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Ultimate Productivity Hacks You Need to Try

Ultimate Productivity Hacks You Need to Try

We all work all day, and during all this chaos we have almost no free time for ourselves, and our families, but we always try to make some room. We all want to be extra-productive, and we try to multitask as much as we can, but sometimes, the more we try to do more things at once, we find ourselves failing almost everything, as we are unable to dedicate our full intention to a singular task. Organizational skills are extra important, and time management has never been more important—especially if you want to stay successful.

Due to all this, we all try to find more hacks and discover newer tips that will allow us to stay on top of your game. In an effort to organize all menial tasks, we use special techniques and tools simply not to waste time. The best advice that anyone can give you is to work smarter, not harder, and remember, time management isn’t about stuffing as many tasks as you can into any given day, but it is about creating a workflow that is simple, fast, and, most important, stress-free. So, we have prepared some of the most important productivity hacks that you can use in your workplace, not only to perform better, but also to feel better.

1. Clean your work desk

Cluttered desk

    Clutter on the desk will lead to the clutter in the mind, something which will lead you to become unfocused and stressed. Staying focussed is especially important if you handle a lot of papers, so it is essential to have a paper tray for incoming things that require your attention, and a special paper tray for outgoing things that are done, and can be sent away, or filed. Put frequently used items like markers, pens and pencils nearby, and feel free to keep less frequently used items in the drawer or somewhere where it won’t attract your attention.

    2. Organize your computer

    The same way you need to keep your desk clean and organized, you need to keep your computer sorted and running smoothly. You can do this by organizing all the files in their dedicated folders. The best tip is to create as many subfolders as you need in order to create a folder tree where you can find whatever you need. Use anti-virus software that will keep your computer operating without bugs. Keep all the latest updates installed, and the safest bet is to have all the updates automatically download and install, without you being aware.

    3. Check your emails in the morning

    If you your work description includes reading a lot of emails and responding to them, then you need to dedicate a whole part of your work time in order to do that, and the best thing is to simply finish it early in the morning. Make a cup of coffee, sit down, and then open up all the emails, respond to all those that you have to, and forward those that require further assistance. When you finish that, visit your inbox at frequent intervals, but do not have notifications turned on, as it can easily distract you from your other work.

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    4. Create an efficient inbox

    It’s common to have more than one email address. But there are many ways of trying to combine all those into a single inbox, where you can simply check all your emails, without having to log out and login into different accounts. Do this only if you can use third party software to connect to your corporate email. And ask whether that is allowed, as some companies do not allow this, and require you to only use your business email.

    5. Do not even open social sites

    Woman using her smartphone

      If you think that you will just be able to open Facebook for a quick glance and then return back to work, you are sadly mistaken, as opening one cute cat video will lead to a couple of more, and before you know it, half an hour has passed and you haven’t finished anything. Use simple add-ons that can block particular sites for a limited period of time, until you finish everything else.

      6. Create a schedule

      If you have a job that is highly erratic, or creative, you will need to create some order that will help you achieve as much as you can. For example, if you work from 8am, and you need to finish something by 4pm, remember to divide that task into simple tasks, and then create a smaller deadline so you finish the first part by 11am, then the second by 2pm and the third should be done around 4pm. This division of work should give you a clearer overview of your progress, and should keep your motivated.

      7. Get out of the rut

      If you feel that your job is too repetitive, you will need something that will give your brain a break. If you cannot turn your job into something more interesting, then at least try and organize your free time so you feel good about yourself. After a long day of work, we just want to go home and sleep, but it is exactly the time when you should call a friend and go and grab a cup of coffee.

      8. Get up early

      Try and get up at six, so you can shower, eat and prepare for work. If you have children, you will have enough time to prepare breakfast for them as well, or even greet your loved one with a cup of fresh coffee. But no matter how early you want to get up, remember to have at least 7-8 hours of sleep, as without sleep, everything else is pointless.

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      9. Learn to say no

      Say no

        It is normal that you want to be liked, and that you want to be thought of as a person who always helps out, but you need to know when to say no, and focus solely on your task. Some people will want to take advantage of you, and it is essential that you learn how to prioritize and help others only if you have free time, and you get due credit.

        10. Forget about multitasking

        Even though we all like the power of being able to do a couple of things simultaneously, you need to remember that our brains and our bodies are not created to properly multitask. We can be much better if we can dedicate our full attention to a single process, and then go on to another, than to try and do both of them at the same time and fail instantly.

        11. Write down all your ideas

        If you want, you can use your smartphone and create a memo every time you have a great idea, or if you’d like a physical reminder, carry a notepad with you at all times, where you can even use colored sticky notes to coordinate your reminders. Even if you are sure that you will remember something, it is better to write it down than to forget all about it.

        12. Don’t be afraid of technology

        There are so many programs, add-ons, and extensions which you can use to simplify smaller steps and things while you work. Google Drive and Dropbox are great way of eliminating USB memory drives, as your files will be available whenever you go with an internet connections. Trello is great at keeping track of projects and deadlines, while Hootsuite can organize and schedule your social media posts.

        13. Exercise properly

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        maria sharapova exercise

          If you are in good physical condition, then you will not only be healthy and satisfied to work extra diligently, but it will give you more energy to accomplish all your tasks. You can find simple exercises to use when at home, and it is best that you do them before work, early in the morning—it will give you that burst of energy needed to survive your morning.

          14. Keep your home tidy

          No one wants to return home after a day’s work and find a mess everywhere you turn, which is why it is essential that you constantly organize your home, and clean up after yourself. Create more storage space so that you can set aside all the things you don’t currently need, which will give your home a more elegant look, and remove all the clutter from your life.

          15. Coffee can help

          If you need a small energy boost, you can find it in a small cup of coffee. Coffee can not only be extremely healthy for your body, but people who drink it regularly will be less affected by stressful situations. But remember not to drink any coffee after 4pm, as that might keep you from sleeping well during the night. Avoid coffee bought from machines, and prepare your own brew. Not only will this taste better, but it will have less sugar and artificial sweeteners added.

          16. Use your commute wisely

          You need at least 30 minutes every day to get to work, and that time will quickly accumulate, so do something useful with it. Listen to audio books on your mobile device, or podcasts—it doesn’t matter if they are humorous or work related. You can even try and walk to work. This way you can turn a daily chore into light exercise, where you can clear your thought before work.

          17. Hire help

          maid cleaning the house

            If you work a lot, you do not have time to worry about things that will only occupy your mind. The best thing you could do is to hire some kind of help: someone that will do your shopping for you, or someone that will clean your home. This is an excellent way to outsource things that require a lot of time that you simply do not have. Once a week you can even have a professional cook come over and prepare meals in advance, so that you eat only hand-made high-quality food prepared specially for you.

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            18. Eat healthy

            Like we’ve said, having a meal prepared for you is a much better solution than fast-food, which is full of salts, sugars and fats—stuff which your body does not need in large quantities. If you avoid junk food, and replace it with balanced meals, you will feel much better, not to mention how much healthier you’ll be.

            19. Don’t forget about water

            No matter how tasty fizzy drinks are, they simply cannot replace water as a drink that is essential for our bodies to function properly. In a perfect world, people would drink two liters of water daily, in order to keep you hydrated, and your metabolism running perfectly—but any liquid will do, like tea or coffee. Just remember to avoid fizzy drinks or drink them in limited amounts, as they are full of sugars which will only lead to obesity.

            20. Have fun

            happy dog in a car

              Let’s face it, no one can truly be productive and efficient at a workplace if they are constantly sad, or bored. You need to find your own outlet, something that will keep you happy, and find time for that—if you like reading, read at least half an hour every day; go to the movies with your best friend; take out your beloved on a romantic dinner. All those things will remind your why life is worth living for, and it will give you more than enough energy and focus to try your best, and be a successful working professional.

              If you were looking for a magical solution that will solve all your productivity problems, tough luck. There is no such thing. You will need to change your whole life around, and develop your organizational skills in order to truly be successful and develop every aspect of your life. Have fun, spend time with your family and friends, create a goal and stick to your plan—and in no time, success will surely follow.

              Featured photo credit: morgue file via mrg.bz

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

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              Last Updated on October 12, 2018

              11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation

              11 Tactics on Increasing Brain Power, Memory, and Motivation

              How do you motivate yourself? We all want to maximize our time and do more of the things we love to do but sometimes we get stuck in the ‘getting ready’ process.

              We want to live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving our goals and living a happy, successful life. We want to get better every day but we never actually jump off.

              The most powerful form of motivation comes from self-motivation. You can light your own fire.

              It is not enough simply to wait for inspiration to start you moving forward. It doesn’t have to be something that happens to you, it can be something that you create.

              All progress and motivation starts with taking action. One action will lead to another. Action will create better outcomes and new experiences for you.

              When my coaching clients are suffering from distraction, I simply get them to start taking action. To get fired up. To do something specific.

              This may be getting up earlier, or committing to doing exercise daily. Even if it’s doing something for just 5 minutes, it’s often that little push that it enough to get them going.

              If you focus on a small number of things to create the change you want, it can have a dramatic effect on your business and life.

              Here are 11 things you can do right now to take that jump and in the process of increasing brain power, memory and motivation.

              1. Simplify Your Life

              By creatively planning your life, it allows you to simplify. Delegating and eliminating activities that don’t motivate or excite you ensures you maximise your time and focuses your energy on achieving your goals.

              It’s really hard to stay motivated when your mind is confused and cluttered with all of the projects and tasks you need to do. But if you can simplify, if you can carve away the unnecessary, your life will become more focused. And more focus leads to more motivation.

              What areas of your life could you simplify?

              One way you could do it is to combine tasks. Think about two things you want to do and see how you could combine them into one activity.

              The author Marilyn Vos Savant takes this one stage further in her book Brain Building in Just 12 Weeks. She recommends that we make a list of every small task that has to be done, say, over a day or a week-end and then do them all one after another.

              Essentially, you are fusing lots of smaller tasks together into one task and completing them all together. So rather than doing one task on one day and another task on another day, it becomes a focused blitz to get lots of little things completed all together.

              This frees us more time and gives you a sense of accomplishment, that increases motivation.

              2. Focus on How Far You’ve Come

              One of the things that stops us being motivated and causes procrastination is that we measure our success not from how far we’ve come, but how far away we are from our dreams and ideals.

              If we can change our thinking and become more conscious of how our brain is working, we can set ourselves up for success.

              We’re often at our happiest when we use our brains to problem solve, visualize, achieve and measure our progress.

              If you talk in specifics rather than generalities, there is an opportunity to feel happier and more energized.

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              One way to do this is to start training your brain to measure specifics, which grounds your feelings in reality and can boost motivation.

              Rather than focusing on your ideal, think about what you’ve achieved from a specific starting point.

              If your goal is to lose 14lbs in the next 6 months and you’ve lost 3 lbs in the first 3 months you have two choices. You could focus on the fact that you’re still 11lbs away from your goal or you could focus on the fact that you have lost 3lbs since you’ve started.

              The second option will allow you to celebrate success and build motivation and refocus your mind to lost more weight whilst the first option may focus your mind on how far away you are from your goals.

              Let your brain set your own goals and have your own experiences.

              3. Set Measurable Goals

              This follows on nicely from the previous point. When I work with coaching clients we always set specific, measurable 90 Day Goals.

              This is great for motivation and training the brain to focus only on things that are specific and measurable.

              When we are making real progress towards our goals, it makes us a lot happier. We are motivated and inspired.

              We all sense where we are in the present moment. The past has gone and the future is well, the future.

              In this present moment, we feel like we’re making progress, moving forward in the right direction or we’re not. We can’t stop time. We can only make better use of our time.

              If you’re not happy with the progress you’re making, you may start comparing with others which can make you feel a lot worse and stop motivation in their tracks.

              So, think about what goals you want to achieve for the next 90 Days. Ask yourself what is the meaning/purpose behind each of the goals.

              Write the goals down. Put specific measurements against each goal and visualise what achieving the goals will mean to you in terms of your own personal progress.

              4. Shift Your Motivation from Getting to Giving

              Some people only focus on what they can get out of life and relationships. It’s all about me, me, me.

              “When you change the way you look at things; the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

              However, if you come from a position of serving and helping, and being more consciously awake to the world around you, your mindset can shift from merely receiving to giving.

              And when you create this shift, coming from a space of giving, your brain starts coming up with more and more creative ways to spread more and more abundance.

              It’s far more satisfying to focus on giving. If you really focus on this, it can become a true purpose and focus for you.

              Rather than focusing on simple transactions, you focus on deepening relationships and doing things that will genuinely make people happy.

              If you focus on giving and gratitude and surround yourself with people of a similar mindset your motivational energy will always be high.

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              There are also additional benefits. When givers come together the results can be so much bigger than on an individual level as everything has the capacity to be multiplied.

              When your motivation is to give your brain will think of more and more creative ways to do that. Random thoughts will pop into your head and you’ll find more creative ways to improve other people in both your business and personal life.

              5. Create and Repeat a New Habit

              Sometimes, the smallest shifts create the biggest results. When you start a new habit, whether that’s going to the gym, creating videos or improving your speaking the key is consistency and repetition.

              By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you create incremental improvements.

              If you want to start a new morning routine, the key is repetition. If you want to start meditating, the key is to stay with it. If you’re gearing up to run a 5k, the key is to run every day and build that strength and stamina.

              If you have a vision of yourself as someone who doesn’t complete projects, then you think of yourself as that person. But if you tell yourself every day you’re a world class ‘project completer,’ you’ll begin to think and act like that person.

              If you’re procrastinating on a big project, just start small and do something to move it forward, even if only five minutes. The next day work on that project again.

              The key is deciding what you want to improve and then working on that thing every day. A 1% improvement every day can produce big results in the end.

              Bonus tip: Here’re 18 Tricks to Make New Habits Stick!

              6. Direct Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep

              Many successful people never go to sleep without a request to their subconscious mind.

              “Never go to sleep without a request to your subconscious” – Thomas Edison

              Your brain is a fantastic problem solving tool. If there are decisions you are struggling with or a project you’re looking for answers on, just spend a few minutes before you go to sleep visualizing the challenges, ideas, questions and experiences.

              You can follow a similar process with your goals. Visualize your goals every night and visualize what the achievement of those goals will look like.

              Your subconscious mind will then go to work, creating different connections and ideas. When you wake up, write down everything that comes to mind and then put things into action.

              You’ll be surprised how amazing your subconscious mind is: Why Sleeping on a Difficult Problem Helps You Get the Answer

              7. Focus on Your Environment

              The people who you spend time with will change your life in one way or another. Surround yourself with people and things that support you in your business and life.

              Cynics can pull you down with them but supportive people will motivate you to becoming even more happy and successful.

              Throughout every day, we have choices regarding what we spend our time on and who we are going to spend our time with.

              You can be with people who stifle and bring your energy down, or be with people who inspire your creativity and celebrate your success.

              Spend more time with people who make you feel more alive and happier and see where that takes you.

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              8. Express More Gratitude

              When you come from a place of expressing gratitude both to what you have and the people around you, the change can be immense.

              If you express gratitude for what you have, you are less envious and fixated on what other people have.

              When you express gratitude to the important people in your life, it changes how you perceive them and how they feel about you.

              Gratitude increases your energy and your feelings of abundance. With gratitude, everything is appreciated.

              Gratitude also makes you a lot more creative and deepens your motivation. Handwritten notes, more expressive feelings, instantaneous notes or calls to the people that matter most become commonplace.

              The thing about gratitude, though, is that it requires an active pursuit in all areas of your business and life. It’s not about what that person has done for you. It’s about how you feel about them, and their value to you.

              Here’s a quick exercise:

              Think about the people that are most important to you.

              Next, write down 5 things you are grateful for, or appreciate, about that person.

              You could tell them the 5 things or just keep it to yourself and sense how you are with that person the next time you meet.

              Another important focus for gratitude is yourself. What are you grateful for today?

              Taking the time to look inwardly and appreciate what you have built momentum and motivation and makes you a lot happier.

              If you want to learn more ways to practice gratitude, check out these 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

              9. Increase Your Energy

              Energy is a huge motivator. If we are fired up or excited about someone or something, we are usually very motivated.

              Think about the last time you achieved something important. I’m guessing your energy and motivation was high?

              If you’ve beaten your best time on the track, or lost the weight you wanted, or won a big piece of business, your energy will be sky high and you will want to dive back in again to improve your previous performance.

              When we are excited and motivated about the things we are doing, we bring high levels of energy.

              If you could spend more time doing the things that excite and motivate you, what would that mean for your business and life?

              High levels of energy produce continual growth and give you higher levels of confidence.

              Try this:

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              Pick three things that give you high levels of excitement and motivation. Commit to spending at least one more hour on each of the things every month.

              See what you can achieve. If it brings in the results you want, aim to spend more time on those 3 things and remove 3 things you want to spend less time on.

              10. Visualize Your Ideal Future

              If your motivation is lacking, try focusing on the purpose behind what you are doing or on how it plays into the larger goal of what you want to accomplish.

              One great way to increase your brain power and motivation is to start thinking bigger and then challenge yourself to think bigger and bigger about your vision of your ideal future.

              Where would you like to be in 3 years or 5 years’ time? What is your bigger purpose in your business and life? What would have to happen to make you happy with your progress?

              Identifying and then focusing on your bigger vision gives you the feeling of working on something greater and being part of something bigger than yourself. It gives deeper meaning and purpose to your daily life.

              If you are putting long hours into something or making a lot of sacrifices to achieve something it will help put things into perspective and ensure your motivation stays strong.

              Can’t figure out your purpose yet? No problem, here’s How to Find the Purpose of Life and Start Living a Fulfilling Life

              11. Take More Actions

              If you’ve been resisting taking on a big project for a while, be that at home or at work, everything else in your life can begin to suffer.

              Sometimes, you just have to face your resistance and fear and do what you’ve been avoiding. That one thing, could make a real difference to your life.

              We all have lots to do and sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the tasks at hand.

              The key is to prioritize so we make the best use of our time and make an internal commitment to just get started.

              One of my clients was very close to finishing a new online course but there were some things she was avoiding and procrastinating over. It was very easy for her to fill her time with social media updates, shiny new things and check out the things her competitors were doing to avoid taking action. She knew she was neglecting something really important to her personal goals and putting off things that mattered to her.

              I got her to focus just half an hour at the beginning each day for a week on this project. That amount of time grew as her excitement and motivation increased.

              She felt more excited and motivated by just getting started again and doing the work. This newfound energy also impacted other aspects of her life.

              She felt more in control and knew she would succeed. Just by taking one small step and getting started.

              Conclusion

              Here are some things for you to consider as you reflect upon this article:

              • What’s motivating you right now?
              • Are you as inspired as you want to be?
              • Are you open to new experiences?
              • Are you continually learning new and better ways to live?
              • Are you putting those into practice?
              • Do you want to be more motivated and inspired?

              Hopefully this article has provided some insights and you can use some of these tactics to help you live every day with a clear intention to get closer to achieving your goals.

              Featured photo credit: Pete Bellis via unsplash.com

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