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20 Productivity Hacks to Maximize Efficiency

Updated on September 17, 2017

Productivity Hacks - More Important Than You Think

Do you realize how much your habits and attitude affect the outcome of your work? You must have at least somewhat of an idea since you found this article. Let me tell you something, it's even more important than you realize. The efficiency of your effort is greatly affected by these seemingly small factors, meaning you're likely to expend more energy than necessary and getting lesser results than you should, unless you make a conscious effort to align your actions for high productivity.

This article will teach you how to do just that. Let's get started!

More productivity = More Money
More productivity = More Money

1. Make a task list

When starting work on a big project, break it down into smaller tasks. This will make it easier to know what is possible and what to do. Make a list of steps toward completing the project. Break each task up into even smaller tasks to complete step by step. Work page by page, chart by chart, graph by graph, and check them off the list.
This will remind you that you’re accomplishing something and getting steadily closer to your goal. Momentum will make you more efficient and less tense.


2. Get the Worst Task out of the Way

When you choose what order to do things, start with the most difficult task or your least favorite one. Once you’re done, you’ll be boosted by the momentum and sense of accomplishment, rather than hampered by the dread of the upcoming monster task.


3. Schedule your tasks

Procrastination and poor concentration can be difficult habits to break. Deadlines are a great way to get more things done. Break each task down into smaller steps, and set a deadline for each one. It’s easier to focus and put in a good effort if you know exactly what you’re doing and when you need to be done. Deadlines keep you motivated, and you’ll feel the time pressure even if you miss a mini-deadline. This will help you catch up and move on.


4. Plan Your Break

Making lists and schedules is good for most things, including your breaks. Write down all the things you intend to do on your break. Prioritize and put them in the order you will do them, and assign a maximum allotted time for each one. You will find an improvement in how much enjoyment you get out of your breaks when you’re not aimlessly wasting time.


5. Write Things Down

Whenever you have a good idea, or think of something you need to remember or research, jot it down in a notebook or your smartphone memos. This way you don’t lose good ideas or forget important things, and you don’t have to waste brain power on remembering or wondering.

You will save a lot of time when you apply these tips
You will save a lot of time when you apply these tips

6. Organize and De-clutter

Disorder and clutter waste time and increase stress. Make sure to keep your work space tidy and organized for work and nothing else. Throw away everything that won’t be used again and organize the rest for easy access. You’ll perform and feel better.


7. No More Multi-tasking

Clutter in your mind and schedule are no less damaging than clutter on your desk. You won’t get much done if you have dozens of tasks or ideas on your brain. You’ll be overwhelmed and find it hard to focus. Handle one thing at a time, and don’t worry about details and smaller tasks. Focus on completing the big tasks.


8. Be Realistic

Unrealistic expectations are a recipe for failure. Set realistic goals and take one step at a time. Don’t be afraid to start small. If you overshoot your goals, that will be a great way to build momentum and confidence while getting an understanding of your tasks and abilities. You’ll reach your goals and set new ones right away, instead of crashing and burning after reaching the halfway point of an impossible mammoth goal.
Unrealistic ideals that you won’t ever reach do more harm than good.


9. Learn to Say No

This classic productivity tip deserves its spot on every list. If you attempt a lot of things at once, your efficiency and all results will suffer. You don’t have to do everything, the idea that the more you take on the more you will impress and achieve is problematic. Each time you increase your workload and people’s expectations, you increase the risk of failure and disappointment, which can damage people’s trust and willingness to work with you.

There is no shame in saying no.


10. Overcome Perfectionism

People tend to view perfectionism as a “sometimes kind of problematic” trait, but it truly is a big productivity killer. Things can always be better, and you’re not really getting closer to that elusive perfection when you overwork a task or detail, only wasting time that could be used to get more work done. Work well and for a sensible time, then move on.

11. Stay Positive!

Positivity will make your work easier, it’s not just a fluffy theory. Focus on what’s going well, remember your strengths and successes, celebrate progress. Remind yourself of what makes you happy and grateful to be alive. Appreciate the opportunities and challenges you come across.


12. Make a Promise

You will take your challenges more seriously and work with more motivation if you’re not the only one who knows about it. It’s easier to let yourself down, than failing someone else. Make a vow to colleagues/friends, ask them to hold you to your word, and you will find yourself more motivated to work because you know you stand to lose face and trust if you slack.


13. Sleep to Recover

You may think sleeping more means less time and thus less productivity, but the truth is that your cognitive performance and energy levels depend on sleep. Your brain needs time to recover, and if you don’t keep it in a good condition it won’t be as efficient. Without sufficient sleep, you will struggle more for lesser results.

Sleeping enough is a necessity for high performance.


14. Preparing for Tomorrow

Save time and energy and make the morning easier by preparing the night before. Get your clothes ready, prepare and pack food, ready the coffee maker, etc. Making a checklist for the morning also helps. This way you can sleep a little longer in the morning, or fit another productive habit into your morning routine.


15. Skip Breakfast!

Many of you probably think this suggestion is crazy, but hear me out. Breakfast tends to be the most time-consuming part of a worker’s morning routine, and it tends to consist of poor nutrition that makes you sluggish in the long run and prone to mid-day crash.

On top of this, many studies have shown that the brain (and many other parts of the body) performs better when your body runs out of carbs to burn and starts running on ketones instead.
Skipping breakfast is a way to both free up time and boost your brain performance.


16. Exercise in the Morning

Adding a light workout to your morning routine can improve your productivity greatly. Contrary to what many people may tell you, exercising will increase your energy and focus rather than spend it. It gets you going and improves health, and it’s known to improve your mood and stress handling for several hours (up to 12) after your workout.

This all around life-boosting productivity hack is worth making time for in your morning routine.


17. Make Bad Habits Difficult

Establishing good, productive habits will be harder if you don’t eliminate the bad ones. Eliminating bad habits at work will be inefficient if you keep bad habits outside of work. It’s all connected. Put your phone out of reach, use site blockers on your web browser, hide your TV remote and your unhealthy snacks in an inconvenient place.

The more time and effort it takes to feed a bad habit, the less you will do it and the more conscious you will become. It may sometimes seem like a waste of time to make your bad habits harder for yourself, but when you break those habits you will benefit greatly and for a long time.


18. Disable Digital Distraction

Maintaining focus can become a challenge if you’re interrupted by your phone or other gadgets every couple of minutes. These distractions must go! Turn off notifications, or turn the device off completely, and put it out of reach to avoid habitually reaching for it. If you tend to get distracted by social media or news, block these sites in your browser.

Eliminate this distraction, and you’ll be significantly more efficient.


19. Drink Plenty of Water

The average person doesn’t drink enough water for high performance. It’s a crucial component of our bodies and involved in almost every physical process. Drink more water to get more energy and mental clarity.
As an extra bonus, a higher water intake means you’ll get out of your chair more regularly for bathroom breaks, giving your back, eyes and mind a break.


20. Reclaim wasted hours

Do you ever stop and think of how much time gets wasted on commuting and waiting to be able to do something? It can be quite shocking when you do the math.
Fret not, there are many easy ways to make good use of this time. You can handle business calls or even emails, learn from audiobooks and podcasts, streamline your schedule, or handle other tasks that would eat up time at work or at home.

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    • Shernae Grey profile image

      Shernae Miller 

      9 months ago from Bahamas

      Spot on! Missing breakfast makes me grumpy but everything else I live by! Well done.

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