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Work Less And Get More Done With These 3 Life Hacks

Work Less And Get More Done With These 3 Life Hacks

In today’s hectic information-filled world, it is hard to find the time to relax and enjoy life. Whether you are a 40-hours-a-week employee or an overworked entrepreneur with his or her own company, we all struggle with a number of physiological issues, varied stressors, and all types of anxieties. While attempts to becoming a healthier entrepreneur might escape you, it is no surprise that you will face some challenging difficulties, such as time management and eliminating habitual time-wasting routines.

If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed with your seemingly endless to-do lists, maybe it’s time to look over your daily work routine. Here are 3 life hacks that can help transform your work habits.

Use The Automated Time Waster Test

Co-Authored by both Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, this first life hack comes from their book, Think Like a Freak. This concept is very simple and can be added to any work routine. If you have employees, ask them to bring a pack of brown-colored M&M’s to work. This helps to check how good they are with following instructions and paying attention to details.

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The following true scenario perfectly illustrates why M&Ms work well.

The rock band Van Halen’s live show boasted a colossal stage, booming audio, and spectacular lighting. All this required a great deal of structural support, along with electrical power and the like. Thus, in the 53-page rider to their already-existing music contract, they gave point-by-point instructions to ensure that no one got killed by a collapsing stage or a short-circuiting light tower. But how could Van Halen be sure that the local promoter in each city had read the whole thing and done everything properly?

Cue the brown M&M’s. Within the contract, a provision that all brown M&M’s should be removed from candy bowls was included. As lead singer David Lee Roth tells it, he would immediately go backstage to check out the bowl of M&M’s. If he saw brown ones, he knew the promoter hadn’t read the rider carefully and that “we had to do a serious line check” to make sure that the more important details hadn’t been botched either.

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You can use this simple idea when screening potential vendors, sub-contractors, freelance applicants, and more. You will save yourself tons of productive time by letting your “garden” (aka any situation involving other people) weed itself without your direct input.

Solidify Systems For Both Work And Personal Life

A good company is always in need of solid systems set in place in order to work effectively and efficiently. This can also be said about personal work systems created by yourself. This can allow you to minimize distractions and reduce your workloads.

David Allen suggests to:

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  • Utilize to-do lists to organize tasks onto other physical mediums.
  • Break larger tasks into smaller, actionable productive practices.
  • Avoid “burning out” by accomplishing smaller collective tasks.

Properly scheduling your time is also a vital and crucial personal skill. Having an employee-shared calendar with blocks of time dedicated to certain productions can help incorporate less stress when completing tasks. You can even schedule available hours for yourself so that employees know when to confer with you if necessary.

Choose Your Battles Wisely

Whether expected or not, daily challenges will occur during the course of your company’s lifespan. From updating routine billing equipment to securing your company’s sensitive data, there’s always something. However, you as an entrepreneur should choose your battles wisely. Help reduce minor work complications by teaching your team how to solve problems themselves rather than relying on you to give your team immediate guidance.

A recent experiment conducted by Ryan Honeyman examined his consistent habit of checking his work email. Reducing his interaction with his work email to just once a week on Monday afternoons has yielded some very interesting results.

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Ryan noted that:

  • Problems tended to answer themselves via conversations between other employees.
  • There was a 30%-40% increase in efficiency towards more pressing tasks.
  • He felt less stressed and better rested.
  • There were improved relationships between himself, his business relationships, and his employees.

While this experiment might seem a bit too on the extreme side, it does provide a great illustration as to why leaders should reduce their mentality of “always on and available,” which is not a necessity to be a good competent company leader. Each of us in our leadership role has only a finite amount of time. While we may be tempted to battle through every conflict because we feel we are “right,” battles can take an enormous amount of time and personal energy that would be better spent doing something else. Choosing our battles wisely may actually make us much more effective in winning those battles that are important to us. Selecting those situations where the consequences really matter to us will allow us to do a better job of preserving our energy, relationships, and our peace of mind. To do this, we need to carefully assess each situation and seriously reflect on the hacks listed above.

Featured photo credit: Flickr/highwaysengland via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 24, 2019

How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

1. Create a Good Morning Routine

One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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2. Prioritize

Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

    If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

    Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

    One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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    Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

    Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

    Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

    And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

    4. Take Breaks

    Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

    To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

    After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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    I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

    5. Manage Your Time Effectively

    A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

    How do you know when exactly you have free time?

    By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

    With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

    Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

    A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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    20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

    6. Celebrate and Reflect

    No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

    Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

    Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

    More Articles About Daily Productivity

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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