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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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              Last Updated on August 15, 2018

              25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

              25 Most Useful Excel Shortcuts That Very Few People Know

              Imagine if you could use 5 simple shortcuts while working in Excel, and increase your productivity without wasting time for searching information in huge tables, writing long formulas, and sorting the data.

              Or even better:

              What if you would get 25 useful shortcuts… and each of them could simplify your work, so you could do much more every day?

              You’d definitely feel excited to read about them.

              Today is your lucky day because we are going to share with you in this article 25 great Excel shortcuts you can use in your work every day! This is your lucky chance, so go ahead and become a real professional in Excel without wasting your time.

              How important are Excel shortcuts for you?

              The most effective thing to check out if people really need something is to release a survey and look at the results. So, according to the anonymous survey, 99% of people said Excel shortcuts are critical or important for them.

              In general, there are more than 200 shortcuts in Excel. But when we have analyzed the data about how many shortcuts people know, we got the next results:

              • 26% of people know 10 or fewer shortcuts;
              • 61% of people know 10-50 shortcuts;
              • 10% of people know 50-100 shortcuts.

              As you can see, not so many people know a lot of shortcuts. Probably, some of them never think about increasing their productivity in such a simple way.

              Of course, it depends on how deep you use Excel. Some people use this powerful application just for making simple tables or graphs, others use it for everyday work to count something.

              Most of the accountants and businessmen use much more Excel functions for more complex tasks such as creating VBA macros, managing PivotTables, recalculating huge workbooks, outlining data, etc.

              But even those people who work with Excel every day very close may know a few shortcuts. Needless to say, they can do their job without shortcuts, but it usually takes for them much more time. T

              his sounds not funny, especially if you must finish a huge amount of work urgently. There is a great opportunity for you to increase your productivity in Excel and do your job faster with our useful shortcuts.

              5 Main reasons to learn excel shortcuts

              Many people don’t understand why they should use shortcuts if they can work without them. Of course, if you use Excel twice per year to make a simple table or a graph, it is probably not so important for you to know many shortcuts.

              But if you work in Excel every day, sorting huge tables and managing with tons of data, then shortcuts will help you to reach the next five goals:

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              1. Work efficiently and faster in Excel
              2. Manage big amounts of data easily and fast
              3. Stay calm and concentrated even while doing a tedious job
              4. Make your work accurately and properly without errors
              5. Get a better understanding of Microsoft Excel

              Who can use Excel shortcuts?

              There are a lot of people who can simplify their life with Excel shortcuts, and here are the groups that will definitely love using them:

              • People who work in banks, finance organizations, etc.
              • Businessmen who make tons of various reports and presentations in Excel for meetings and briefings.
              • Students who usually are lazy and impatient to make their homework because they don’t want to waste a lot of time working in Excel.
              • Private entrepreneurs who keep various data in Excel tables.

              Whether you are a student who hates Excel because it seems a time-wasting and boring application, or you are an accountant who must recalculate huge worksheets every day without making errors, we recommend reading and learning these Excel shortcuts to make your work simpler and save some time.

              With these simple but useful tricks, it is so easy to finish your job and get more time for yourself.

              25 Excel shortcuts to increase your productivity

              Here are 25 great Excel shortcuts you should learn and use for work or studying to make your job faster and simpler. Try to use them all and you will realize you were totally blind before while working in Excel:

              1. Format whatever object fast with Ctrl+1

              If you select any object in Excel – a cell, a chart, a chart axis, a drawing object – then press Ctrl+1, and you will get the Properties dialog for the certain object. This shortcut offers a very quick and easy way to format whatever object you’re working with.

              2. Use range names with Ctrol+G or F5 key

              If you use range names (which we strongly recommend to do) and you want to choose the range with a specific name references, press either Ctrl+G or the F5 key, which launches the GoTo dialog.

              If the name is simple, you can click on it in a list in that dialog. But if it’s at all unusual, Excel won’t list it; so you will need to type in the name. Then press OK.

              3. Use a range name in a formula with =sum( and F3

              Suppose you want to use a range name in a formula. For example, you want to sum the Sales range. Enter…

              =sum(

              …and then press F3.

              When you do so, Excel launches the Paste Name dialog. Just choose “Sales” from the list, press the OK button in the dialog, then enter the SUM function’s closing “)” to complete the formula.

              4. Launch Function Arguments dialog easily with Ctrl+A

              Suppose you want to check the help topic for a worksheet function. For example, you want to read about the MATCH function. In a cell, type…

              =match(

              …and then press Ctrl+A, or click the Insert Function (“fx“) button to the left of the formula bar.

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              When you do so, Excel displays the Function Arguments dialog, which might offer all the help you need.

              But if you still want to see the complete help topic, click the blue “Help on this function” hyperlink in the lower-left corner of the dialog. This technique works with all documented Excel functions.

              5. Copy stuff down the column without scrolling with Ctrl+D

              If you added a formula in a new column on the right of a huge dataset, and you want to copy that formula down without scrolling, do these steps:

              • go to the right to the column that has data (the column to the left of the new column with the formula);
              • press Ctrl+Down – to get to bottom;
              • move one cell to the right (with arrow key naturally);
              • press Ctrl+Shift+Up to select the new column, at the top of which is the formula you just created;
              • press Ctrl+D to fill down the formula.

              6. Quick access to any function with Alt+

              By customizing the quick access toolbar, you can create simple shortcuts to commands that you would otherwise have to find in the Ribbon tabs, or macros you have created yourself.

              The keyboard shortcut is simply selecting Alt+ (the number of the command you wish to select).

              For example, if you have customized your quick access toolbar to have Calc Sheet, Save, Open. To calculate sheet you would hit Alt+1, for save Alt+2, and for open Alt+3.

              A lot of people are unaware of this useful function, and it’s a great time saver.

              7. Format cells with Ctrl+1

              When you need to format cells, use Ctrl+1. Most people know this as the shortcut for the Format Cells dialog, but you can also use it to format almost anything in Excel, without a care about the state of the ribbon. Try this amazing and simple shortcut!

              8. Choose visible cells with Alt+

              When you need to choose visible cells only – use Alt+. This is the trick to copy only what you see. It is a priceless shortcut when you’re manually hiding rows and columns in the table.

              9. Use filtering

              Filtering – it is a powerful way to slice, dice, and sort through a huge table of information.

              It’s amazingly effective when you’re participating in a meeting to discuss something like a sales forecast, and everyone is looking in real-time at your spreadsheet projected on a screen (or on their monitors).

              To some people, you will be seen as the God of Spreadsheets, and this is not a joke!

              10. Insert or delete column/row easily with the Ctrl key

              Some people waste a lot of time even for simple operations, for example, when they need to insert/delete columns and rows in Excel.

              Use this shortcut to insert: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl+Shift ++.

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              To delete: with an entire row or column selected, use Ctrl + –.

              11. See formula results with F9

              If you want to check formula results within multiple formulas, highlight the formula and select F9 to see formula result.

              Don’t forget to undo before exiting the formula.

              12. Use ALT+Enter for more text within a cell

              If you want to add a second line of text within a cell, use ALT+Enter.

              13. Use EDATE to move a date on by a full calendar month:

              Here’s how to use EDATE:

              =EDATE(15/01/16,+1) = 15/02/2016 (15th Feb 2016)

              =EDATE (15/01/2016,-2) = 15/11/2015 (15th Nov 2016)

              14. Use EOMONTH to move a date onto the end of the month:

              Here’s how to use EMONTH:

              =EOMONTH(15/01/2016,0) = 31/01/2016 (31st Jan 2106)

              =EOMONTH (15/01/2016,-2) = 30/11/2015 (30th Nov 2015)

              15. Remove spaces with TRIM

              TRIM is a useful function known by few people. It removes any spaces at the beginning of a value. This is useful if you are pulling in values from somewhere else.

              16. Repeat commands with F4 or Ctrl+Y

              In many cases, you may need to repeat your last action. Use F4 or Ctrl+Y; you can repeat many commands like applying the same borders, format, or insert a worksheet again.

              17. Quick access to cells with the Ctrl key and Shift key

              When you need to go to the first or last cell of a worksheet, no matter where you are, use Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End combinations.

              And here is a pleasant bonus for you: add the Shift key to select everything on the way!

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              18. Use Ctrl+ to create a timestamp

              If you need a date stamp and/or a timestamp in your document, there is no need to type a date and time! Use shortcuts Ctrl+ ; (date) Ctrl+Shift+ : (time). It works like a magic and helps to save your time and nerves.

              19. Use autosum shortcut for sum function anywhere

              Autosum shortcut – use Alt =. It is a “magic” shortcut of Excel to automatically insert a sum function.

              You can use this shortcut to sum rows, columns, or even an entire table in one step without wasting your time.

              20. Use data validation

              This is an amazing but underutilized tool in Excel, which can be used for a variety of things:

              • Create dependent drop-down lists;
              • Create drop-down lists;
              • Protect/restrict data input of specific cells (without the need for VBA macros).

              21. Use conditional formatting

              It can be used for various purposes such as color format or cell format of cells, rows or columns based on dependent cell values or formats.

              22. Use formula auditing

              This is a great tool to analyze and trace precedent or dependent cells, check errors and evaluate formulas.

              The “Watch Window” is a feature to keep a snapshot of an area of the spreadsheet, and then move to another area of the workbook – particularly valuable if you’re managing large spreadsheets or don’t have a second screen.

              23. Use Scenario Manager to generate summary outputs of a spreadsheet

              Scenario Manager (under “What-if Analysis”) enables users to generate high-level, summary outputs of a spreadsheet – without the need to replicate the entire workbook.

              It will present multiple scenarios of a spreadsheet in a succinct, high-level summary worksheet.

              24. Use INDIRECT to set up large tables

              INDIRECT makes it easy to set up tables which reference larger tables without a lot of referencing work or cutting and pasting; especially for dynamic spreadsheets.

              25. Use OFFSET for complicated calculations or formulas

              OFFSET can be useful for things like calculating YTD numbers or creating formulas that take data in rows and using in columns.

              The bottom line

              As you can see, when you have a boring or tedious job to do, the best way to do it fast is not looking for a way how to avoid it, but searching for the shortest variant to do it!

              That is why we suggest keeping in mind these Excel shortcuts that will help you to save a lot of time and nerves.

              If it seems hard for you to remember all them, you can print out the list of shortcuts and keep it on your worktable. Use it to search for some help when you need it, and over time, you’ll remember all shortcuts easily.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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