Keeping up with everything on our to-do lists can be a real challenge sometimes. Between taking care of work, family, friendships, and personal interests, it can be hard to find time for everything we want to tackle while leaving room to breathe.
If you’re on the hunt for tactics and tips to boost your productivity and get more done with your day, consider these five powerful productivity hacks to help you make the most of your time and get ahead.
Five Life-Changing Productivity Hacks
#1 Master your morning routine.
There’s tremendous power in creating a morning routine that really works for you. The way you spend your first waking moments has a lasting impact on the rest of your day, so it’s important to be mindful of how you use that time.
If you currently move through your morning routine without thinking about it, spend a little time understanding your actions. Are you reaching for your phone first thing? Do you waste twenty minutes trying to decide what to wear each day? Find your pain points and make a plan to tackle them. If you waste loads of time making breakfast for yourself and your family each morning, consider a quicker option, or make it up in advance. Do whatever you can to streamline your morning, and you’ll find yourself far more productive throughout your day.
#2 Narrow your focus.
Many of us feel more productive when we’ve written out our to-do list, but if we have too many things on our mind, it can be hard to make real progress toward our goals. When you’re faced with a list of twenty things you need to do, it can be a little overwhelming. You might be tempted to try to address more than one thing at once, which doesn’t often lead to success.
Instead of trying to bite off more than you can chew, try to hone in on the most important things on your list. Identify your top three priorities. What really needs to be accomplished? What three things will make the biggest impact on your day? Identify those things and don’t let yourself get distracted by the other stuff on your list until they’re done.
#3 Embrace the tomato timer.
If you struggle to stay focused on the task at hand, try using the Pomodoro technique to keep on track. It’s a time management technique that asks you to spend 25 minutes dedicated to a specific task before enjoying a brief break, so it’s perfect in situations that call for lots of focus. After four rounds of working for 25 minutes and resting for five, you get a longer break to reward yourself for a job well done. Traditionally, tomato-shaped kitchen timers were used to track time, but there are now lots of apps on the market to do the job. Find one that fits and give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can accomplish!
#4 Enforce the two-minute rule.
Sometimes we’re faced with a pile of work so large we’re not sure where to begin. On occasion, our work environment can prevent us from embracing the Pomodoro technique and really finding our focus. The next time this happens, enforce the two-minute rule. If you find a task that can be taken care of in two minutes or less, do it immediately – don’t put it off. Quickly respond to that email instead of flagging it for a response later. When you’re forced to work in a chaotic, constantly-changing environment, tackling things as they come can sometimes be the best way to keep your task list manageable and productivity high.
#5 Find a system that works.
When you’re trying to be as productive as possible, you should embrace all the tools at your disposal. There are lots of apps to help you tackle your to-do lists and stay organized. Trello is a great tool to keep track of your tasks, add notes, and collaborate with others on projects. Any.do is an app that supports smart to-do lists and sends reminders to keep you on track. See what options are out there and consider how you’ll get the greatest benefit.
Which of these productivity hacks will you try first? Whatever your reasons for wanting to be more productive, these 5 tips are sure to help!
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