If you’re anything like me, you’re always scoping out ways to get more tasks done in a finite amount of time. It’s like trying to squeeze a gallon of responsibilities into a shot-glass of a day. Mixed metaphor? Maybe, but you get the point.
Even though working longer hours is one possible solution, you don’t want to work yourself into an early grave. What would be the point of all your productivity then? Instead, we all have to work a little smarter. Most solutions to working smarter are organizational processes that take time to implement. Those are important too, but my favorite hacks will help you be more productive today.
1. Shorten your to-do list—seriously, you don’t need all that stuff on there, at least not right now. Take the 3 most critical tasks and focus on those. Once those have been completed, you can add the next most-important jobs.
2. Cut the time wasters—this should go without saying, but how many of us still sneak a peek at social media? Or click around online to browse junk? I don’t need to get into details here, because you already know what your biggest time-suckers are. Let those things go—at least for today—and watch what happens.
3. Quit multi-tasking—while this might seem counter-intuitive, stop diluting your focus by trying to do more than one thing at a time. Do tasks in chunks, like all emails, all phone calls, all blog posts (that one’s for me!) If you block your time, you’ll establish an uninterrupted flow.
4. Give yourself a deadline—decide that you’re going to finish XYZ in X minutes, then set a timer. Do that for all the tasks you’ve bundled, and watch how much faster you move. In fact, I’m convinced your brain works faster when it knows it has to. On that note, know what your attention span is and work that length of time. Take a break when your attention span has run out, otherwise you’ll mentally check out, anyway.
5. Do the hard job first—you know which task you’ve been avoiding. Once you finish that, the rest of the day is cake.
As I mentioned before, there are other ways to increase productivity over time, such as getting more rest and taking care of your health. But that, my friends, is another post for another day.
What are your favorite productivity hacks?