Need to get more efficient at work? Do you ever have enough time to get it all done? If you are struggling to find the time to fit it all in, here are 15 productivity hacks that will help speed up your efficiency.
Starting with the chief productivity killer in most offices…
1. Stop Checking Email First Thing
If you want to drown in inefficiency, check your email first thing in the morning. If you want to become more productive and efficient, eliminate this habit from your day. Checking your email first thing in the morning puts you at the mercy of others. Take back the control and start your day with the tasks you have planned to do, not the ones someone else thinks you should do.
2. Turn off Notifications
When you have your work planned out, you don’t want to be disturbed by an email notification in the bottom right of your screen. Switch off all notifications. When you receive an email notification or any other type of notification, it disturbs your focus. If you turn them off you can have calm, undisturbed focus for as long as your brain will allow.
3. Batch Process Email
With the notifications turned off, go to your email a couple of times during the day when you have decided it’s time. Let your emails build up so that you can process them. Processing allows you to think clearly about which ones are top priority and which can be left until later. The way they arrive into your inbox is not the order of merit.
4. Unsubscribe to Newsletters
Unsubscribe to as many newsletters as possible. Let them clog up some other email inbox. If you really need to stay subscribed, subscribe under a different email address. This way, you reduce the number of emails coming into your work email address.
Software & Apps
Continuing on the subject of email, try out Sanebox to reduce the amount of emails that get into your inbox in the first place. Sanebox uses algorithms to determine the importance of each email, and it moves unimportant messages out of the Inbox into a separate folder, and summarizes them for you. The added bonus is that it works on any platform and has all the same functionality in the phone app too.
Use a text replacement software, such as Activewords, to reduce time spent writing repetitive sentences. Activewords can be used to launch programs, websites, Evernote notes and more. Saving minutes daily can add up to days saved at the end of the year.
CloudOn allows you to use Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint to create documents on the go using your iPhone, iPad or Android device. Users can sync with Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts. You can also email files directly from mobile devices
Evernote has changed my life. I have a bad memory, but I no longer have to waste time trying to remember where I have stored something because it’s all in Evernote, from my kids artwork to my families identification numbers, from my shopping list to my next book project. A place for everything and everything in its place
In the Office
Only do what only you can do. Your philosophy should be to do as little as possible. Focus on your core strengths and leave the rest of the work to others. If you are unfortunate to be the person who receives all the delegated work, and you don’t have anyone to help you make sure you are clear about priorities, clarify priorities and goals with your superiors so you can make better decisions when people send work your way.
9. Productive Meetings
Make meetings more productive or don’t have them. Meetings waste an enormous amount of money each year for organizations. Too many people are in attendance that don’t have to be there, and most of them are replying to emails and focusing on something other than the meeting. Think of more creative ways to have meetings, but start by avoiding the meetings where you are not really required.
10. Say No
We must learn to say no to others to be able to say yes to ourselves. Helping others is great but not when it causes us stress trying to complete our own tasks. Learn to be more assertive and not take on too much work if possible.
11. Two Minute Rule
Another tip from David Allen is that if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. By adopting this rule, you will clear a lot of things from your To Do list very quickly. It also gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement which only fuels your productivity.
12. Work with your Body
Figure out your natural body rhythms and work with them. Some of us are more productive at night, others in the morning. Don’t fight your natural cycles and try and maximize these times to do your most important tasks
When the body is dehydrated we lose energy; when the brain is dehydrated we lose focus. Ensure you drink water right throughout the day in order to get the most from both your body and mind.
14. Fuel the Body
Along with drinking plenty of water, there are many foods that help to keep us energized and focused throughout the day. Omega oils, known as “brain foods,” help us focus and concentrate. Proteins and carbohydrates maintain our energy, and a little caffeine can give us a perk when we need it. Stay aware of your body’s needs and feed it accordingly
Richard Branson reckons he gets an extra 8 hours of productive time each day from working out in the morning. Exercise gives us energy, reduces stress and increases focus. Most productive and successful people have a regular habit of working out. So if you are to only follow one of these hacks, make it this one.
Do you have any productivity hacks? Share them with us below.
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