While you cannot control the amount of time in the day, you can control how much you are able to get done within that time. Increasing your efficiency for completing tasks can allow you to get more done and can allow you to be more productive with your time.
Increasing your productivity is not all about cramming more things and getting them done faster. A large component of increasing your productivity is working smarter rather than harder.
This article aims to dive into six of the best hacks to increase your productivity and workflow. By learning about different productivity hacks you can try them out for yourself and see if they work for you.
Hack 1: Utilizing work cycles
Work cycles have recently seen an uptick in popularity as jobs, school, and other tasks are increasingly requiring long hours of undivided attention to complete.
Work cycles are essentially a method that utilizes a sprint and break methodology.
During the sprint you give your undivided attention to the task at hand. No checking emails, no looking at your phone, just you and your work during the sprint period. These sprints are broken up by small breaks where you can relax, take a breather, stretch, and get ready for another mental sprint.
Below is a detailed look at two of the most popular work cycles: the pomodoro method and the ultradian rhythm. Both methods are slightly different from one another and you can try them both out and see which one fits you best.
The pomodoro method is a highly popular method utilized by students that have a large amount of material to study. Medical, law, nursing, engineering, and other information dense education require a deep level of understanding and wide breadth of knowledge. Because of this, these students typically need to read, take notes, study notes, do practice questions, study the questions, etc..
Without a defined methodology it could be very easy for these individuals to get discouraged or experience burn out. The pomodoro method has been the answer to many as you are able to apply a strict schedule to virtually any task.
The pomodoro method starts by setting a timer for 25-30 minutes. While this timer is going, you must only focus on the task at hand. This time period constitutes the sprint period where you work as hard as you can while the timer is running. Once the timer goes off, you take a short break anywhere from three to five minutes. After the break period you re-enter the sprint stage. After four successive sprints you take a longer break.
The pomodoro method is thought to be effective because it plays on your attention span and it chunks a large task into 25-30 minute bite sized chunks.
By limiting the time you need to focus on a task to 30 minutes, it makes it much more likely that you are effective and attentive during the time that you are working. Utilizing the pomodoro can greatly improve your productivity and allow you to accomplish more in a given day.
The ultradian rhythm is similar to the pomodoro method, but alters the amount of time in a sprint and break. The ultradian rhythm consists of 90 minute sprints and 20 minute breaks. While this may seem like a stark contrast to the 25 minute sprints of the pomodoro, it aims to play off a different way in which we work.
A common complaint about the pomodoro method is that the sprints are too short for people to get into a state of flow. Flow is a term utilized to describe being completely enthralled with your work and being in the zone. The state of flow means that you are working optimally and that you are at your most productive.
The 90 minute sprints are better suited to get people into the groove of working. This makes it more likely to get you into a state of flow.
Hack 2: Put your phone away
When you are looking to increase your productivity, it is important to not just focus your energy on increasing your ability to get stuff done. You need to also recognize and address the enemy of productivity: distraction.
Distractions are all around us and acknowledging the effects distractions have on us is an important step to removing them from the equation and increasing our productivity.
Perhaps the worst offender of distraction is our phone. Each notification, vibration, ringtone, chime, and alert creates a distraction. Not only are these actions distracting, but they try to lure you in to use your phone rather than complete your task at hand.
If you are truly dedicated to increasing your productivity, you should strongly consider putting your phone away while you are working. Put it someplace where you cannot hear it, see it, or even smell it. Your phone is an enemy of productivity and as such needs to be locked away, mostly figuratively, but literally works, too if you’re too tempted.
Hack 3: Schedule your time
Like many things in life, true productivity is all in the prep work.
When you are embarking on your journey to increase productivity, one of the first things you should adopt is a schedule. Schedules are a great way to plan and manage your time to ensure you are able to get the tasks you need done out of the way. Schedules can be as detailed as laying out what time you are going to take your daily health supplements, or as vague as stating the time period you are working.
Simply having a schedule will allow you to have better forethought and planning abilities which will take you far.
It has also been shown that better time management skills can better your productivity. By having a schedule you can hone your time management skills and ultimately improve your productivity and effectiveness.
Hack 4: Create more efficient workflows
There are many components that go into productivity, but the only component that will allow you to get more done in a day is efficiency.
A great way to improve your efficiency is to consolidate repetitive tasks and make them more streamlined.
For example, let's say that you send out a weekly email to your coworkers that outlines objectives, accomplishments, and milestones. Rather than rewrite the email in its entirety, you can create a template that has the basic structure of the email with areas that you fill in information. By taking the time to make the template you are more than able to make up for it with the time saved every week not having to rewrite the whole email.
There are many other ways to create more efficient workflows. The trick is to step back and look at the tasks you complete in a day. Observe any areas that you do a repetitive task, and create a way to make it more efficient. By doing this you are freeing up time to get more done.
Hack 5: See the bigger picture
A common issue people have is that small mundane tasks can seem far removed from their goals, which leads to a decreased sense of motivation to do the task. A decreased sense of motivation will not allow you to get more done in a day and most certainly will not make you more productive.
An easy remedy is to look at the task you are resistant to doing and remind yourself why it is important.
For example, let's say that you keep forgetting to take your daily morning supplement. In this situation, taking the supplement is not a priority, but by reminding yourself that you are wanting to support your health proactively, you may be more apt to make it a priority.
This concept can be applied to anything you find that you are resistant about doing. Getting over the resistance to performing a task quickly with this perspective hack can allow you to get even the most undesirable tasks out of the way.
Hack 6: Take care of yourself
The last hack for squeezing more out of your day is to take care of yourself. You cannot work at your absolute best unless you take the time to take care of your body and mind.
Meditation, exercise, having a healthy diet, and having a good self care routine are actions you can take to support yourself in getting more done.
The MitoQ shop gives you a wide variety of products that can help support your body through highly bioavailable ingredients and well researched vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, whether you’re looking to support heart health, brain health, and everything in between.
Wanting to do more in a day is a natural feeling. By working on your efficiency, productivity, and workflow you can save minutes, even hours in your day.
With this new found time you can get even more stuff done. Utilizing work cycles, minimizing distractions, scheduling your time, refining workflows, reframing, and taking care of yourself are all great starting points you should consider.