Team Productivity

10 Hacks to Boost Your Productivity and Motivation

Stephanie Gonzaga
December 18, 2014
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With so many things grabbing our attention, it’s become a challenge to focus on what needs to be done.

It’s why productivity has become an industry in itself where people seek out strategies to enable them to get work done.

While some of these strategies demand a lifestyle change that can take time to integrate, you can experience boosts to your productivity from simple yet effective hacks alone.

I’ve gathered 10 hacks that you can do to improve focus, spend time efficiently, and get work done.

Hack #1: Empty your mind of all the things you need to do today.

“From David Allen’s Getting Things Done I learned that my brain is for processing, not storage,” says software development specialist Paul A. Kipp.

Instead of ramming your brain to remember that you have to pick up laundry by 5PM, dump it into a todo list so you don’t forget about it after a day spent in deep work.

Hack #2: The 2-List System by Warren Buffet

Besides being one of the wealthiest men in the world, Warren Buffet is referenced quite often for his “2-list” system where you list down the top 25 tasks or goals you’d like to accomplish and segregating those tasks into two lists by circling the top 5 that’s most important to you. The rest gets labeled as your “Avoid-At-All-Costs” tasks.

This system is all about knowing what to prioritize and focus only on what’s important.

Hack #3: Do “busywork”

Busywork” is activity meant to pass the time and stay on busy mode. It can be sorting out your email, rearranging your workspace, or cleaning out your contacts list.

While it looks like a time-waster, busywork is actually a great way to activate productive pauses for when you feel stuck or lost with a project or task.

Hack #4: Start the day by “eating that frog.”

Many CEOs, startup founders, and productivity experts swear by the “eat the frog” concept, which is just a quirky way of saying, “Do the most difficult and unattractive task on your todo list first.”

When we’re able to get that task out of the way, we feel much more motivated and happier to pummel through the easier tasks next.

Hack #5: Put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.

For those of you who work at home, you know this frustration.

While family and friends are near and dear to you, they gotta know that you can’t always be available despite the fact that you work in your home office.

After sitting them down and explaining the situation, give them the heads-up by putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door.

Hack #6: Block off one day of your week for passion work.

After giving their employees 20% of their hours to explore and do creative side projects, Google discovered that they become more productive, motivated, and creatively inspired at work.

You can apply the same practice by blocking off an hour each day or a day each week to do passion work, which may or may not be related to your job or business.

Hack #7: Turn off all notification sources.

With technology as an integral part of our lifestyle, notifications are one of the biggest sources of distraction. What’s worse is that it takes approximately 25 minutes to return to work after being distracted.

Turn these sources off before sitting down to work. Simply silencing your mobile phone or disabling notifications on your computer or browser can make a huge difference.

Hack #8: Make a “NO” list.

For every task or request you say “no” to, put it on the list.

You’ll realise that as this list grows, you’ve saved tons of time and energy that now goes into the work that matters most to you. It serves as a great motivator for when you’re bombarded with so many tasks vying for your attention.

Hack #9: Make a “DONE” list.

Hack #10: Focus on a single task at a time.

Multi-tasking can be just as destructive to your productivity. Your attention is divided, your mind switches from task to task, and nothing ever really gets done efficiently.

Instead of juggling tasks, focus on a single task at a time till your todo list is clean and empty.

What productivity hacks do you swear by? Share them in the comments below.

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