Productivity Hacks: Improve Your Productivity With These 15 Hacks
If you’re an overachiever, you most likely get nothing done. 🤪 Seriously, the amount of ideas swirling in your brain is enough to make you go crazy. Ask me how I know.
Below are a few resources to help you get the most out of your time and finally start getting things done. They made it on the list because they have helped me tremendously.
Starting with my most favorite productivity hack:
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management tool used to break down tasks into 25 minute intervals, followed by a 5 minute break.
The idea is to help improve attention span and focus in order to get the task done. All you do is to pick one task, set a timer (or Pomodoro timer) for 25 minutes, for the next 25 minutes be laser-focused on that one task (no interruptions) until the timer goes off.
At that point, you have a 5-minute break until the next laser focus session begins again.
Here's an article that explains the Pomodoro Technique in more detail. You can also visit the Pomodoro Technique website for free resources that can also support your productivity and time management.
2. Learn To Say "YES"
Most likely you've heard of "Learn to say No".
If you're anything like me and the rest of the tribe, you find it somewhat easy to say no. You're not mean just misunderstood.
You're on bigger better things and you have accepted the fact that, well, you're different.
We're different. And PROUD of it.
You don't conform and you don't fall into the opinion of others.
But why not take a different approach and learn to say YES. Not saying yes to others as they can (and will) use and abuse. But saying YES to yourself.
Say yes to money-generating activities and no to busy work.
Say yes to what serves you and moves you forward in the direction you decided to go in your vision.
3. Content Rituals
As an entrepreneur content is king. Well at least the usefulness of it. However, it can be hard to find time to write. That’s why I love the podcast episode where Amy Porterfield introduces the world to Tiger Time and introduced me to Planner Pads.
Both have made wonders in my business and focus.
4. Productive Mornings
In this article by Dale Partridge, he talks about his 5 Steps To An Insanely Productive Morning. He says to turn your mornings into a productivity machine!
In the article linked above, he shares his 5 steps to an insanely productive morning.
5. Time Sucks in Your Business
Allow multi-tasking to be a thing of the past!
- Check email once or twice a day.
- Don’t fall into the bottomless pit of Facebook. Or is it Instagram for you?
If I am not careful, social media will suck a large amount of my time leaving me very unproductive. Check out the linked article below.
This post by Melanie Duncan clearly defines why multitasking, emails and social media are time suckers and what to do about it if you fall prey.
6. Dream. Dump. Map. Chunk.
Chris Winfield has an awesome productivity system for even the worst complicated lives.
Here is a simple 4 step system that will surely clear your mind so that you can focus more on what really matters.
It's all about defining your goals, getting it all down on paper, seeing the big picture, and then grouping similar tasks together and doing them all at once to save time and get massive results.
7. Eat that Frog!
If you haven’t read the book, you must!
“Eat that Frog!” is kryptonite to entrepreneurial ADD. We have so many ideas swirling in our minds that it causes starting too many projects and not finish them before moving to another, productive procrastination, and inaction.
A quote from Brain Tracy’s blog:
“Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worse thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.”
8. High Energy Better Results
You get better results when you work on tasks during parts of the day where you're high energy.
10 AM-12 PM and 6 PM to 9:00 PM are the two times in the day where my energy is the highest. It's at these times, when left alone, I can find my zone and really get things done.
Around 9:30 PM and my brain is mush. So it's really important that I complete as many task as possible. Especially the ones that move the needle in my business.
So the question for you is when are you at your mental peak?
It's sucks if your mental peak is during business hours and you have a job. The reason I say it sucks is because I'm talking specifically to my entrepreneurs. They get it.
If this is the case where your high energy is during a time when you cannot devote it to your business they you may have to train yourself to create this level of peakness during a time when you are not at work.
9. Get In The Zone
The fastest way I know to get in the zone is by listening to music.
My husband loves to play Pandora as he helps cleans the house. I can't do this.
Instead, if I working on a tedious task on the computer and need to focus I will listen to music.
So it's really up to you and your preference.
If you find music distracting while you're trying to create a sales letter or webinar, then maybe use music in other areas of your life to get those boring tasks done faster. Like decluttering. This leaves more time for your business.
Oh, and if you are going to listen to music at your desk, plug-in those headphones. I don't know why, but I can super-duper focus when using earbuds or headphones versus just music coming out of a speaker. Maybe this will work for you too.
Essentialism is about living life with intention. It’s a way of life of doing less and achieving more. Have you ever felt busy only to find that you accomplished nothing?
Becoming an essentialist is about adopting discipline. Yes, discipline. It’s time to grow up. It’s time to set goals that are in line with what it is we really want.
When I first read this book in 2015, I was attending school for my Masters. A year before that I had chosen a very specific career path and getting my Masters was the best thing I could.
However, in 2015 I decided to go in a different direction and the field chosen for my Masters didn’t make sense anymore.
Reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown weighed heavy on my heart. Do I continue with school that is sucking up all my time and money for a career I no longer want or do I drop out and pursue my by business? I wouldn’t say I quit, but the school has been put on hold for a while now.
11. Get Organized Wizard
Practically everything you need to stay organized in your home and productive in your business is in these two sites. I am not an affiliate of neither one. They are just two systems that I use and I love.
12. "Do It NOW" Method
Some times things will just pop up like kids waiting until you sit down to ask for something to drink. These quick task (like less than two minutes) just getter done. Just do it. Get it out of the way.
Ok, maybe the kid wanting something to drink was a bad example.
I mean what do they expect, for us to be a slave to their every beck and call.
If the answer is no, add the task to your to-do list (below your top three tasks for the day) and take care of it later.
13. Forget Goals, Create Systems
Often, goals seem so far fetched that we procrastinate on even starting them. Maybe you don’t know where to start or the project just feels so overwhelming that you don’t feel like you have the time or energy to put into it.
Break down these goals into smaller, more attainable goals that seem more approachable. These tasks should be easy to complete and simple to weave into your schedule. Make a step-by-step plan of simple actions that will chip away at your ultimate end goal.
14. Become A Time Nazi
If you want to become a Time Nazi, here are two areas you can focus your offers:
- If you let them, people will waste your time. So be mindful.
- Give attention only to tasks that are inline with your ultimate long-term goal.
People Will Waste Your Time
Most time people aren't intentionally trying to waste your time. Usually the problem starts with you (yes I know sorry but it's true) not setting up or enforcing proper boundaries.
Let's say you have a friend who seems to call you on the phone when it's convenient for them but during your busy or relaxing time. You've politely mentioned a couple of times that you're busy during this time, but they then to keep doing it.
For example, I have a friend who commutes to and from work. The commute is boring and is the best time for them to call their line up of friends and just brain dump the day. However, this is during my busy time.
In this situation you could A. answer the phone, watch the clock and in 5 minutes say you have to go. And if you do this EVERY SINGLE TIME they will learn to stop calling you at this time or they'll learn to hurry up and get to the point for you LOL.
Or B. you could ignore the call and call them later when it's more convenient for you and less convenient for them. EVERY TIME! This could do one of two things... They will either stop calling you at the time you specifically told them not too because you NEVER pick up the phone. AND/OR when you call them back at their inconvenient time they will probably keep the call short without you having to do anything.
Mindless Wasteful Tasks
This is an easy one so I won't be as long winded as the last example 😁 Have a vision for your life and from this vision create short term and long term goals.
Look at what you are doing right now and ask yourself, is what I'm doing bringing me closer to my goal or is it off the track. When you can easily make a connection between the task and one of your goals, then complete the task. However, if the task is unrelated eliminate it or delegate it to someone else. This also includes Shiny Object Syndrome and purchasing cool courses because someone said you need to do this for your business. Look at your vision and goals.
These are the best two ways to become the Time Nazi of your life. Being one will support your productivity and help you not get stuck on a task that ends up being a waste of your time.
In addition to delegating you can also identify what tasks that can be eliminated all together. Delegating is a task you hand off to someone else but it's still a task that needs to be completed. Elimination is no one has to do it.
I see the process of elimination falls into two buckets. Bucket one is just decide you're not going to do it.
Bucket two is setting up systems or introducing an idea into your situation to where it eliminates the task(s). Bucket two takes work.
For example, you may have a tedious work around that allows you to record, edit and post a YouTube video because you lack the appropriate equipment. However, by purchasing the correct equipment you can now save a lot of time and frustration. Thus eliminating a lot of the tedious work you use to do just to post a YouTube video and make it look good.
Sometimes rearranging the order or process in which you do something will eliminate certain steps or tasks.
I remember my dog's old dog bowl. It was so small (well my dog is small too) that I would have to refill it multiple times a day. Having to stop and fill the bowl and then forget what I was about to do (mommy brain sometimes pregnancy brain) added up.
So I purchased one of those self watering fountains I think it's called. Now I don't have to fill the bowl nearly as much as I use too. Thus eliminating or reducing a repeated task.
So what can you purchase? What can you do? What direction could you add or change? What task can you do that by doing so would eliminate a whole bunch of other tasks.
At the end of the day, we are all just humans and all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. The occasional binge watch of The Office on Netflix is perfectly fine. Just be intentional with your time and remember what's really important. And if for whatever reason you've failed at productivity, don't beat yourself up. Just do better the next time.
If you liked any of these tips, which one are you going to implement first?