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If You Want to Get Your Works Done Even Quicker, You Need to Know These 20 Productivity Hacks

If You Want to Get Your Works Done Even Quicker, You Need to Know These 20 Productivity Hacks

Productivity can be quite a difficult issue to tackle, especially while we are young and still trying to decide in which direction we should focus our efforts on. The important thing to remember is that productivity is tightly connected to forming prolific habits, and learning how to complete tasks that can be arduous from time to time. Additionally, your efforts to be productive may very often be thwarted by the idle atmosphere created by your peers, or co-workers.

Truth be told, if this topic is to be addressed adequately, more than one aspect of productivity needs to be taken into account. To quote Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” or: if you want to forge a productive environment, you need to start with yourself. Once these ambitious habits take firm roots within you, the next step should be to inspire your personnel or co-workers to do the same. Finally, to avoid unnecessary efforts, you are going to polish your task management skills, and take some responsibility when using technology.

Self-Improvement Productivity Hacks

As mentioned, the first productivity hacks that warrant your implementation are those related to self-improvement. Of course, you cannot become an ultimate working machine overnight, and even if you could, you shouldn’t. However, I believe that with these suggestions, you will be able to improve your work flow significantly.

1. Maintaining Your Energy

Regardless of whether we are doing physical or mental work we require energy, and our brain consumes it simply by thinking. In other words, even if we spend all day sitting behind the desk, we are still going to get tired at some point. The answer is quite clear, to increase our productivity, we should increase the production of energy.

As long as we spend most of our day time sitting, our body simply won’t produce more energy. On the contrary, we will only get more tired of our daily routine. This is why physical activity should be introduced, if we require a greater energy output on daily basis, our metabolism will start to provide it. We can always devote at least two hours a day to physical exercise. It might feel troublesome during the first few weeks, but gradually, we adapt. It will result in better health and more strength to go through the day.

2. Eating Food Good for the Brain

Unhealthy eating is another obstacle capable of hindering our will to work. It is a well-known fact that our brain operates better with the right substances, and the best way to fuel our brain is through better foods and drinks.

For the purpose of increasing our focus, try to start your day with a healthy oatmeal, and some blueberries for dessert. Having wild salmon for lunch can have positive effects on your concentration, and green tea is a great alternative for coffee, since it gives you enough caffeine to start your day. You can also use avocado or dark chocolate to stimulate brain function, as well as to satisfy the need for something sweet.

3. Decrease the Number of Surrounding Distractions

A number of things may draw your attention from what is important – a messy working surface, some nasty odour or outside noises. Start your day with a quick clean-up of your desk and always have an air freshener above your table. If there is too much noise, use headphones to cancel it out. You can even play some classical music – it may even turn out to be good for concentration – these impressions vary from people to people. Once you are “in the zone” you’ll see just how easier it is to work under these conditions.

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4. Learn How to Stay Focused

Now this productivity hack can be somewhat of a challenge. Of course, if what we are doing at the time is engaging by its nature, then focus is not an issue. However, some tasks can be large, and truly bothersome. Even if we do work out, and use the before mentioned diet, making something that is by itself uninteresting to us into something interesting is next to impossible.  Learning to stay focused is actually learning to power through. To invest enough time and efforts into something so that it actually becomes important to you.

Tell yourself to pay as much attention as possible for a whole hour when you are learning new things which should be used in your work later on. Then, see just how much of the content you managed to retain. If you are supposed to read a long text on a particular topic, browse the web to find a video related to it. Video clips are much more engaging, so your power of retention will spike in those circumstances. Once you have some sort of basis for the new topic, maintaining focus will be significantly easier.

5. Avoid Spending Time Unproductively

Unless you are sleeping, there is no good reason why you should be unproductive. Trust me there is always a way to keep your brain occupied, even when watching a bad movie. You can always analyse its aspects, see what you could have done differently, constantly search for flaws, or simply ask yourself why someone would make such a thing. In other words, do not allow your brain to rust.

If you don’t have a job and spend most of your day doing nothing but watching TV shows or playing video games, there is still a chance you can do something with it. Become good at those things, start a YouTube channel where you will have discussions based on those topics. The internet and the vast improvement of technology have made it possible to do something productive with your life, in spite of the fact that you are not doing anything with it at all. Do not miss out on these opportunities to generate online crowds, considering how enough attention online may turn out to be a lucrative business asset.

Productivity Hacks for Motivating Your Personnel

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    As it was already stated, the people in your environment can either motivate or hinder your performance. One of the ways to boost productivity levels is by inciting the co-workers, or your employees, by reawakening their ambition. With collective efforts, there is a smaller chance that someone will end up under-performing.

    6. Recharge Your and Your Workers’ Mental Batteries

    One of the potential problems that you can face as an employer is the mental exhaustion of your staff. Simply put, the monotony of each week becomes overwhelming, causing the capacity for work to drop significantly.

    An ideal solution for such a problem is a team building exercise, it allows both you and your colleagues to unwind. Furthermore, it is a bonding experience very likely to improve the communication inside your team, which can only result in an even better performance in the future. Lastly, with the variety of engaging activates in which you can participate, you are bound to establish an impression  that, as a group, you are team mates, not just a boss with his or her staff. Make sure you select a good rural location during summer and allow the location to nourish you back into your working state.

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    7. Use Employee Based Incentives

    This is probably the most lucrative course of action that you can take in terms of motivation, to enhance the productive atmosphere. Basically, you use either a higher salary, or some sort of reward to motivate your staff. As far as productivity hacks go, this one is rather easy to implement, considering it is a scenario in which everybody wins.

    The most basic incentive everyone should implement is a bonus payment for extra performance. To be more elaborate, you give your employee 10%-20% of the extra budget he or she has earned you during the past month. It goes without saying that an employee should complete all of his or her monthly duties for a regular salary. This money is simply an extra cut from the extra budget earned. The method rewards productivity and allows both you and your team to push boundaries without any loss.

    Another way of motivating your staff can be through particular perks or rewards. After all, being in charge of a serious company means much more than just paying your workers – you should also offer something more, thus motivating them to keep on trying to remain in your company.

    8. Monitor Your Staff

    There was always a degree of controversy regarding this issue – usually, strict monitoring occurs when, at one point, an employer regrets giving the workers too much freedom. There are always pros and cons concerning this decision, but speaking in terms of productivity, monitoring provides a degree of pressure which can only yield positive results in this area. After all, if we know there is a possibility of getting caught while slacking off, we are less likely to do something like that.

    9. Learn More About Your Employees

    It is always better to hire someone you trust rather than someone you know nothing about. Getting to know your employees better can show you just how versatile they can be. Maybe someone can take a portion of additional responsibilities and be compensated with a higher salary – truly, it is an arrangement which is beneficial for everyone. This is why you should talk to your employees from time to time, see what else they are capable of, and whether they would like to try doing something new – in order to escape the monotony of their current job.

    Another good reason why you should gather more insight related to your employees, is the before mentioned incentive strategy. If you are in charge of a smaller company, you can easily memorize what motivates each worker individually, so instead of money, you will have to offer an alluring reward for their efforts. You can also reward your workers with some personalised gifts. For example, gadgets or tickets for a game are always a good option for many workers.

    10. Do Not Allow Your Workers to Become Too Relaxed

    Finally, when it comes to the working atmosphere, you should not allow your team to become too relaxed. It is inevitable that over the course of time, people lose the portion of anxiety they had at the very beginning of their working arrangement. However, every once in while, you need to remind them of their duties. Being viewed as an authority and a friend at the same time is rarely possible, and you should never feel bad if you are unable to create such a relationship.

    Trust me, when it comes to companies, well established order must exist. You may not have to be extremely strict, but whenever you see a drop in productivity, a frown or two will get things on their right tracks.

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    Productivity Hacks for Task Management

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      The very essence of productivity hacks lies inside quality task management. Even if you have a lot of work or hard tasks ahead of you, task management will make sure you get it done. It is especially crucial to make a strategy when there are a lot of piled up assignments, since the overwhelming pressure can only result in less productivity. Here are a couple of suggestions you can try.

      11. Prioritize Harder Tasks

      There is a good reason why harder tasks should be ranked in the upper part of your to-do list. As it was explained, our readiness to work and our mental capacity gradually drop during the work day, and if we spend it on simpler tasks, we’ll only end-up postponing more arduous work. Moreover, as we are completing easier assignments, we still know that, at some point, we will have a hard and unpleasant task ahead, which is both pressuring and demoralizing. If you can just muster enough strength to get it over with, the very act of completion will reinvigorate you, so in a way, you will have a psychological advantage.

      12. Segment Your Larger Tasks  

      Some tasks are just too copious, meaning it will take more than a month to complete them, thus they are easily abandoned. The main reason for this is fear that all of your work will be for nothing, however, I heavily disagree with this notion. There are a lot of products, like video games, movies, even food, that are more likely to earn you money if you invest more of your time. For the purpose of tackling such problems, split your monthly task into weekly tasks, and create milestones. Even weekly milestones can be segmented into daily assignments, so that you can have a clear overview of the progression you are making with a large project.

      13. Neatly Organize the Assignments

      As explained in the previous paragraph, organizing assignments contributes to keeping track of progression more easily. Another thing you need to take into an account is difficulty – in other words, you need to ensure the load of the assignment is evenly distributed on a daily scale. If, one day, you can finish tasks with ease but the following day, you are barely managing – then, you are clearly not doing something right. You can also send yourself emails every week to recap with what you have done so far – this is extremely useful if your daily and weekly assignments are a part of a larger one.

      14. Make Sure Tasks Are Well Defined

      The advice itself may appear mundane, but if you fail to complete the assignments, simply because your job definition was vague, than those flaws will come back to haunt you. Sooner or later, you will have old tasks that need to be redone, and new tasks that are supposed to be done on that day, and before you know it, the whole organization process will become a challenge to maintain. Just make the criteria by which you will estimate that a certain project or task is fully finished.

      15. Make Sure Tasks Are Properly Distributed

      Finally, if you are a project manager for example, then you need to be fully aware of your co-workers’ capacities. An efficient way to complete any project is for everyone to pull their weight equally, or correspondingly to their capabilities – depending on the situation. It is also important that co-workers do not get an impression that someone is having a less demanding task, since it can interfere with the work flow.

      Productivity Hacks for Utilizing Technology

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        One thing we must never neglect is the fact that we are extremely dependent on technology as well as the internet. If you are able to fully utilize gadgets and content which you can find, then you can be far more productive. Also, rest assured that without an internet connection or a fully functional PC, your advancements will be hindered.  Here are a few productivity hacks related to this field.

        16. Maintain Office Equipment

        This is one of those responsibilities that is so easily neglected, and yet when we least expect it, our device starts to malfunction. I speak from experience when I say that postponing PC, or printer maintenance has caused me setbacks more than once. Clearly, all of this could have been avoided with monthly maintenance. In other words, all it takes is to pick a date for checking all the equipment you use and save yourself some potential future troubles. Test all the features you commonly use, and find a certain box where you can keep all your receipts and warranties.

        17. Use Apps to Improve Organization

        Considering that a great number of business people have a smart phone device, you can have your portable task manager nearby. You can find a great number of apps compatible with an android, iOS or Windows Phone device, and these reminders are extremely helpful.

        18. Use Tutorials to Solve Problems  

        Finally, if there is anything we should be grateful for, it’s tutorial videos and blogging experience. People are willing to share their knowledge and help you out, whenever you are in need of something you know nothing about. When using of internet, you can make up for all the incompetence and save yourself from numerous potential mistakes or disasters. Additionally, simply sharing your experience and offering useful insight online can be a lucrative decision.

        All you need to do is find a good web hosting option, start your website, and start investing in its promotion. Also, you can simply start a YouTube channel, and post tutorial videos since they are far more engaging. Just make sure you are eloquent and have no stage fright. It is worth mentioning that there are also tutorials to help you be more productive in these areas and they keep you expenses to a minimum.

        19. Don’t Waste Time on Social Media

        Social media accounts are a double edge swords. Although, they can have a vast potential for connectivity and advertising, mindless scrolling on daily basis can become truly addictive. If you are using your accounts for chatting more than you use them for the work benefits, then you are better off without them. The moment you spend a couple of days without going online, you will realize you haven’t missed anything special. Another way to solve this problem is to introduce a portion of discipline. Simply allow yourself 10 minutes of social media time after a full hour of work.

        20. Clean up Your Inbox

        Sooner or later, you end up subscribing to all sorts of things, you get bank reports, daily updates, product promotions, all piling up in your inbox. The problem is when those e-mails manage to conceal something important that was sent to you. Clearly, the excuse “an e-mail got lost in the sea of others” is not a viable one. Feel free to put all the emails you do not read in the spam folder, since that way, you can still give them a look if you really feel like it.

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        Djordje Todorovic

        Blogger, Gamer Extraordinaire

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        Last Updated on April 22, 2021

        How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

        How to Work Hard the Smart Way: 4 Daily Rituals to Follow

        Habits are what sets an average leader apart from a great leader. We can argue that talent is the biggest factor; we may debate how the amount of charisma sets the two apart. Yet, if you were to show me what you believed to be a great leader, I can show you the habits that made her/him great. Great leaders have great habits and know how to work hard the smart way.

        Developing Great Habits Is Hard Work

        In my early college days, I had spent a lot of time learning how to play the trumpet. Playing the trumpet took time and discipline. I had some natural talent, but not enough to hide my lack of ability. My trumpet teacher was a man of discipline, and there was no doubt he had talent. What stood to me was his work ethic. He had to be one of the hardest working mentors that I had the privilege of working with.

        One afternoon, I was in his office getting ready for my weekly trumpet lesson. As I was preparing, my eyes scanned the room and saw that there were quotes all over his office. My eyes rested on one quote that forever changed my thinking about my playing. It was a quote from my high school basketball coach Tim Notke that would become popular through professional athletes Kevin Durant and Tim Tebow:

        “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”

        Hard work trumps talent. The key to success is not found in your talent or ability. Talent and ability are necessary, but they are not the primary factors. They are supporting roles in the story you are writing.

        Ultimately, hard work is the key to your success. A good work ethic creates the momentum that propels you forward towards your goals.

        Motivation Is Not the Answer

        How many times have you seen someone go to a conference, get inspired, and then come home and do nothing?

        If motivation were the answer, the world would have transformed hundreds of times over. Yet, when we look out our doors or turn on the news, we do not see a utopian society.

        We have thousands of people who become inspired but lack the work ethic to apply anything they have learned. Time and time again frustration creeps in. We are so motivated and inspired by what we see but fail to put in place the things that would change our lives.

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        Frustration happens when the gap between what you expect to be true and what is true gets bigger. Motivation tends to create an expectation that is not rooted in reality. We want to take on the world but cannot get off Netflix long enough to do so.

        Motivation is not the answer, but working hard is. Good habits and routines that produce success are the byproducts of a strong work ethic. The habits and routines we create and follow are the foundation on which we build a winning life.

        How to Work Hard by Working Smarter

        Here are 4 routines that will help you learn how to work hard and achieve your short term and long term goals.

        1. Define What a Win Looks Like

        In football, a player that crosses into the end zone gain points. In soccer, a player kicks the ball into the net to score. Hockey, lacrosse, and basketball are all the same. The player takes the object and moves it into the designated area to gain points. The team with the most points wins the game.

        Why is it that we can define what a win looks like in sports, but we fail to do so in our leadership, our businesses, or our homes?

        Learning how to work hard without setting a target is futile. It is insanity to work hard without having a clear direction to place your energy. I would argue that defining a win is one of the most important routines that a leader can have. Defining a win separates superficial activity from meaningful activity.

        When I define a win, I know the goal line I have to cross[1]. Knowing where the goal line is informs me of the activity I have to engage in to cross it. Without a clear direction, I am spinning my wheels hoping that I will get to a destination I haven’t defined. It is like asking a GPS for directions but failing to input the destination.

        4 Steps to Define a Win
        • Know the outcome you desire.
        • Declare the outcome in specific, meaningful terms.
        • Write the outcome down.
        • Set your activity list to only do that which will complete your goals.

        Let me give you an example. 15 years ago, I started speaking professionally. As a young and naïve speaker, I thought winning meant that I had to get a reaction from the audience. If they cheered, smiled, or cried, I considered myself a winner. The problem was my lack of understanding of what a win looked like. As a seasoned speaker, my wins look different.

        As of today, when I speak, I am not looking for any emotional reactions from the audience. I win if, and only if, I clearly communicated my point so that anyone hearing the talk can take it and apply it to their lives that day. That is how I define a win when I speak now.

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        Create a habit of declaring a win. When you do, you will see your productivity soar and your encouragement increase. Pairing a hard work ethic with wise decisions creates victory. Stop being a mouse on a wheel that goes nowhere, and start being the captain of your fleet.

        2. Evaluate Your Activity

        Not all activity is equal. There are things you must do, things you need to do, and things we can either give away or delete. The greatest challenge of a leader is understanding the difference. Understanding what activity is busywork and what activity is mission work is pivotal.

        Not only do we need to learn how to evaluate our activity, but we must make this a core routine in our arsenal of success. Stop working so hard on everything and start learning how to work hard on the right things.

        Not every activity will move the needle forward for you. In fact, you were never meant to do everything yourself! Once we stop trying to be a martyr in our leadership, we can start looking at how to take things off our plates through delegation.

        Based on the Eisenhower box, there are 4 things that we look at when deciding on which activities are important:

        • Do now
        • Plan to do it later
        • Delegate to someone else
        • Delete it

        Powerful questions are the way you discover if the activity is right or not:

        • Does this activity move me towards or away from my goals?
        • Do I have to do this activity or can I give this activity away to someone else?
        • Does this activity have to be now right now or can it be scheduled for later dates?
        • Does this activity have to be done at all?

        Evaluating the type of activity you engage in should be a routine that you do daily. Learning how to work hard should create progress. Having a system of evaluation and a routine to do it will help.

        3. Prioritize Your Calendar

        If you were to show me your calendar, I could show you why you are not further along. When you lack the routine of placing things on your calendar, two things happen.

        First, what does not make it on your calendar does not get done.

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        It is a simple truth that is often overlooked. Your calendar contains the power to change your life. Yet, we don’t use our calendars to their fullest potential.

        “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

        Also, if you don’t mark you activities on your calendar, you are leaving it open to other’s priorities.

        “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” -Stephen Covey

        Having a routine in your life where you place things on your calendar is pivotal to your success. This is not a routine one should overlook.

        It’s time to take your leadership and business to the next level. It’s time to start putting your daily routines on your calendar, along with your priorities.

        4. Reflect on Your Day and Plan the Next

        We are all about the morning routine. Whatever that looks like for you, there should be a routine in the morning that sets you up for success.

        Hard work starts when your feet hit the ground in the morning. Creating the habit of winning starts with the first thing you accomplish that morning. If you win your morning, you will win your day.

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        Best Morning Routine to Prepare to Work Hard

          But how often have you heard people talk about an evening routine? Tomorrow is won the day before it happens. When you fail to plan your day, you may put your effort toward in the wrong things. Route replaces routine. Indecision replaces decisiveness. Losses replace wins. The discouragement will deflate your momentum and increases the chances of procrastination. That is why we set our schedule the night before.

          “Every battle is won or lost before it is ever fought.” -Sun Tzu

          Working hard doesn’t have to be hard work. It shouldn’t take much out of you learn how to work hard as long as you work smart. Having a time where you reflect on the day and set your priorities is the difference-maker.

          Use these questions to reflect on your day:

          • What went well?
          • What didn’t go well?
          • What can I change?
          • What do I need to start doing?
          • What do I need to stop doing?

          The Bottom Line

          Navigating through life is hard work. Yet, the work doesn’t have to be hard when you work smarter. When you create routines that support your mission, you create wins. Working hard, the smart way will tip the balance in our favor.

          Boxing legend Joe Frazier said:

          “Champions aren’t made in the ring; they are merely recognized there.”

          Champions put in the hard work behind the scenes. The world recognized them as a champion when they saw the results of the hard work. Right now, you are doing the work of creating a champion in yourself.

          That work is setting your routines in order because you now know that success flows from your daily routines. If you are not experiencing the success you desire, then it is time to change things up.

          More on Creating Healthy Routines

          Featured photo credit: Zan via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] The Balance Careers: Interview Question: “How Do You Define Success?”

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