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15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity

Written by Leon Ho
Founder & CEO of Lifehack
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If you’re looking for productivity hacks to stop procrastinating and start getting done efficiently, this is the list of hacks you need.

The common reasons why most people are not being productive are:

To stay productive all the time, you’ll need to dig into the root causes of all these common causes. While this can take consistent effort and time, fixing the root causes of your low productivity is the best solution.

But what if you want to increase your productivity with the most basic things you can do first? This article is for you.

In this article, I’ll provide you with a list of quick hacks to help you boost productivity so you can at least see a bit of progress in improving your productivity.

15 Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity Quickly

Here are the best productivity hacks to improve productivity and get things done:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic one of the very effective productivity hacks called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann, author of 43Folders.com.[1] Don’t worry. This is not a complicated mathematical formula you need to solve.

The (10+2)*5 means 10 minutes of work + 2 minutes of break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skip work and break schedules. The point is for you to create a jam-packed work and break schedules routine. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules and be more productive.


2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to scientific research, filling your study or work table with blue and red colors improved brain performance.[2] Red was found to increase attention to detail while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors benefits your brain and is also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time, but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely.

This go-to productivity trick will allow you to finish your tasks instead of side-tracking you to other things.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Another to-do list hack is setting up a timetable to avoid procrastination.

When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

  • 9:00 – 9:10 am: Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc.
  • 9:10 – 10:00 am: Internet research
  • 10:00 – 10:45 am: Look through existing files
  • 10:45 – 11:00 am: Break time!
  • 11:00 – 12:00 pm: Outline research report

Giving yourself deadlines is the best productivity hack for getting things done.

5. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding ways to procrastinate unproductively, your go-to productivity trick should be using your habits of looking for shortcuts to finish your tasks.

Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. Laziness can sometimes bring out the best productive and creative side you never knew you had!

6. Assign a ‘Task Deputy”

One of the best productivity hacks is assigning yourself a task deputy.

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, your significant other, or anyone with the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate.

You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

7. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check their phones 150 times per day, and having your phone just an elbow away creates a sizzle to this habit.[3])

Among the most effective work hacks is removing your gadgets from your workspace. Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone unnecessarily.


8. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take 15 minutes, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at 7 am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc., or create a checklist, so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and grab some before leaving.

9. Do a 7 Minute Workout in the Morning

The best go-to productivity trick is to exercise. Exercising increases productivity and stimulates endorphin release or “happy hormones.”

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmill. It’s a great investment, and there are many ways you can use a treadmill, like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget?

Here’s a 7-minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

10. Set Up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, one of the best work hacks is to break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish.

Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?


Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

11. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

Get a mini desk chalkboard that you can use to write motivating quotes or write affirmations on post-its. Write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

12. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get used to it and eventually stop. So, I redecorate again and again; it became a monthly habit. Look up inspiring DIY ideas online without having to spend much.[4]

13. Ready Your Nibbles

Do you know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away, but it took several minutes to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

14. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your weekly chores with matching days and times when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or stick the list somewhere visibly annoying, e.g., mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as possible for the week and including unfinished chores the following week.


Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the Morning?

15. Be on Time With the Procrastinator’s Clock

You know you’ve all tried setting your clock forward a few minutes in hopes of getting yourself out the door on time. You also know this never works because you subtract the time instead of leaving early.

Instead of getting places earlier, you improve your math skills. David Seah created a clock for the perpetually late. The Procrastinator’s Clock runs up to fifteen minutes fast. However, it speeds up and slows down, so it is not always exactly fifteen minutes fast.

Try using the Procrastinator’s Clock; I bet you get places on time because you won’t be able to subtract the time difference.

Let us know how it goes.

15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity

Simple Go-to Productivity Hacks and Tips

5 Actions
15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity
Add Red and Blue to Your Workspace: Red was found to increase attention to detail while blue sparks creativity.
15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity
Prepping the Night: You can write down the to-do list on a sticky note and put it on your fridge. You can catch up on your schedule for the day in the morning while having your coffee.
15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity
Create Inspirational Board or Reminder: If you are not the artistic type, you can put up reminders on your cell phone and get started on the task as soon as the reminder rings. 
15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity
Assign Yourself a Supervisor: If you feel you cannot be consistent with your target tasks, assign yourself a supervisor who can monitor your productivity.
15 Quick Productivity Hacks to Boost Productivity
Make a Time Table: List down the tasks you need to get done in a day, a week, or a month. Stick to the schedule and squeeze in the time, if you need, to finish the target task.

Final Thoughts

Productivity hacks offer some of the best solutions to overcome procrastination, help you focus and get things done. Finding your weak points, working on your distraction factor, and keeping yourself focused on the goal can help you overcome this habit.

However, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to stay productive all the time, you must dive into the root cause of your low productivity and develop productivity routines and habits to fix it once and for all.

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com


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