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Productivity Hacks: 8 Things That Are Hurting Your Productivity

Productivity Hacks: 8 Things That Are Hurting Your Productivity

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    Not feeling productive enough?

    Yeah, this can happen to the best of us. Our life gets tangled into so much clutter that eventually getting out of it seems like an impossible task.

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    Take some hard steps today. Waiting for things to improve, especially when you know that waiting is certainly not going to help, is only going to make things slower for you. To make your life more productive, take strong decisions and do not overlook minor issues. While big problems need bigger fixes, small ones can just go unnoticed and continue to hamper your productivity.

    1. Dump Someone Today

    Let’s start with the big point first. Our productivity gets hurt the most from things that are either very minor or often is overlooked, or they are due to someone else’s fault. Here are a few ways to deal with each one.

    1. Kids in your home – While this one is a bit too deep (and surely I could come up with an entire article dedicated to this point alone) here in this article I am going to just point out one tip for all those that are working from home: Get out and go somewhere else! This might sound odd to many, but if you are serious about your productivity then it is better to just find a rented space and stay there during your work hours. Handling kids in your home office is just not possible, many have tried it and failed. Trust me on this.
    2. Older parents – Again, a point that will never get many votes, but this is a very important one. An example of this is Jennifer Gresham, who fired her father — and that was her best career move ever.

    Let’s come back to some of the minor points that affect our productivity in more than ways we can handle. Fixing them is easy — the problem is that we start dealing with it and take it for granted.

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    2. Kill That Noise

    Certain noise is part of our lives. It can be anything — perhaps your computer fan, or the computer table whose repair you kept postponing. Small noises can be very distracting, and in the long term they can hamper your productivity. Here’s how you can combat that:

    • Shout out to your neighbors. If your neighbor’s kid is bothering you with yelling or their pet keeps barking all day long, consider some serious action against them. Don’t let other people bother you.
    • Install a noise reduction mechanism. Some noise you can deal with, others you just have to live with. If the traffic outside is your concern and it can’t be helped, try fighting it off with some noise reduction methods.
    • Switch off that TV in the next room. A low-sound television or music player being enjoyed in the next room can still steal some of your valuable concentration. If the program is not important enough, try switching it off. Better still, try lowering the sound further and closing the door to make sure that it does not entertain you.
    • Get a peaceful computer.  Don’t we all want a Mac? So get it.

    3. Pet Management

    Barking dogs are never my cup of tea. But if your pet is important to you, then it is time to learn some lessons on pet management. Get “offline” help from your local pet expert. There are many things that you do not know about pets, and perhaps that is the reason why your beloved pet is not really happy with you.

    4. Snacks

    This is an excellent choice when it comes to watching TV, films or sports — but when it comes to getting some work done, snacks are just another distraction. The simple reason is that entertainment and work are totally different things and thus a different kind of concentration is required to get the work done.

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    5. Overall Health

    Poor health can be a big reason for your productivity drop. Have you put on some extra weight? Is your lack of exercise a reason why you might be having stomach and gastric problems? Without getting into some real health tips here — just make sure to exercise a bit, get enough green vegetables in your daily food intake, and increase your water consumption for a bit of health improvement.

    • Lack of sleep. 8 hours a day of sleep is important to keep your spirits high. While that extra hour of late night work might sound like a good idea when running late on a deadline, the quality of work will surely take a beating — if not instantly, in the long haul. Do yourself a favor: don’t mess around with your sleeping routine. Fix it…while you still can.
    • Is something bothering you? If that is the case, then get that fixed first. In case you can’t fix it, stop thinking about it. And that’s that. Here is a small mantra that you should follow.

    Stop thinking about things beyond your control and you will be fine.

    6. Your Workplace Setup

    Yaro Starak has a standing setup at his workplace. That is, he does all his computer related work standing. The point is — feel free to do that which improves your productivity.

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    7. Quit Your Addictions

    While tea and coffee can sometimes help in increasing your productivity, I doubt very much that alcohol or smoking will.

    8. Time Management

    Is your workload killing your productivity? Setting up a timetable properly will help you to improve your overall productivity. Start doing all the creative work at the start of the day. If the extra hour of late night work is really important, allocate email checking and other “junk” work for that time period. (Note: If this article was not written in the early hours of the day, it would have surely lacked in its flavor.)

    Fixing minor issues can sometimes play a big role in enhancing your overall productivity and allow your creativity to flow like never before.

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    Last Updated on March 23, 2021

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

    One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

    The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

    You need more than time management. You need energy management

    1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

    How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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    I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

    I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

    2. Determine your “peak hours”

    Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

    Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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    My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

    In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

    Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

    3. Block those high-energy hours

    Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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    Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

    If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

    That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

    There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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    Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

    Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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