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Last Updated on August 6, 2019

9 Killer Productivity Lifehacks to Supercharge Your Success Rate

9 Killer Productivity Lifehacks to Supercharge Your Success Rate

Without productivity, you can’t accomplish anythingOr your results will be very lower than your true potential.

Productivity is the quality of creating something. Productivity is measured by the positive outcome of the energy you devote in a project.

The higher it is the more you can achieve. When your productivity is sky-high you can distribute your work and finish it in the best way possible, thereby achieving more goals and getting bigger rewards for your work.

Unfortunately, your productivity is highly threatened by many enemies.

These enemies can be very destructive and if you let them affect your productivity you jeopardize your success. You risk of not getting your work done, losing deadlines or even worse surrendering without even trying.

We all have the same 24 hours every day. The way we use these 24 hours is up to every one of us.

If you find the right methods, the right productivity lifehacks, you can take advantage of these 24 hours to the utmost.

The scope of this article is to give you 9 really powerful productivity lifehacks that will help you become a repetitive winner.

You probably won’t be able to implement every technique because it depends on your every day schedule. I hope that you will find some tips among the list that suit your lifestyle. The more of these tips you follow, the better for your productivity.

1. Enter the 2 Hour Hermit Mode

What is the 2 hour hermit mode? Will you need to live alone in a remote cabin? Of course not, unless you would enjoy that experience.

What you have to do is simpler than that.

For 2 hours every day, focus on your work and try to do what you have to do completely undisturbed. Lock yourself in your room, in the bathroom or even in the garage. Stay somewhere where you can find COMPLETE quiet for 2 hours.

It doesn’t matter if your mom is calling you endlessly, if your girlfriend wants to meet you or if your house is on fire. You have to be completely alone and focused on your craft.

Find a place where no one will disturb you. Absolutely nobody. Even if the God wants to talk to you, he will have to wait until the 2 hours are over.

That’s how important it is to be completely undisturbed. If you are working on something important and then you answer a phone call you are done. Adios productivity.

You lose all your momentum. Your brain takes a big break and gives a signal to your body that you should rest more.

How to enter the hermit mode:

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1. Simply close your phone or put it in airplane mode. Answer any calls or messages after the 2 hours.

2. Logout from all social media.

3. If you live with your parents or roommate tell them to be quiet for these 2 hours and lock yourself in your room.

4. If you can’t find a quiet place, consider going to your local library.

5. Have some water or snack next to you for when you are thirsty or hungry. Going to the bathroom is acceptable; you don’t want to smell like urine…or something worst than urine.

If your schedule is too demanding, it doesn’t necessarily need to be 2 hours. You can spend 60 minutes or even 30 minutes. If what you want to do is important, you will find some time.

Otherwise, it wasn’t so important. On the other side, if your schedule is too loose, you could definitely enter the hermit mode for more than 2 hours.

2. Close Your Phone until as Late as Possible

When you are working on something, whether this is just your homework or an important business plan, hearing your phone ringing can really destroy your concentration. By putting your phone in silence mode or even better closing it you have the oportunity to work uninterrupted.

Just like with the hermit mode, you reduce interruptions and you can be more focused on your craft.

3. Focus on One Task at a Time

Multi-tasking can reduce your productivity up to 40%, according to behavioral psychologist Susan Weinschenk.

According to Susan, people can’t do more than one task at a time. Actually, multi-tasking is just switching between different tasks.

It’s impossible to do them all together so your brain focuses to one of them and quickly changes that focus to another task.

If you think that this helps in getting more things done, you should know that it actually takes MORE time than if you did each task separately.

Your brain can focus on only one cognitive (mental) task. You can only be reading or you can only be watching the news, but you aren’t able to do both together.

What actually happens when you are trying to watch the news and read simultaneously is that your brain switches from the one task to the other. So you are not multitasking at all. You are just switching tasks and produce LESS.

If you want to keep your productivity levels high stop switching between tasks. Do one thing at a time and prioritize your work. Then do the most important tasks first.

4. Start Your Day Doing What You Hate

Okay, this doesn’t sound really great, I know. Just let me explain.

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When we have to do something boring or an unpleasant task, we tend to procrastinate. As a result, we push that task later in the day and in the end we don’t do it at all.

We continue saying “I will do that later” or “I will finish tomorrow” and this later/tomorrow never really comes.

Just do it right after you wake up or within 1-2 hours after waking up. That way you are sure that you won’t procrastinate during the day. It also helps in increasing your self-confidence.

When you say that “I will do this,” and you really do it, you send a subconscious signal to your mind that you are a person who keeps their promises. Someone who is reliable. This results in feeling more confident with yourself.

5. Split your work with the 25-5 method.

This method can be a part of the Hermit Mode and boost your concentration to the maximum.

The idea is that you split your work into two parts. The first part is 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. The second part is a 5-7 minute break for water, snack or just for flexing your muscles and walking around.

Use a timer with an alarm clock that reminds you when your 25 minute work period or your 5 minute break is over.

This is very effective if you plan on entering the hermit mode for very long periods, like 4+ hours. Even for 2 hours it can be very effective, because your brain will get tired after a while.

On the one hand, knowing that you have to be fully concentrated until your alarm rings makes you become ultra-productive and you get more work done. On the other hand, you have 5 minutes to give your brain enough time to relax but without relaxing too much.

Don’t make the mistake of logging into social media or answering your phone during your breaks because it can turn your 5 minute break into a 50 minute one. 

6. Listen to Audio books or Podcasts While You Are Eating.

Your meals are a perfect chance to supply your body with essential nutrients and become a little smarter simultaneously.

While most people spend their meals watching TV or just staring at their kitchen wall, you can differentiate yourself from the thought-castrated masses and use that time to educate yourself.

Of course, if you choose a book/podcast that you don’t like just because I told you to do so, it won’t work. Find something that you love to learn.

You have countless topics that you could choose from like:

  • How to improve your self-confidence.
  • How to lose fat effectively.
  • How to meet beautiful women.
  • How to build muscle.
  • How to improve your memory.
  • How to make money.

and much more.

You don’t have to start listening to audio books of Nietzsche or Freud from the beginning. Find something that you want to learn, something that would be enjoyable and could improve your life.

But you may be wondering: is listening to audio books going to make me smarter? Does it have the same effect like reading a real book? It seems that it depends on the subject of the book but generally it has the same effect. A study on college students in 1997 found that those who listened to a short story could write a summary as well as those who read it.

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7. Use Dead Time to Read or Learn Something New

When it comes to productivity and accomplishing your goals you must learn new things constantly.

It’s impossible to achieve a goal if you are not improving yourself. If you are not taking a step closer to that goal every single day then it won’t work.

You might say that you don’t have enough time. But the fact is that many of us have a lot of time that is wasted.

What did you do the last time you took the bus?

What did you do when you were waiting for a visit to your doctor while you were sitting on his comfortable couch?

What did you do when you took your car and went to work?

Most likely, you were just waiting the time to pass, you were scrolling your Facebook timeline, constantly checking your e-mail, listened to music or just staring out of the window.

But you were wasting time that you could use to learn something. Start reading e-books on your phone or listen to an audiobook/podcast during such “dead time.”

If you are on the bus and you have 30 minutes ahead of you, don’t let them pass away. Read a book and become a little smarter. If you are driving, then listen to an audio.

You can’t imagine the difference in your mindset after a year if you started to listen to audiobooks every day for 30 minutes while you are driving to your work.

Start now, you can find audiobooks or e-books for dirt cheap online. And you can listen to podcasts that are completely free.

8. Use the 3 Color Layer Checklist Method

That’s something I recommend in my e-book Beat Procrastination in 10 Minutes.

Traditional checklists are boring.  However, the 3-color layer checklist is more unique. It’s a great way to be more productive and get important tasks done all the time.

Why? Because you prioritize your tasks based on importance. All you need is a piece of  paper and 3 colored pens. I prefer using red-black-blue.

Then you split your work:

Level 1-Red: Top priority-Emergency work that must be done today.

Level 2-Black: Medium priority

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Level 3-Blue: Low Priority

When the day is over you must have done all tasks in the first 2 levels. But there is a rule: For every task on level-3 you must have two tasks on levels 1 & 2.

This ensures that you don’t put all the work in the low priority layer to avoid it.

For example, if you have two tasks on the blue layer, you must have two on black and two on red or 3 on red and 1 black. The ratio should be 2:1, Red & Black to Blue.

This system will allow you to become more focused by learning to identify and finish the important tasks first. You will always have the important work done and if you have time you can finish the low priority tasks as well.

9. Start Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting will allow you to burn more fat while eating less and saving time. Actually you won’t eat less food but you will eat fewer meals.

That’s because you will skip your breakfast. While common wisdom says that you should eat a large bowl of cereal to “activate your metabolism” this doesn’t provide any benefits. Eating makes your body spend energy to digest the food.This is known as the Thermic Effect. However, increased meal frequency doesn’t add any benefit as the thermic effect in 24 hours remains the same if you eat the same amount of calories, no matter if you consume these calories in 3 or in 6 meals.[3]

The food industry has invested millions of dollars to convince us that breakfast is essential. Eat pancakes, muffins, milk, cake and cereals because your body will enter in starvation mode if you don’t. That’s what they told us and we believed it.

In fact, skipping breakfast not only helps you to burn more fat but it has other benefits like increased growth hormone and boosted mental alertness.

But what has this to do with productivity?

When you skip breakfast you eat only 2-3 meals per day. Lunch and dinner are fine, but you can have an extra smaller meal in between.

This saves you a lot of time from breakfast preparation and gives you the ability to enjoy huge meals without getting fat. Or eating a dessert (wink).

In reality, you take the breakfast calories and put them in your dinner or lunch.

Generally speaking, you shouldn’t only skip breakfast but you should also cut your meals quantity. There is no need in having 5-6 small meals per day “because this activates your metabolism.”

Whether your goal is building muscle, losing fat or maintaining your weight, it’s all a matter of how much calories you eat and if you get the right quantity of nutrients. You can achieve that only with 2-3 meals per day.

It will save you a ton of time from cooking, eating and even spending energy to digest the food.

What are your best methods to improve your productivity? I would love to hear to your ideas.

More by this author

Damian "Pros" Prosalendis

Entrepreneur, Business Owner

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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