Focusing on real work tasks can sometimes feel like a struggle, so Forbes Business Council members share some effective productivity hacks they use to maximize their day.
Setting SMART goals, for instance, is one effective strategy for increasing productivity. Other tips include designing a dedicated workspace, eliminating distractions and using quadrant time management system.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
For greater productivity each day, more is required than simply declaring to “be more productive.” You need specific techniques and strategies in place; including altering your environment to reduce distractions.
Workspace separation is especially crucial for those working from home. Utilizing a dedicated work space will create a physical separation between your work life and home life, helping prevent potential distractions from family members or roommates. Dedicate an entire room or at least use room dividers and blinders to set apart an area just for work purposes.
Utilizing a dedicated workspace will ensure you’re not distracted by items like pictures and plants that could distract from focus and productivity. A timer is also helpful to monitor progress during work sessions while limiting distractions like checking notifications or social media updates, keeping you on the path toward meeting your goals more quickly.
As part of your focus-enhancing effort, it’s crucial that distractions are minimized. While it may seem tempting to reply quickly to that text message or check an email notification, these minor interruptions can quickly add up over time and significantly impede productivity.
Though it may be impossible to completely avoid distracting colleagues, you can usually politely ask them to wait a few minutes while you work on an important task. An app like Anti-Social or Concentrate can also help by temporarily blocking certain websites and apps so as to help restore focus and increase concentration.
Productivity hacks and systems such as the Getting Things Done method, Pomodoro Technique, bullet journaling and Eat That Frog may offer relief to many struggling with low productivity; however these techniques won’t come easy or automatically work for everyone; in order to find what suits best your goals, productivity style and motivation level you should test various hacks before combining them to form the optimal approach for yourself.
Always Make Lists
Individuals and teams looking to increase productivity must do various things differently in order to optimize productivity. This may involve avoiding multitasking, breaking large projects down into smaller ones, setting firm deadlines, and using apps that eliminate distractions.
Making lists is another crucial element of improving productivity, as this helps ensure all necessary steps are being taken and no tasks slip through the cracks. Plus, tracking progress can be very motivating!
Lists can help improve teamwork by eliminating confusion and increasing communication, as well as serving as a motivational tool by outlining high-achieving goals and achievements. Studies have revealed the power of listing accomplishments to boost self-esteem; writing them down can even alleviate Impostor Syndrome by taking emotion out of achievements and turning them into concrete statements of accomplishment which can provide a great confidence boost.
Set Specific Deadlines
One of the key work hacks involves setting realistic deadlines that are appropriate to each project. Deadlines can either be concrete (ie: by Friday at 5) or abstract, depending on how much time is necessary to complete a task (eg: “by Friday at 5”).
Backwards planning is an excellent way of identifying what steps are necessary to reach a goal and then estimating their duration. It can be extremely useful when trying to meet an urgent deadline and should always be used alongside tools such as timers.
As part of any project, it’s also crucial that everyone involved understands its deadlines and expectations. Effective communication regarding deadlines helps everyone meet them without procrastinating, especially if using tools and systems such as GTD (Getting Things Done), Pomodoro technique or Eat That Frog to improve productivity.