Productivity Hacks That Can Change Your Life

So, it seems like you’re having a tough time being productive lately, which might be why you’re here right now. Or, you were just bored browsing online when the topic of productivity suddenly popped into your head for no reason. 

Either way, you’ll find yourself feeling more motivated to perform all sorts of tasks by the time you’re done reading this post. Sounds good?

Before I can give you these so-called productivity secrets, though, let me talk about the two reasons why we tend to become sluggish and ineffective. 

Reason #1: Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates, or at least, at some point during their lives. We allow ourselves to get distracted. We become lazy and choose to put off work just because.   

The good news is, there’s always a cure for procrastination, and you’ll find out what they are as you go along this article.

Reason #2: You’re not open for change

To be efficient, you need to be willing to adapt to a changing environment. You need have that urge to improve and become a better version of yourself. 

Keep in mind that productivity is an ever-changing landscape. Sticking with the same old tactics will get you nowhere. Being good enough just won’t cut it anymore, especially in this competitive world we’re now living in. 

10 Tried-and-True Hacks to Maximize Your Productivity

Productivity is one of the main ingredients of success. Being productive with your time makes it easier to achieve real progress and reach whatever goals you have. That said, look at these tips not just as something to get things done more quickly and effectively, but also as a way for you to grow personally.

Plan Your Day in Advance

If you were to ask any successful person what their secret is, expect “planning ahead” as one of their responses. Google it even, it’s a common theme. 

Without a  daily routine to follow, you’ll likely miss out on certain tasks, leaving you wondering where did the day go. This is why you should create a schedule and take advantage of it every single day. 

Listing down everything you need to complete in a day ensures that you have a sense of direction. You know exactly what you should be doing next, removing all the guesswork from the process and keeping you 100% focused. 

Make a List of Your Top Three Tasks

Ambiguity kills productivity. No one likes to spend the entire day without a clear goal in mind. 

Every morning (or the prior night), take time to think about the three things you want to accomplish for the day. Jot them down on a notepad, use a task management tool, or input them on apps like Evernote or  Be sure that they’re in the right order. 

Keep your goals as clear as possible. Describe each of them in detail so you won’t have to waste time figuring out what they are. 

A task that says “make an article” isn’t really a good thing to include in your list, as it can leave you wondering what you need to post about and when to finish it. Instead, you can write “make a 2000-word article about web design services and publish it by 4 pm”. 

With a detailed task like this, you won’t be drifting to semi-related tasks that will only distract you from ticking this off your list. 

Apply the Pomodoro Technique

Ever heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It’s a popular productivity principle which involves working on a task for 25 minutes followed by a five-minute break. So far, freelancers and entrepreneurs who’ve been using it say it’s indeed a powerful tactic.

However, don’t anticipate results the first time you try it.  The magic actually happens once you’ve gotten used to the technique. As soon as it turns into a habit, you’ll notice that your ability to concentrate becomes 2x, 5x, or even 10x better. 

Then again, you can always modify your working sessions. For instance, you can go for a 50-minute work session with 10 minutes of relaxing and unwinding – whatever works best for you. 

Stop Multitasking

We’re all guilty of doing more than one thing simultaneously or switching between tasks because let’s face it, we can’t help but multitask to save time. 

The truth is, multitasking does more harm than good. Studies reveal that only 2% of people can multitask effectively. Unless you’re part of that special population, you’re only setting yourself up for failure. To make it worse, multitasking results in a loss of 10 IQ points, and as much as a 40% drop in productivity. 

So, the next time you’re thinking of writing a new post while editing another, don’t.

Begin Your Day with the Hardest (or Easiest) Task

What you do at the start of the day sets up the flow for the rest of it. If you’re struggling early, you can start your workday with the easiest tasks. Once you’ve gained momentum and eased into the work process, that’s when you can transition onto the more difficult ones. 

Doing the most challenging task first also works. In fact, your efforts will immediately pay off as your remaining tasks will feel like a walk in the park.   

Give both approaches a shot and see which fits you best. If you were to ask me, I prefer tackling the most dreaded task first. It keeps the remainder of my day relaxing!

Set Up a Dedicated Workspace

This is an essential step if you’re working from home. Having a conducive space where you can work is a huge must. 

Choose a quiet spot where you’d feel the most productive in, whether it’s somewhere in the living room or a guest room. Steer clear of any distractions.  And, make sure that your desk is clutter-free to further boost your concentration. 

A dedicated home office should only be exclusive for work-related tasks and nothing else. After you’re done for the day, leave everything there. 

Also, you might want to work near natural light, like anywhere near a window. Studies show that people who work in places with lots of daylight are able to think more creatively and get more productive. Not only that, but it also improves sleep. 

Have a Pad and Pen Nearby

Whether you got a not-so-good memory or are often distracted by lingering thoughts, keeping a pen and notepad nearby is always a great idea. 

If you’re trying to recall everything you need to do for the day, chances are, you’ll end up with tons of unfinished tasks. That’s why you gotta have these two near you at all times. Even the littlest of details should be written down, just to make sure you don’t miss out on a single thing in the future. 

Of course, you can use your smartphone, too. That’s what the Notes app’s for!

Celebrate Small Wins

One of the best ways to stay motivated is by rewarding yourself for your accomplishments every once in while. Since being productive can get exhausting at times, rewards can play a vital role. Treating yourself after checking off a task gives you a feeling of contentment, which in turn, keeps you going. 

Record a list of wins and milestones you acquire. It can be something as simple as submitting a report before the due date, making some progress on a particular goal, or giving a decent presentation during a meeting.

Your rewards don’t have to be fancy. You can get yourself pampered at your favorite spa, head over to the newest coffee shop, or take a day off hiking the mountains. 

The longer your list of wins grows, the more enthusiastic you become. That’s enough reason to keep one. 

Schedule Self-Care Activities

All work and no play can take a toll on your mental health. And, a debilitating mental health can affect your physical health and daily functioning in the long run. That’s why you should always make time for yourself.

Scheduling self-care activities keeps you from getting overwhelmed not only by work, but life in general. It’s what helps you continue to perform at your best. Besides, everyone needs to recharge their batteries whenever they can.

Remember, you’ll never be productive if you’re trying to work with an exhausted mind and body. You gotta be ready to take on the challenges you face every day with a reinvigorated self. 

Use Productivity Apps

As we’re now living in the digital age, almost all sorts of resources are available online, including tools to make you more productive and organized at work. 

From time management and mind mapping to file syncing and project tracking, you can find some of the best work apps here. Believe me, downloading any of them can make a huge difference in your life. 

Being Productive Doesn’t Have to Be That Complicated!

…… and you’ve reached the end of this post! 

One last thing to remember: There’s no need to spend extra time on work as long as you maximize your efficiency. Ask any successful person. They know.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.