. After 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break. Repeat the cycle of 25 min work- 5 min break until you finish your job. In the 4th cycle of 25: 5, take a longer 10- 15 minutes break.
It’ s easy, isn’t it?
This leads us to our last productivity tip.
7. Take a Break
Don’ t be confused. Breaks are good for you.
Taking a break provides you the opportunity to recharge your mind and your body. If you take short breaks in between doing your tasks, you will be more likely motivated to go back and finish it. Why? Because you will be looking forward to a longer break when you are done with your job.
So take time to walk, eat or even have a power nap in between task to ensure that the flow of energy in your mind and body is continuously replenished.
If you are overwhelmed by these productivity tips, try out one to three tips first and gradually incorporate the other tricks when you already get the habit of doing them.
Stay motivated and productive everyone! 😊