If you’re feeling the constant pull of distraction, try out these five productivity hacks to empower your life.
- Work during peak energy times – Working when you have the most energy makes sense. Consider whether you’re a night owl or an early bird. Find times to work on your own stuff when it makes sense, and don’t force it when it just isn’t right. Sometimes this is difficult to achieve in the workplace, but if you structure your work tasks around energy levels, you’ll start to notice the difference.
- Use a timer – When you’re working, it can be easy to get distracted and fall down the rabbit hole. Use a timer to quantify how much time you’d like to spend on a task. Try out Focus Booster. This app is based on the Pomodoro Technique, which encourages working in spurts and taking frequent breaks. Focus Booster sets a timer for 25 minutes, then reminds you to take a five-minute break. This method helps keep you aware of how you’re spending your time and helps you stay focused.
- Schedule Everything – It can be easy to lose track of time and waste the day away. Write a list of your priorities and your tasks that need to be completed, and put it in a calendar. This includes your social life, too. Schedule an hour of “me” time every night, and schedule that romantic date that you’ve been neglecting. By putting everything in a calendar, you’re prioritizing everything and streamlining your workflow.
- Stop Multitasking – In an effort to manage competing priorities and deadlines, we often try to multitask and end up losing focus. Multitasking can backfire and adversely affect productivity, while also decreasing the quality of your work. Start by tuning out distractions such as social media. If you’re a Mac user, use the Self Control app to block certain sites for a duration of time. If you don’t need the Internet, disconnect from Wi-Fi. Turn off your phone or put it on silent. In today’s world, there are a million distractions keeping you from being your most productive, but you can start by creating an environment that actually fosters creativity and productivity.
- Start Using Project Management Tools – Web-based applications like Trello, Asana and Evernote make it easier than ever to manage various tasks from start to finish. The best part? They all have free versions. Personally, I love Asana because it helps schedule tasks, assign deadlines, create sub-tasks and comment and share with other users in that workspace. Staying organized is key to being productive, and Asana makes it easy with email reminders when tasks are due. The key is to put everything in whichever system you choose – the project management tools are only as good as your ability to put in accurate information. Although the tools need maintaining, I find them helpful to stay on top of deadlines, keep notes and share documents with others without clogging up my precious inbox.
These productivity hacks are a guide to empower your life – you can either rule technology, or let it rule you.
Do you have any other productivity hacks to share? That’s what the comments section is for!
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