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3 Productivity Hacks to Supercharge Your Workday

3 Productivity Hacks to Supercharge Your Workday

Find yourself falling short of your true productivity potential each workday? Do you start the day with a big coffee and a long checklist of things to do, only to find that most of these still don’t get done at the end of the day despite the fact that you stayed at your desk and didn’t move? You’re not alone and it isn’t your fault.

From my point of view, it’s all about blocking out the overabundance of distractions that get in the way. We have more distractions today than ever before.

Think about the world as it existed 20 years ago. The only ways to procrastinate while online were Solitaire and Minesweeper. Now, we’re faced with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, news websites, push notifications, tons of phone games, Google Hangouts, Slack, text messages, RSS readers with a constant flow of new content, and so much more.

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How can we block this all out without feeling like we’re missing out on the rest of the world? Thankfully, it isn’t as hard as it might seem. It’s all about committing to a few great habits that’ll bring your workday to the next level. The three tactics I’m about to share will help to block out the noise in a truly meaningful way. And I promise you it won’t feel like you’re living in the Stone Age.

Here are 3 productivity hacks that can truly help you get more done in your workday.

1. 15 minutes of immediate work right after you get to work — no distractions

This is something I’ve been doing for the last few years and I can’t say enough about what a difference it makes.

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When you get to work, you probably check emails, the news, your Slack channels, or all of the notifications on your phone. Don’t do this! Instead, commit to spending 15 minutes working on any task for the day. Bonus points if you choose your most difficult task — the one you’ve been putting off.

This will start your day on a productive note and has an amazing impact on your mindset for the rest of the day. And chances are you’ll end up working on that task for longer than 15 minutes.

2. The Pomodoro Technique

This one is tried and true and I’m sure you’ve read about it before, but I can’t emphasize it enough.

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If you don’t do the Pomodoro Technique or any other similar tactic, you’re selling your workday short. It’s brilliantly simple in that once that timer starts, you’re committing yourself to 25 minutes of productivity and nothing else. Then, you get your 5-minute break.

Those 25 minutes of pure focus can go such a long way, especially when you do a few consecutive rounds of these. There are a ton of timers online and here’s one that I typically use.

3. Use the OneTab browser extension

Just the sheer presence of tabs in your browser can act as a distraction. Seeing those icons does nothing but make your mind wander and it draws you back to those news articles, your RSS reader, and your social media accounts.

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There’s a time and place for all of that stuff and OneTab can save those tabs so that they’re easily accessible when that time comes. They have no business capturing your attention while you’re working.

Sure, these tips have been mentioned in other forms online, but all three of them tie themselves back to a common theme — when we’re focused on one task, we’re far more productive than we are while multitasking.

This combination of these distraction-free tactics will work wonders for your workday. I dare you to try these things and tell me you weren’t more productive than usual!

More by this author

Jesse Boskoff

Co-Founder and COO at Status Labs

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Last Updated on June 3, 2020

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

How to Write SMART Goals (With SMART Goals Templates)

Everyone needs a goal. Whether it’s in a business context or for personal development, having goals help you strive towards something you want to accomplish. It prevents you from wandering around aimlessly without a purpose.

But there are good ways to write goals and there are bad ways. If you want to ensure you’re doing the former, keep reading to find out how a SMART goals template can help you with it.

The following video is a summary of how you can write SMART goals effectively:

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals

refer to a way of writing down goals that follow a specific criteria. The earliest known use of the term was by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, however, it is often associated with Peter Drucker’s management by objectives concept.[1]

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. There are other variations where certain letters stand for other things such as “achievable” instead of attainable, and “realistic” instead of relevant.

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What separates a SMART goal from a non-SMART goal is that, while a non-SMART goal can be vague and ill-defined, a SMART goal is actionable and can get you results. It sets you up for success and gives you a clear focus to work towards.

And with SMART goals comes a SMART goals template. So, how do you write according to this template?

How to Write Smart Goals Using a SMART Goals Template

For every idea or desire to come to fruition, it needs a plan in place to make it happen. And to get started on a plan, you need to set a goal for it.

The beauty of writing goals according to a SMART goals template is that it can be applied to your personal or professional life.

If it’s your job to establish goals for your team, then you know you have a lot of responsibility weighing on your shoulders. The outcome of whether or not your team accomplishes what’s expected of them can be hugely dependant on the goals you set for them. So, naturally, you want to get it right.

On a personal level, setting goals for yourself is easy, but actually following through with them is the tricky part. According to a study by Mark Murphy about goal setting, participants who vividly described their goals were 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to successfully achieve their goals.[2] Which goes to show that if you’re clear about your goals, you can have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

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Adhering to a SMART goals template can help you with writing clear goals. So, without further ado, here’s how to write SMART goals with a SMART goals template:

Specific

First and foremost, your goal has to be specific. Be as clear and concise as possible because whether it’s your team or yourself, whoever has to carry out the objective needs to be able to determine exactly what it is they are required to do.

To ensure your goal is as specific as it can be, consider the Ws:

  • Who = who is involved in executing this goal?
  • What = what exactly do I want to accomplish?
  • Where = if there’s a fixed location, where will it happen?
  • When = when should it be done by? (more on deadline under “time-bound”)
  • Why = why do I want to achieve this?

Measurable

The only way to know whether or not your goal was successful is to ensure it is measurable. Adding numbers to a goal can help you or your team weigh up whether or not expectations were met and the outcome was triumphant.

For example, “Go to the gym twice a week for the next six months” is a stronger goal to strive for than simply, “Go to the gym more often”.

Setting milestone throughout your process can also help you to reassess progress as you go along.

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Attainable

The next important thing to keep in mind when using a SMART goals template is to ensure your goal is attainable. It’s great to have big dreams but you want your goals to be within the realms of possibility, so that you have a higher chance of actually accomplishing them.

But that doesn’t mean your goal shouldn’t be challenging. You want your goal to be achievable while at the same time test your skills.

Relevant

For obvious reasons, your goal has to be relevant. It has to align with business objectives or with your personal aspirations or else, what’s the point of doing it?

A SMART goal needs to be applicable and important to you, your team, or your overall business agenda. It needs to be able to steer you forward and motivate you to achieve it, which it can if it holds purpose to something you believe in.

Time-Bound

The last factor of the SMART goals template is time-bound (also known as “timely”). Your goal needs a deadline, because without one, it’s less likely to be accomplished.

A deadline provides a sense of urgency that can motivate you or your team to strive towards the end. The amount of time you allocate should be realistic. Don’t give yourself—or your team—only one week if it takes three weeks to actually complete it. You want to set a challenge but you don’t want to risk over stress or burn out.

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Benefits of Using a SMART Goals Template

Writing your goals following a SMART goals template provides you with a clearer focus. It communicates what the goal needs to achieve without any fuss.

With a clear aim, it can give you a better idea of what success is supposed to look like. It also makes it easier to monitor progress, so you’re aware whether or not you’re on the right path.

It can also make it easier to identify bottlenecks or missed targets while you’re delivering the goal. This gives you enough time to rectify any problems so you can get back on track.

The Bottom Line

Writing goals is seemingly not a difficult thing to do. However, if you want it to be as effective as it can be, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.

By following a SMART goals template, you can establish a more concrete foundation of goal setting. It will ensure your goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound—attributes that cover the necessities of an effectively written goal.

More Tips About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

Reference

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