Getting things done can be such a chore. It is not just the finishing of jobs that is hard neither. Starting them can be bad enough too. Whatever the reason or distraction that is standing in the way of the work that needs doing does not matter. The only thing that counts is that it is there, and the work is not getting done.
Fortunately, however, there are a number of coping techniques and tips that you can utilize to break through these difficult times when distraction reigns supreme. You are not lazy, you just like to occupy your mind with other pursuits when there is work to be done. Well, these tips are here for you to help you regain control of your consciousness and start getting stuff done. These are the top productivity hacks to help you improve productivity in your daily life.
Tips for productivity
These tips aren’t necessarily related to apps or software, they’re simply good practices to have at hand any time you feel distracted or struggle to start a task. The truth is we do a lot of jobs on our computers these days, and they bring with them a whole new world of electronic distractions such as social media and online procrastination. These tips are here to help you fight them.
The 2-minute rule
The two-minute rule is a simple yet brilliant way to increase productivity. It offers a way to instantly deal with the small tasks that end up in your in-tray and forces you into taking action on similar tasks that would eat up a larger amount of time. The two-minute rule states that:
If a job can be done in under two minutes, you should just do it there and then.
If a job is clearly going to take longer than two minutes, then you should start it right there and then.
This rule is brilliant because it instantly activates your brain to the task at hand. It declutters your to-do list by making sure none of those little tasks clog it up when they’re so easy to complete. On top of that, the rule also ensures that those bigger tasks are already underway when you move not the next item. It is always easier to come back to a task you’ve already started than it is to start a new one.
OK, this one sounds a little strange. Let’s all be honest though; you’re not looking for productivity tips here that are going to take a lot of effort. Really, you’re after the easiest tips that will have the biggest results. Well, that’s what we have here. Scientific studies have found that chewing gum can make you more productive. Amazingly, chewing gum can make you work 10% faster, can stop you feeling sleepy, and can even make you more charismatic. Start chewing gum now!
This is a cool little tip that will make so much sense once you read through it. It is imperative that we take breaks during the day if we’re to work as effectively as we can. In fact, be should be taking 15-20-minute breaks roughly every 90 minutes. Shutting down one program on your computer and opening another one, say Twitter or Facebook, for example, is not going to have the regenerative effect a proper break will. This is why you should create break lists; write down all the short pleasurable activities you can think of that help make you feel better. Now, this could be something like “check Twitter” but only add activities to your list that help you feel like you’ve had a break. Mine would be something like read from a book or magazine, take a walk, make a coffee, call a friend, etc.
The Pomodoro method
If you really want to take your breaks to the next level, you should look into the Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro works off the idea that your brain can only remain truly active for around 25 minutes. You set a timer for 25 minutes and then every time it rings you take a short five-minute break. This could be when you go make a coffee or check your phone. Then, when you’ve done this work-break cycle four times, you take a longer 15-30-minute break and then start the process all over again. This way you get to go through all the different items on your break list while training your brain to focus for shorter periods.
Don’t break the chain
We’re not talking about a Fleetwood Mac song here; we’re actually talking about a Seinfeld hack. Yep, Jerry Seinfeld actually shared one of the productivity tips he used to help him develop as a comic by trying to write better jokes every day. To do the same you need to get yourself a huge calendar poster that covers an entire year. Then every day you work on the task you want to work on you get to put a giant red x in the square for that day. Pretty soon, you’ll have a chain of red x’s and you’ll be a hell of a lot more motivated to work on your task because you won’t want to break the chain!
Do the hardest thing first
The final tip of the day is about what you should work on first. It is no secret that the most productive time of day is first thing in the morning just after we wake up. This means that it is first thing in the morning when we begin working that we should tackle our hardest tasks. This way you will take care of the most challenging and pressing issues when you’re at your best, but it also helps build momentum for the rest of the day. Once that first big task is out the way, everything else will feel smaller and less daunting.