How To Get Shit Done: Five Simple But Effective Productivity Hacks
If you find yourself spending too much time procrastinating instead of tackling the tasks at hand, you may find that a few small but effective changes to the way you work will help you be less lazy and to maximise your day.
Here are five simple tips you can implement into your daily work life to increase your productivity and to get shit done.
1. Limit distractions
It’s so easy to get distracted from a text, social media, workplace gossip or an interesting website. The first step to stop wasting time is to avoid your biggest distractions: For most of us, the biggest disturbance is our smartphone, so when it’s time to focus try putting your phone in airplane mode.
Another source of distractions is email, and while checking your email might feel like a productive and important task to your workday, it’s not! In fact, trying to be hyper-responsive to every email can actually decrease your productivity. The best way to avoid glancing at your inbox is to shut down your email application or browser window and to set a defined time aside for checking your email.
Where you do your work can also have a huge effect on your productivity: It’s much harder to get things done in a space that demands part of your attention – through distracting noise, non-work related tasks, or even something as simple as an uncomfortable chair. So find a distraction-free workplace that allows you to focus on the task at hand.
2. Declutter and get organised
One of the simplest, yet most overlooked aspects of productivity, is getting your computer files organised. But everyone’s sense of organisation is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all. The main point, however, is to keep your work neat and your folders tidy, in a way that works for you, so that you don’t waste valuable time searching for information needed to complete a task.
Some effective guidelines for managing your files and folders include:
- Keep your desktop free of clutter. Trashing your desktop with random documents in the heat of the moment not only results in chaos, but this mess can also give you a subconscious feeling of stress, blocking your mind and ability to think clear.
- Think ahead: If you know the types of files you will need for a certain project, try to be as proactive as possible, so that most files fit somewhere within your folder hierarchy. When it comes to structuring your work, try to limit folder creation to a minimum.
- The best way to make files easy to find is to name your files and folders strategically. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, but it pays to keep your ‘Future Me’ in mind: That means trying to imagine yourself searching for the file in the future, and which words you would be likely to use when trying to find it.
3. Schedule your time
Your time is precious! To make sure you get the most out of your time, add time allocations to your daily plan. For example, you may want to wake up in the morning and spend an hour working out, making breakfast or catching up on the news.
Then when you get to work, you could schedule in one hour to complete a report before you check your emails and complete any other tasks.
Prioritising your must-do tasks is also a great way to get shit done. It’s easy to keep putting off your most important tasks, but by tackling that first you will feel more motivated and productive, having your most essential and hardest task out of the way.
4. Delegate, don’t multitask!
Unless you’re superhuman, you won’t be able to handle everything. So, it’s imperative to delegate or outsource jobs. This will help you focus on the projects that you’re good at, without letting menial tasks get in the way.
And believe it or not: Multitasking is a lie! Research over the past decade has shown that consistently switching between tasks can actually cause mental blocks and lower your IQ. It’s important to try and focus on one project at a time, and if the workload is too overwhelming, find someone who can take over some of those jobs.
5. Be good to your body
A healthy and productive mind can’t exist in an unhealthy body. So it’s important not to get too caught up in work and to neglect your physical wellness.
What you eat and drink can have a huge knock-on effect on your productivity. Greasy and heavy foods will leave you feeling sluggish, while wholesome snacks will keep you fuelled throughout the day.
It’s also crucial to give your mind, body and soul enough chances to relax and recover. Take regular breaks to avoid getting overworked or slumping into a sleepy state of mind. To help you lift your mood, you can also add some rewards into the mix. For example, once you’ve sent off that report, reward yourself with one of your favourite biscuits.
Practising mindfulness, taking up journalling or scheduling in 5 minutes of meditation each day can also improve your focus, while a little bit of exercise or a quick yoga session between tasks will keep your blood pumping, and it will help you feel more energised and productive.
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