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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

              More by this author

              Matt OKeefe

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

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              Last Updated on September 18, 2019

              15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

              15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

              You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

              Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

              A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

              Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

              So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

              1. Purge Your Office

              De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

              Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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              Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

              2. Gather and Redistribute

              Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

              3. Establish Work “Zones”

              Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

              Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

              4. Close Proximity

              Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

              5. Get a Good Labeler

              Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

              6. Revise Your Filing System

              As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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              What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

              Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

              • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
              • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
              • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
              • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
              • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
              • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
              • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

              Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

              7. Clear off Your Desk

              Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

              If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

              8. Organize your Desktop

              Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

              Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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              Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

              9. Organize Your Drawers

              Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

              Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

              10. Separate Inboxes

              If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

              11. Clear Your Piles

              Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

              Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

              12. Sort Mails

              Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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              13. Assign Discard Dates

              You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

              Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

              14. Filter Your Emails

              Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

              When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

              Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

              15. Straighten Your Desk

              At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

              Bottom Line

              Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

              Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

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              Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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