Busy, a word that is being used to describe people’s lives more and more each day. You have several priorities that all need to get done, almost always at the same time. You not only have to manage your priorities but the priorities of others that get thrown in your path. You try to squeeze as much as you can do into one day. You read as many productivity articles as possible, looking for life hacks that can save you time. Remember, it is not about time management. It’s all about energy and focus.
Are there life hacks that you can implement today that can help increase your energy and focus?
Make these 17 Life Hacks habits and your productivity will rise:
1. Whenever possible, “Hang out with people who make you forget to look at your phone”.
Look at the people you choose to spend your time with. Are they adding to or detracting from your energy levels? Are they encouraging you to pursue or give up on your dreams?
— #LeadershipTips (@NDenoun) November 15, 2014
2. Answer this question every morning: What is the one thing I am committed to completing today?”
Chances are, there will be dozens of things vying for your attention. You might not have the time to accomplish them all. Be clear on the one thing you need to do that will propel you closest to your goal. If you make this a daily habit, you will soon realize how quickly small tasks add up to big accomplishments.
3. Schedule emails to three times a day
An interview question that I like to ask candidates is, “What do you do within the first 30 minutes of your work day”? I want to get a feel for how these candidates manage their priorities. If they start off with emails, then chances are they will quickly fall into the trap of managing other people’s priorities. Start the day with your most important task first.
Emails can be a huge obstacle to getting things done. It is hard to stay focused on one task when you keep hearing the ping of an incoming message. Remove your notifications and check your emails three times a day. This will ensure that your attention remains on the task at hand.
4. Turn off all of your email alerts
This action is an add-on to the third life hack. Notifications are a distraction, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation.
5. Sleep, eat well and exercise
What does this have to do with increasing your productivity? A lot. It is hard to keep your energy levels high when you don’t take the time to recharge your mind and body properly. While it used to be perceived as necessary to drive yourself hard and sleep as little as possible, research has proven otherwise. Science has shown that proper sleep improves productivity.
As for eating well and exercise, some people take better care and maintenance of their cars than they do of their body.
6. Understand what’s truly important
In fifteen years, you will be more disappointed by what you have not done, rather than what you have done. Look at where you are investing your time and energy right now. In fifteen years, will it still be important?
7. The 2-minute rule
Any task that will take you 2 minutes or less to complete, do it immediately. This will avoid you having to refer to it at a later date and keeps your task list to a minimum. This works particularly well with emails as well.
8. Delete. Say No. Ignore
Delete messages that you don’t need to action on or refer to at a later date.
Say No to tasks or commitments that will take you away from your own priorities.
- Other people’s judgments
- Doubts in yourself
- Unfounded fears
- Things you cannot control
9. The 10 Minute Procrastination rule
Sometimes, it can take all your energy just to get started. The 10-minute rule dictates that for any task you do not want to work on right now, but has to get done, you should commit 10 minutes to starting it. 10 Minutes is an easy commitment to make and will get some momentum going. Once momentum has started, it becomes easier to keep on the task.
Procrastination will kill your success, if not today, then tomorrow for sure. pic.twitter.com/XC5yPDqvaL
— Steve Keating (@LeadToday) November 8, 2016
10. Complete your most important tasks when your energy levels are highest
It is often encouraged to complete your most important tasks first thing in the morning. While this could be a great practice for most people, for others it can be more difficult. People have different time clocks or energy clocks. If you are a morning person, then you should perform tasks that will leverage your high morning energy early on. If it takes you a few hours to get started, then you should wait until then.
Instead of planning your most important tasks according to a clock, plan it according to your energy levels. They should be the same every day.
11. Forget Busy
What does it mean to be busy? Saying you’re busy is not a real measure of your productivity. Forget about keeping busy and focus on staying productive. Start with the tasks that will propel you furthest toward your goal. Then, work on actions that will be great time multipliers.
“Multiplier Leaders make the Significance calculation by instead asking “how can I use my time in a way today that creates more time tomorrow?” – Rory Vaden
Examples of actions you can take that can multiply your time and increase productivity are:
- Developing your Talent Bench
12. Seinfeld’s Productivity Chain
If you want to excel in an area, practice every single day. If you want to build habits that will increase your productivity, then you need to do it every day.
13. The Pomodoro Technique
I am actually using it right now. I started about a week ago and it does help me stay focused on certain tasks. Although I don’t use it for everything that needs to get done, I find it works best for my writing. The Pomodoro Technique advocates tackling tasks in 25-minute time frames, ignoring all other distractions. No multi-tasking allowed. After the 25-minute time frame, the idea is to take a 5 min. quick break from your intense focus and productivity and start the next 25-minute Focus cycle again.
14. Empty your mind
Write down your tasks and schedule your most repetitive tasks in your calendar. Reduce the mental strain of carrying numerous “mini-tasks” in your head. Writing things down also helps give you perspective of everything that needs to get done.
Journaling is also a practice that many successful and productive people perform. Jim Rohn, often spoke of its importance. Here is an excerpt of an article he wrote for GetMotivation.com. Jim Rohn calls it one of your three treasures.
“If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. When you listen to something valuable, write it down. When you come across something important, write it down. “
“Keeping a journal is so important. I call it one of the three treasures to leave behind for the next generation. In fact, future generations will find these three treasures far more valuable than your furniture.
The first treasure is your pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Don’t be lazy in capturing the event. How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second. How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second. So don’t miss the pictures. When you’re gone, they’ll keep the memories alive.
The second treasure is your library. This is the library that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you defend your ideals. It helped you develop a philosophy. It helped you become wealthy, powerful, healthy, sophisticated, and unique. It may have helped you conquer some disease. It may have helped you conquer poverty. It may have caused you to walk away from the ghetto. Your library, the books that instructed you, fed your mind and fed your soul, is one of the greatest gifts you can leave behind.
The third treasure is your journals: the ideas that you picked up, the information that you meticulously gathered. But of the three, journal writing is one of the greatest indications that you’re a serious student. “
15. Habits, Habits and Habits
In order to reach a high level of productivity, you should incorporate your most important tasks into your daily routine. Once these routines become habits, your chances of completing them rise. Small useful habits multiply into large numbers and can be surprisingly powerful.
16. Quality over Quantity
There are thousands of online and app based productivity tools available for you. Find out which ones’ work for you. Often, simple is better. Don’t get caught up on the mountain of resources available. Stick to the ones that can sync across your devices and work best with your style.
17. Assess and Re-Assess
Schedule time to reflect on what you are doing and whether or not it is bringing you closer to your goals. We can get so caught up on the urgency of getting things done that we don’t take time to assess if we are getting the right things done.
Are there hacks that stood out to you? Which ones will you implement today?