I’m very interested in this topic because I certainly know that productivity is the key milestone to personal development and success. I’ve been working on some strategies for boosting my productivity level over the last 3 years. I’ve seen some TED Talks, read Quora posts and asked a couple of successful business professionals about how to increase productivity. Also, I’ve had very successful mentors in the past who know a lot about productivity. This article is the result of my consolidation of their advice and my own experience.
I have, personally, tried all these hacks and see the positive difference in my life. I firmly believe that all these hacks will help you to reach your productivity goals and improve your quality of life.
Google Calendar – It’s More Powerful Than You Think
Google Calendar is a very effective tool for being on top of everything and developing strong self-discipline. It certainly enables you to see the big picture. I have a very hectic schedule; it’s virtually impossible to remember all those events, meetings, work-related deadlines, schedules, assignments, grocery lists, dues, and a lot more that I need to accomplish in a certain period of time. Google Calendar reminds me of all my tasks, which is just amazing because it enables you to plan your days and live your life according to your schedule. I cannot stress enough how important Google Calendar is to me. It literally saves my life! I recommend taking your schedule seriously. Respect your schedule, otherwise, there is no point in having one. Respect your time and make sure others respect it.
Work More When You’re in the Zone, Relax When You’re Not
Getting into your Zen zone is not easy! Be aware when you’re in your Zen zone and get the most out of it. Don’t let anything distract you; shut your phone’s notifications off or use the do-not-disturb mode to avoid distractions. Also, write down anything that comes to mind when you’re in the zone. After you write it down, you will stop thinking about it when you are in the zone and you’ll have a clearer focus. Trust me – you’ll see your efficiency skyrocket once you do this!
Do the Hardest Tasks First Thing in the Morning
People often have fewer distractions and more mental energy in the morning. You should take advantage of that! The idea is to focus on the most challenging tasks as early in the day as possible. It’s been shown that doing the hardest tasks first thing in the morning can greatly improve your productivity. First of all, specify your tasks and then prioritize them from the most important one to the least. Completing the hardest task first in your to-do list will make it easier to work through the rest of your list.
Silence Your Inner Perfectionist
I was a straight-laced guy in my student days. When my professor, Mr. Dogankaya, realized what a hardcore perfectionist I am, he told me something that I can remember word for word to this day. He said: “Perfection is the enemy of good. Don’t let your inner perfectionist take control of your mind.”
Try to be less of a perfectionist and be more action oriented. Perfectionism can lead to procrastination and, as we know, that it is the biggest enemy of productivity.
I think Confucius stated it best: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
If a task takes less than three minutes to complete, you should finish it immediately. It sounds very easy but this is the one that I’ve been struggling with for a long time. Well, the thing is, it’s not always that easy to determine whether the task would take less than three minutes or not. You have to be very determined to follow this rule. Honestly, it’s still a struggle for me!
Drink More Water
Water is the fuel for our body. Drink a small cup of water whenever you feel like you’re running on low energy. It can calm your mind and increase both clarity and your energy levels. Have a full reusable water bottle at your desk. That bottle will be your visual reminder. A visual reminder takes the thinking out of your goal making it much easier to remember.
“Your time is $1000/hour, and you need to act accordingly.” Jason Cohen
Don’t waste your time playing video games, doing useless things or hanging out with negative people. Highly productive people know that time is an investment from which they gain maximum benefits. Acknowledge the fact that your time is very valuable and that you don’t want to waste it on unnecessary things. This will make you more self-disciplined and it’ll eventually increase your productivity.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” Paul J. Meyer