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Which Productivity Trick Suits You Best? Find Out!

Which Productivity Trick Suits You Best? Find Out!

There are a lot of different productivity tricks, and when you try them, mileage will vary based on the kind of worker you are. But how do you find out which technique is right for you without wasting your time trying them all? Lifehack has you covered. Below are six productivity tricks that might work for your purposes.

1. Strict Deadlines

    A lot of people thrive off the pressure of a deadline, doing their best work the fastest they can because they absolutely have to get it done. Lighting a fire under someone is one of the best ways to get them to produce sparks. Of course, not every project has a strict deadline, so the productivity trick is to make you believe there is one. Reward yourself for reaching your imaginary due dates or punish yourself for missing them. This is a good productivity trick for those with the fortitude to accept rewards only if you reach your goals or the ability to accept the punishments if you don’t.

    2. Write Everything Down

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      This is one of the simplest productivity tricks. If you forget things easily, record everything you need to remember so that you’ll never be unprepared. Good to-do lists include Wunderlist, 2Do, and plain old pen and paper. Evernote is another invaluable tool, an external brain that can house all your thoughts, ideas, and knowledge.

      3. The Pomodoro Technique

        The Pomodoro Technique, one of the most popular productivity tricks, is pretty simple. You choose a task, set your timer for 25 minutes, work until the timer rings, then take a short break. After four Pomodoro sessions, take a longer break. It’s a great life hack for the people who get burnt out from working too hard. The regular pauses give you enough time to recharge your batteries, which lets you get back to work in full force.

        4. Louis C.K.’s 70% Rule

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          Louis C.K., the man responsible for writing, directing, editing, and starring in the FX show Louie, imparted some great advice in an interview for GQ. Here’s his productivity trick.

          “These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over.

          “And, when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the f*** do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It’s incredible!”

          You don’t even have to do 70%. You can pick your own percentage, whatever the amount is that makes you comfortable enough with your choice. This productivity trick is great for people who struggle to reach a decision, taking that burden out of their hands.

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          5. Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

            Comedians are just full of productivity advice. Fun fact about this technique, though: Jerry Seinfeld denied coming up with the productivity trick named after him. He actually called it the dumbest non-idea that wasn’t his! But, regardless of its real inventor, Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret has helped a lot of people over the years.

            The trick specifically helps you do something on a daily basis. It involves getting a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hanging it on a prominent wall. The next step is to get a big red magic marker. Each day that you do the task you’re trying to do that day, you put a big red X over that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain. If you keep at it the chain will keep growing longer every day. You’ll take pride in that chain, especially after a few weeks of red X’s, and the only job left is to not break the chain. This is a great strategy for people trying to build a pattern. It’s especially effective when it comes to fighting addiction and living a healthy life, which are both challenges that you need to take on one day at a time.

            6. Work On Your Task for 10 Minutes

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              If you have trouble getting started on something, this productivity trick is perfect. Just commit to doing your task for 10 minutes. Anyone can do something for 10 minutes. But what happens is that when you spend those 10 minutes doing the task, you’ll get in the groove of things and feel committed to do a lot more.

              Which one works best for you?

              Featured photo credit: Fernando Mafra via flickr.com

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              Matt OKeefe

              Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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              Published on July 15, 2019

              10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

              10 Simple Strategies to Make Your Life Better Starting Today

              Habits are an important part of the direction you take your life, and — as I’ll share with you shortly — there are certain daily habits you can adopt right away that are guaranteed to improve your life.

              Think back to when you were just six or seven years old…

              At that age you probably didn’t have many habits. But, as the years went by, you picked up more and more good and bad habits.

              You may not have thought about it before, but habit forming never really stops.

              That’s why it’s never too late to change your habits and transform your life.

              So, if you feel burdened by your bad habits, start kicking them into shape by replacing them with these 10 positive, life-changing strategies:

              1. Go to Bed a Little Earlier and Wake up Earlier 

              Starting tonight, get yourself to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual. And, then make sure you get up tomorrow morning 30 minutes earlier, too. This small change can have a BIG impact on your day. 

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              Instead of furiously rushing in the morning to get ready for work, the extra time will give you a golden opportunity to start your day off on the right note. You can drink a smoothie while sitting on your porch, spend 10 minutes exercising and stretching, and still have time to read a few pages of an inspiring book.

              2. Be Grateful for the Good Things in Your Life 

              Setbacks and obstacles are inevitable in life. But, with a positive mindset, you’ll be able to overcome most of these. And, when you do, you’ll boost your self-confidence. 

              This is something you can definitely be grateful for. 

              However, if worst-case scenarios are playing out in your life, then sometimes, to stay strong, you’ll need to keep your mind on the good things that are happening to you. For example, your relationship with your partner might be crumbling, but your career is continuously getting stronger. It’d be easy to feel downtrodden and miserable about your relationship problems —  but, it would be much healthier to keep your mind and gratitude on these things that are going well, such as your career.

              3. Drink Water All Day Every Day 

              I’m sure you’ve heard the advice of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but are you following that advice? If not, you’re robbing your body and mind of essential hydration. 

              With the right amount of water intake a day, you’ll be amazed how good you feel — and how good you look!

              4. Take 15 Minutes to Set Goals for the Day, and Then Tackle Them One by One 

              This strategy will put your life into a new stratosphere! And, it’s very simple to do. 

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              Simply spend 15 minutes in the morning (either at home or at work) planning what you need and want to achieve during the rest of the day. Once you’ve listed your tasks, the next step is to put them into order of priority. 

              For instance, you have three things to do: catch up with your emails, write a project update, and prepare a briefing for your CEO. It’s best if you put these in order of importance. In this example, your emails can probably wait until you’ve created your CEO brief and updated your project documentation.

              5. Turn Off Your Cell Phone (or Put it on Airplane Mode) When You’re Focusing 

              A 2012 study found that even looking at a cell phone or feeling it vibrate in your pocket can significantly distract focus and reduce your ability to complete complex tasks.[1]

              It’s no surprise really, as our thoughts are subconsciously drawn towards checking our phones when they’re switched on. It’s a bad habit — but one that most of us have. However, when you need 100% focus (like I do when writing my articles), then switching your phone off, or at least putting it into airplane mode, will free your mind and supercharge your focus. Try it and see!

              6. Walk as Much as You Can 

              Have you noticed that most people’s lives are sedentary? They drive to work, sit in front of a screen all day, then drive home and binge on the latest Netflix series. It’s no wonder there’s a growing epidemic of obesity and mental health issues. 

              Our bodies are made to move — so we should move them! This can be as simple as walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and going out for a walk around the block at lunchtime. In the evening, instead of arriving home and crashing on the sofa; spend 20 to 30 minutes walking around your block.

              When you make these things a habit, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel. You’ll have less stress — and more energy.

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              7. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

              How often do you stop, think and appreciate the “here and now”? I’m guessing not very often. But, I understand why. Modern life is demanding and fast-paced. There’s precious little time to appreciate the small things. 

              But, if you want to live a healthy and happy life, you must break out of this trap. You can do this by allocating 15 to 30 minutes each day for mindful meditation. This could be in a park, in your garden, or even in your lounge. The trick is to focus 100% on your surroundings. 

              For example, if you’re outside, watch how the leaves on the trees blow around in the wind. By keeping your focus on this movement, you’ll clear your mind from your usual stresses and strains. This will give you brain a much-needed break. And, as well as improving your mental health; you’ll find your creativity gets a boost, too.

              8. Ask for Help When You Need It 

              No one can know or do everything. Which is why you shouldn’t be embarrassed to delegate tasks to others when needed, ask questions when you don’t have the answers, and work with partners and colleagues to clarify intentions. 

              When I first set up Lifehack, I tried to do everything myself: blog writing, website creation, marketing, financial planning, etc. However, I quickly learned that it was much better to hire some help. Not only did this inject some fresh ideas and inspiration into Lifehack — it also made the whole operation way more enjoyable!

              9. Practice Self Care 

              Are you looking after yourself as well as you should? If not, then take steps to improve your diet, exercise more, and to speak to yourself with encouraging words and thoughts. 

              The latter suggestion is often overlooked. But how you speak to yourself determines how you feel, what you believe, and what you achieve.

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              10. Embrace Learning 

              You cannot transform your life without learning something new. That’s because the process of change forces you to adapt. But, many people stop learning as they get older, as they find the learning process boring and bothersome. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It can be fun and rewarding. 

              Whether you decide to learn to play guitar or study the basics of accounting — embrace learning, and begin changing your world for the better.

              I’m sure you’ll agree that these 10 strategies are simple enough for you to start putting them into action in your life. (I suggest you begin today!) 

              Nevertheless, you’ll probably need to use some extra willpower for the first 30 days or so, as this is the typical length of time it takes to create a new habit. After that, these strategies will be part of your day-to-day life, and you won’t need to think about having to do them. In other words, they’ll have become habitual actions.

              If you need any further encouragement to get started with the 10 strategies, then consider this:

              Even just adopting one of the strategies can turn the tide in your favor. But, when you implement all 10, you’ll create an unstoppable trend towards success, health and happiness.

              So start making your life better — today!

              Featured photo credit: Javier Garcia via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Deborah R. Tindell and Robert W. Bohlander, Wilkes University: The Use and Abuse of Cell Phones and Text Messaging in the Classroom: A Survey of College Students

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