If you want to get more done during the day, feel more accomplished, and reduce your stress levels, these seven productivity life hacks can help. Read on to learn more about each one and the benefits it has to offer.
1. Do Only Important Tasks
When you’re looking at your to-do list or feeling overwhelmed by everything you think you have to do, take a step back and focus on doing only the important tasks.
When making plans, keep the Pareto 80/20 Principle in mind. This principle states that 80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the work.
If you focus on the top 20 percent of your to-do list and prioritize those tasks, you’ll see major results without having to worry about checking off every single thing.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Research shows that the highest performing workers tend to work for about 52 minutes at a time, followed by a 17-minute break. Regular breaks help you to feel more energized and give you a chance to step away from your work and come back to it with fresh eyes.
By scheduling your workday this way, you’ll likely find that you get more done and provide a higher quality of work.
3. Don't Get Distracted
If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to addressing distractions, consider the top two distractions that affect most workers: internet surfing and socializing with co-workers. Forty percent of unproductive work time is spent on non-work-related internet use, and 33 percent goes to socialization with co-workers.
Do these productivity issues resonate with you? If so, start looking for ways to get in front of them.
For example, maybe you need to install a website blocker on your computer so you’re not tempted to drift over to certain sites when you’re supposed to be working. If socialization is a problem, maybe you can plan times to catch up with your co-workers during lunch or on a break. That way, you still have a chance to socialize, but it doesn’t cut into your work time.
4. Don't Multitask
No matter how good you think you are at multi-tasking, you’re probably not as efficient as you think. Multitasking has been shown to lower productivity by 40 percent. It also lowers IQ by 10 points — yikes!
Instead of trying to multitask, practice giving your undivided attention to each item on your to-do list.
Consider setting a timer (maybe assign yourself a 52-minute block followed by a 17-minute break) and dedicating yourself to one particular task or project until that timer goes off. You’ll likely find that you get more done than you would if you were constantly switching back and forth.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Every year, sleep deprivation costs companies a whopping $63.2 billion in lost productivity! If you’re showing up to work fatigued every day, chances are you’re not being a productive as you could be.
Make it a priority to get an appropriate amount of sleep (7-9 hours is good for most people) each night. Set and stick to a nighttime routine to signal to your body that it’s time to rest, and consider cutting off caffeine early in the day (around 12 or so) so that you can fall asleep more easily.
If you find yourself frequently choosing work over rest, remember, too, that more isn’t always better. Research shows that, after a 50-hour workweek, workers experience a sharp drop in productivity. When workweeks exceed 55 hours, productivity is essentially non-existent.
6. Do the Things You Hate First
The “eat the frog” tactic can be very useful if often you feel daunted when looking at your to-do list. “Eat the frog” refers to doing the thing or things that you hate first before moving on to other items on your list.
By doing these less-appealing things first, you’ll be able to address them when you have the most energy and your motivation is highest. You’ll also feel a strong sense of accomplishment when they’re done, which can further encourage you to keep the ball rolling as you move on to other tasks.
7. Weekly Progress Reporting
Weekly progress reporting helps you to see how far you’ve come and provides you with a visual picture of everything you’ve accomplished. Progress reports also show you how much closer you are to reaching specific goals and can help you stay engaged and motivated in the coming week.
There are lots of tools you can use to create weekly progress reports, but Weekdone is one of the best options. It provides you with automated, easy-to-read reports on you and your team’s productivity.
Weekdone also makes it easy for you to align your goals and the goals of other team members with the goals for the company. It ensures everyone’s on the same page and is doing their part to keep the company progressing in the right direction.
Increase Your Productivity Today
These productivity life hacks are simple, but they can provide significant improvements in your ability to get things done, stay on track with your goals, and maximize your time. Give one (or more) a try today to see their effects for yourself!