The inner battle for motivation is real. How many of us find ourselves desperate for more hours in the day, or stay late, or come into work on our days off to get caught up on mountains of never-ending work? The problem with this is that it subverts the balance between work time and personal time, and in order to function well, employees need both. What if we could work smarter instead of longer in order to take the hours we have and make them more productive? Enter the concept of productivity hacks.
Productivity hacks are easy-to-implement, time-saving tips that have the potential to impact your entire workflow. Productivity is all about time management, and most of the productivity hacks we’ll discuss help employees gain control of their schedules in a way that maximizes workflow and decreases distractions for smarter work time.
Chunking Your Daily Schedule
A large part of developing your productivity hacks is modifying your schedule to avoid multitasking, which a lot of productivity hacks address. According to a study by Stanford University, multitasking actually damages performance instead of enhancing it, so putting minute tasks like email and returning phone calls into one – or two-hour chunks that allow you to focus on the one task actually allows you to work faster and more productively.
On this topic, building out a daily schedule is one of the best productivity hacks in general. Whether you sit down every morning with your coffee and make a list of your tasks for the day, or you create a down-to-the-minute spreadsheet that alerts your phone when it’s time for the next task, generating something you can see is one of the best productivity hacks you can implement in your daily routine.
Revamp Meeting Times
Who here hates meetings? That’s what we thought. We feel the same, but they are necessary for team communication and harmony in the workplace. Meetings have the potential to be one of the greatest time-wasters of an employee’s day, and are one of the areas that can benefit most from productivity hacks.
Most meetings last upwards of 45 minutes, but actually address content that can be handled in about 15 if distractions are mitigated. One way to avoid letting meetings get out of hand is to institute (or suggest, if you’re an employee) the concept of “stand-up meetings”. When meetings are held standing up, not only does employees’ energy improve due to blood flow, but slight discomfort helps employees stay on track instead of going on rabbit trails in the discussion.
Cool it Down
Another set of productivity hacks revolves around environmental adjustments. One of these involves setting the office to 72 degreesFahrenheit. A slightly cooler working environment stimulates blood flow as well, keeping employees more alert, whereas warmer temperatures encourage sleepiness.
Cubicle Feng Shui
Similar to adjusting temperature, overhauling the flow of your workspace can benefit from productivity hacks as well. This concept requires some attention to your current routine at work. If you find yourself becoming irritated by having to constantly retrieve an item or a file that’s out of reach, consider rearranging things. Even though moving some items around the office might require a little extra time, add it to the list of productivity hacks you want to implement! It will be worth it for the time and frustration it saves you later.
Do the Hardest Thing First
Most productivity hacks require a little research or at least observation of your own methods of work, but this one’s easy – as long as you can drum up the motivation. You may find yourself struggling with getting started on a task that is overwhelming you, something that, for whatever reason, you’re really not looking forward to. If you can, put on some music, clear your desk of distractions, and attack that task first. Once it’s done and you can look forward to the rest of the day without that task looming, you’ll feel more energized and ready to tackle it all.
Another solid one of our productivity hacks is to take frequent short breaks. Don’t force yourself to work through lunch or skip your mid-morning break. Breaks are essential to resetting your mental capacity and a quick walk around the office every hour, even three minutes or less, can do wonders for your energy levels and keep you fresh and focused throughout the entire workday.
Use fill-in-the-blank email templates or mail merges for email. If you use Microsoft Office products there are 1000s of downloadable templates for everything from budgeting systems to business letters to presentations. Other online tools and apps can be super helpful. Take a few moments to browse through a few lists online to see what might offer some great productivity hacks for your workflow.
In fact, if you’re looking for productivity hacks, check out Runrun.it. Runrun.it specializes in streamlined, integrated task management that can increase productivity by an average of 25%. What better productivity hack could you want? Oh wait, what if we told you that you can try Runrun.it for free?