Productivity Hacks, From the Most Productive

Successful businesses should always be looking at means and ways to improve its workflow efficiency and output. In today’s fast-paced society, and saturated business landscape, productivity is key to remaining competitive.

The following tips have been selected from the words of high-performing employees and prolific businessmen – stick to them and you will surely see a boost in productivity! Here are some simple actionable tips on how to be more productive in the various aspects of your life.

Keep to the Two-Minute Rule

If a task on your to-do list takes less than two minutes to complete, finish it first. As recommended by researchers David Maxfield and Justin Hale from the leadership training company VitalSmarts, these tasks could simply be responding to an email or calling up a client – be sure not to let them pile up and snowball.

Act immediately on these easy tasks, and you will find yourself quickly striking things off the list, getting the hang of things. Your motivation and confidence will also get a well-deserved boost as you accomplish each task. Soon, you will find time to focus on what’s most important.

Strategise and Prioritise

This may seem counterintuitive, but prioritising on the right things highlights smart working habits. Do not be afraid to seek assistance on the jobs that require more effort or things that can be completed more effectively and efficiently by someone else.

Choose to prioritise things strategically. This frees time for you to focus your energy on more pertinent tasks. Taking on more than you can handle will affect all aspects of your work – even if you start out with good intentions, this means shoddier work, missed deadlines and room for error.

Plan Your Schedule Ahead

This may seem like a no-brainer to many, but many dismiss the importance of time management. Good planning includes details like the time you might spend in traffic or the prep that needs to be done before a crucial event. A poorly-planned schedule with too few details will make you think you have more time than you actually do. Daymond John, founder of FUBU and a judge on Shark Tank, checks in with his management daily in order to have the information to plan his schedule better.

Be sure to buffer additional time for unforeseen events and try not to fill up your schedule back to back – this leaves some time for you to catch a break if need be. After all, if something goes wrong, your entire day’s worth of work gets disrupted and this will only bog down productivity.

Use Visuals to Remember Details

To remember names, events and other details, try associating them with a corresponding image. In the workplace, the flood of names and numbers may be difficult to recall as they are too abstract for our brains to latch on to. Once attached to visuals, these details will be better ingrained in the subconscious mind; you may find yourself able to remember even the tiniest, most specific detail.

Memory guru Harry Lorayne calls the process of creating mental images the ‘Original Awareness’ of the material. Thinking of especially animated and vivid images can help create a stronger connection to the details you are trying to recall. Boost your own productivity while injecting a healthy dose of fun into work.

Keep distractions away

Email alerts, smartphone notifications – they break your momentum and make you lose focus on what’s important. Every chime or buzz only makes worse the constant itch to check your phone. Melissa Bushnell, the founder of Baked by Melissa, spends her time creating products instead of spending time on technology.

Take the time to manage your notifications, shutting off non-critical ones when completing tasks requiring great focus.

Even better, shut down your phone and lock it away if you can. Once your phone is out of reach, your productivity is sure to enhance tenfold. On your PC, download website-blocking apps such as StayFocusd to limit the time spent on particular websites like Facebook.

These steps may seem simple to all of us – how productive you end up will depend on your willingness to adhere to them. Once these actions turn into habits, you will find your productivity skyrocketing.

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