Let’s face it. It’s mid-afternoon & you’re perplexed about the 3 mail drafts opened on your mail client. You’re trying to balance it out by running a quick pivot to get done with your analysis & in the meanwhile coffee is on your mind along with the 3 meetings you have lined up before 5pm. Looks like little will get done for you today and anxiety is causing you to scream murder!
What happened to my productive time? You wonder. Pretty sure many of us are in similar situations and seem to be stuck in a rut. So here are my top 5 productivity hacks that help me get by. Maybe these could help you too:
1. Prioritize, prioritize: Much has been said about this before. I think the challenge is keeping up with your list of priorities. You have them listed up but one minor distraction & you’re drifting already. The hack is to start using notes, get an app that will keep reminding you about key tasks. Apps that are helpful are Any.do, Reminders on Evernote or even Google Play can help you with this.
2. Toughie on your table? Eat that frog! : A popular book, “Eat that frog” talks about finishing the tougher tasks in the beginning in the first part of your day (no matter when that starts). Once you’re done with the uphill tasks, you can slide on the easier ones downhill as you wind up the day. Finish it off with a treat?
3. Put that phone face down: This is a good trick & so simple to implement. Scores of time, you’re in a meeting and notifications begin to pop up. Not only are you swaying from the discussion, but if at your desk your productivity will go out the window for 10 minutes at least. So respect those around you & your time by putting the phone face down when you need to stay tuned to the task at hand.
4. Social media sidenote: Yes, many of us have the habit to drift away in unending timeline updates and newsfeeds cluttered with wedding or baby photos. The new one is that facebook 10 years video (i’m tired of it). But the hack here is to time yourself. You can check it but maybe set a limit to say once in 2 hours. Rather than checking every hour & loosing 15 mins of your time, you can minimize the time lost by widening the time limit.
5. De-clutter. Your desk & your mind: I’m an ardent fan of the minimalist approach. A clean desk not only shows you as an organized person, it actually helps you work better. I feel that an empty space helps me focus more on the tasks i’ve prioritized. It helps me feel i have this in control. Maybe you could try it out & see if this helps. Sure helps me keep a clear perspective!
So that’s about it. These simple hacks help me do more & achieve most of my work goals. There are days when you can use these hacks to save up to 2 hours of your work day. So finish that day faster & head back to have a great dinner or a nice drink to wind up the day!