Most of us are always eager to get more work done in less time. Of course, you can get stuck in a potentially unhealthy cycle of constantly expecting yourself (or being expected) to accomplish more each week, day, or hour. Be careful about this; it’s not healthy. As you adopt new productivity hacks, don’t lose focus on stress management and work-life balance.
That said, when productivity hacks help us excel and free up more time for other things we want to turn our attention to, they’re great. The best ones aren’t some sort of magic tricks; they simply help us harness our natural abilities and deploy them with maximum focus and efficiency.
So, take a look at the productivity hacks below and give them a shot. They don’t all necessarily work well for every person. It takes a little trial and error to find the strategies that are best suited to your needs and work style. But everyone should be able to find a few approaches here that help boost their productivity.
Accomplish More with These Productivity Hacks
- Stop multitasking. Multitasking isn’t really even a thing. Nobody can actually actively do more than one thing at a time. People who think they’re good at multitasking are just good at switching back and forth between tasks. But for most people, multitasking results in lower work quality and slower progress overall.
- Pay attention to your energy levels throughout the day. Everyone naturally has peaks and valleys in their energy levels over the course of a day. If you’re not already, become better acquainted with your rhythm. Tackle the toughest work at those times during the day when you’re operating at full steam, and use those dips to take care of things that don’t require much concentration, thought, or other effort.
- Cut back on your working hours. If you work an excessive number of hours during the week, it’s almost certainly sapping your energy, ability to focus, and enthusiasm. While it makes sense that you’d get more done the more you work, this has its limits. Numerous studies have found that people’s work quality and speed goes sharply downhill after 8 hours. Also, research like this study out of Stanford University shows that productivity tanks after 50 hours in a week, and declines even more dramatically after 55 hours. Work a reasonable number of hours in the day and in the week, and you’ll get more done more efficiently.
- Eat well and get enough sleep. Yeah, yeah… you’ve heard it before. But there’s a good reason for that. A healthy diet and getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night can do wonders for your ability to focus, energy levels, mood, and other aspects of productivity. Eating healthy isn’t complicated, either; to keep it really simple, just try to make whole foods (like whole grains, fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood in relatively close-to-natural forms) the bulk of your diet while limiting processed foods and added sugar as much as possible.
- Be proactive about improving productivity at home. If, like so many people these days, you’re working remotely from home part time or full time, it takes some effort to make it run smoothly. Read over these tips for boosting productivity while working from home.
- Keep your workspace clean and organized. Dirtiness, messes, and clutter in your physical environment really do cause dirtiness, messes, and clutter in your head. And that’s not conducive to productivity. Whether you realize it or not, if your work area isn’t clean and organized, it’s either consciously or subconsciously distracting you and dragging your mood down. Take a few minutes to spruce things up, and the small time investment will pay off in higher productivity.
- Break up your day. Trying to power straight through all your work is rarely a good idea. We all need some variety, movement, different scenery, and other changing stimuli throughout the day to maintain our concentration, thoughtfulness, creativity, enthusiasm, and other aspects of productivity. Regularly punctuate work with some physical activity, real lunch breaks away from your desk, strolls down the hall or around the block, power naps (yes, these can do wonders for your productivity!), conversations with other people, and so on.