Be honest, are you busy or productive? Living in a world that champions hyper-productivity, it’s natural to feel like you’re slacking if your day isn’t jam-packed with long to-do lists and back-to-back meetings. While most of us are busy, it does not mean we are productive. Being busy is working hard, being productive is working smarter to ensure you achieve more in less time. Whether you’re working from home or back in the office, here are ten of the smartest life hacks you can implement throughout the day to help you work smarter, faster, and boost productivity.
- Prioritise and focus on one task at a time
This may sound elementary, but it’s important. Organising your day according to what’s urgent, important and not so important, can make a world of difference. Start off the day by completing the urgent and important tasks first, these are tasks that can’t be put off until later in the day. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Dwight-D-Eisenhower) Decision Matrix is a useful tool to help you prioritise better. This is a simple model to help you rethink your approach to long-term strategic planning and productivity. It might be a little radical or focus on extreme prioritisation, but it will help you command your day better so you can focus on completing one task at a time and avoid having a list of half-complete tasks.
- Invest in focus tools
Technology is here to make your life easier, so take advantage of it! There are a variety of apps and tools to help you stay focused and give you the virtual support you need throughout the day. They will also assist you in staying ahead and on top of your tasks. Here are 18 time management apps and tools Please write link out to help you stay focused and on the right path.
- Find your productive hours
Some of us are at our peak during different times of the day. You could be an early riser or late bloomer. Knowing your most productive hours can make completing the day’s tasks even easier. Finding your productive hours and working on the most important tasks during these hours is a smarter way to manage your time and workload throughout the day.
- Outsource as much as possible
Remember, you’re only human, it’s important to get help when you need it. Especially for menial time-consuming tasks that take away from time you could have used for more important things. If you want to get more done in less time, get comfortable with delegating or outsourcing work to a trustworthy person like a virtual employee. Please write out link
- Learn to say no
Just as important as delegating, is learning to say no. We often fall into the trap of taking on too much work, only to find ourselves inundated and unable to complete it. Be careful of spreading yourself too thin as it can leave you feeling anxious and burnt out, and you’ll end up dropping the ball on the most important jobs.
- Block time out on your diary
It’s hard to stay focused on challenging work if you constantly have to switch between meetings and responding to emails. Blocking out dedicated times to focus on work and separate times to respond to emails can significantly enhance your productivity. Blocking focus time on your calendar works best if you are intentional about using the time wisely.
- Take breaks
Your health is important. You can only give your best if your health is at its best. Studies show that those who give in to some kind of diversion once an hour perform better than those who just keep going without a break. Take a break from your desk – stretch or walk around every now and then.
- Work ahead
Setting your priorities straight will also give you the opportunity you need to work ahead. Once you know when your due dates are, or what the deliverables are, you will be able to adequately structure your time. This may be difficult if you’re a true procrastinator, but working ahead also leaves room for life’s curveballs.
- Separate home and work time
When you work from home it’s easy to want to look productive and to let your work time bleed into your home life. The next thing you know you’re burning the midnight oil, wondering where the day went. If you’re working from home, set up an office space secluded from everyone else. It’s important to be able to set healthy boundaries, both physically and mentally. A home office will help you achieve just that.
- Get website blocking software
If you’re working from home or on your computer it’s very tempting to catch up on the latest social media news of the day – don’t do it! A quick check can go from ten minutes to 30 minutes. It can be a rabbit hole of news and memes that takes you away from your work. This time could have been spent making more money or being productive. If you are routinely drawn to browsing the web instead of working, then you should seriously consider getting one of the many website-blocking programmes that are on the market. There are many extensions for Chrome that work well.
- Work smarter
Remember, productivity is about working smarter and putting in the right measurements to help you structure your day, and enable you to do more without overburdening yourself. While some days are harder than others, if you’re smart about how you approach your time, you can maximise your productivity without feeling anxious, depleted, or burnt out at the end of the day.