While gazing at the blank white page that I had opened up to type this article, I lost track of time and had completely zoned out. It’s funny that I am supposed to be writing about productivity and its hacks and yet here I am off on a tangent thinking about completely different things that aren’t much productive for work at all. And when I realized that I should seriously get to work I did a little research to understand how people with very busy schedules maintain their focus. Here are some hacks that I found useful and would like to share. 10 Productivity Hacks to Work Efficiently.
Start with a Happy Morning
Sylvie Chantecaille, founder of Chantecaille Beauté explains the routine “How I begin my day sets the tone for productivity. I have a decent breakfast to put me in a good mood, spray myself with pure rosewater to calm my mind, and take a few minutes to focus on meditation. Then I read and answer all my emails before I get to the office so I am open, available, and fresh with everyone who needs me there.” The way we being our day sets the mood for the rest of our 24 hours and builds upon the productivity needed to carry out the tasks.
2. One Step at a Time
It is important to plan out our day before we begin to take on every goal that we have set for ourselves. Breaking the task into smaller parts not only helps achieving them efficiently but also eases us on the work load. Chloe Watts, founder of Chloe Digital understands that keeping on track is crucial because “without prioritizing and planning, we are potentially doomed to waste time on things that do not need to be addressed in that moment, which can have a knock-on effect on other tasks.” Prioritizing what is important and needs to be achieved first helps reach the bigger goal in smaller steps.
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Even though he is hot waters and all over the news with Facebook privacy coming into question, we can’t deny the fact that Mark Zuckerberg has made sensation with his publicly favorite app. His secret to good productivity lies in simplifying things: “I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.” By keeping things simple helps eliminate the unnecessary distractions that may take our focus off from the goal that we need to achieve.
10 Productivity Hacks to Work Efficiently
4. The 5 Minute Rule
Elon Musk, the CEO of three companies- Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink optimizes his productivity time through this 5 minute rule for work. He breaks his task into smaller parts and what can be done efficiently in no time is what he believes should be done without second thought. “I don’t spend my time pontificating about high-concept things; I spend my time solving engineering and manufacturing problems.” By splitting his day into 5-minute chunks, Musk manages to get more tasks scheduled for his work.
5. Distant Yourself
If you are home based, define your work place where you can have all the focus you need to catch up on the work that needs to be done. In an office based environment, Linda Lightman, CEO and founder of Linda’s Stuff gives the advice that “I have to concentrate and get something done quickly, my office door gets closed. It has become a sign to everyone that when it’s closed, I am full steam on a project so I generally don’t get interrupted. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in an uninterrupted hour — or even a half hour.”
The temptation to check on our phones and emails is so great that many successful entrepreneurs find this habit to cause the maximum damage to our productivity level. Paula Begoun, founder of Paula’s Choice, says that ditching all nonessential devices during her working hours helps to keep her on track. “I don’t Facebook, Tweet, Instagram, or anything else during the day unless it’s specifically related to work. That means I rarely use my phone to check my schedule or make appointments because it is so seductive to look at messages and notifications.” What she recommends instead is to keep a work planner handy in which we can jot down everything that is important and needs our attention to help maintain focus on the important things.
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“My favorite podcast is Ted Radio Hour. I love the diversity of interviews and content matter, which always expands my thinking in new and surprising ways” says Olivia Fay, CEO and creative director of Rallier. Watching or listening to different mediums that are known for generating healthy and a variety of discussions on different topics help open up our minds and lets creativity flow.
8. Take Some Time Off
Another hack in the list of 10 Productivity Hacks is exercise, meditation or some way of getting time off is very important to maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life. All work and no play made Johnny a boring man which is why the need to reconnect with your self is crucial. It not only helps create that distance between work and personal life but helps to refocus on what is important and not. Justine Bloome, EVP, strategy and innovation at Carat USA says on meditation that “Even if it’s just 10 to 15 minutes a day. It centers me, keeps me focused on what matters right now, and helps me to stay calm under stress.”
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9. Catch on Some Sleep
Arianna Huffington’s recent book, The Sleep Revolution, explains: “We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than eleven days of lost productivity per year per worker”. In our urge to be highly productive we take for granted our sleep and then end up being tired and frustrated over time that is of no good use.
10 .Early to bed, Early to Rise
The last but not the least advice in the list of 10 Productivity Hacks is early sleeting. This advice is coming from none other than Oprah Winfrey herself: Everything begins and ends with stillness: a conscious awareness of my presence within the greater presence of all, whether I’m paying attention to the way the sun’s rising, or whether it’s misty out in the morning on the trees,” she says. Having set ourselves a routine that helps us appreciate the beauty and goodness of early morning and the blessing of a good rest at night after a hard day of work is what makes us look forward to each day with great zeal and joy.