Productivity Hacks That Could Change Your Life

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Being productive is harder than it seems. We all know that just by being alive!

How productive you are can depend on many things:how much sleep you’ve had, the mood you’re in, what time you get started, how you started the day, and much more. Here's some productivity hacks that could change your life - no matter what mood you’re in. 

Set A Timer 
As you sit down at your desk, start by setting a timer and stick with it! Make sure you have everything in place to start your tasks, set the timer for 20 minutes, when it goes off - take a 5 minute break. You can repeat this, working nonstop for 20 minutes and taking 5 minute breaks, until it’s time for a longer break. You might want to do it three times, or up to 6 times before you decide to take a half hour break - what’s most important is that you can stay focused. 

Get Up Earlier and Avoid Distractions 
Getting up earlier, even just an hour earlier, can help you to get more done. Many people find that they get the most done early in the morning before anybody else appears to be out of bed - between the hours of 5am and 6am. This will mean going to bed much earlier than usual, but if you can get into a routine, you’ll be able to get plenty of sleep and get everything done. Avoid distractions like scrolling, social media, and emails in the morning. They will slow you down. Start with an important task to get off to the most productive start. 

Exercise First Thing 
By getting some exercise in first thing in the morning, you’ll wake yourself up and prepare yourself for whatever the day throws at you. You could go for a quick run, do an hour in the gym, or even complete a circuit in your living room. Once you’ve been up for a while, convincing yourself to go and get exercise can be tough. This is why doing it first thing and then reaping the benefits is the best option. 

Have Your Own ‘Getting Started’ Ritual 
Many people like to have a bit of a ritual before they get started. This might mean getting out of your pajamas if you work from home, making yourself a nice morning drink, reading a chapter of a book, saying your affirmations, and then starting your day out in the world. Your ritual could be just about anything that makes you feel like you’re ready to get some work done.

Take Time to Clear Your Work Space
Physical clutter has a direct correlation to your mental clutter, therefore slowing down your productivity. Make sure there’s nothing that could slow you down by setting aside a few hours to organize and clear your desk. Sort through and throw away papers. Then move to your computer's desktop. Organize apps and documents into folders, and discard the items you do not use. Even take time to look at how to change default browser on Mac if you need to. Taking these steps help you establish a good workflow to get things done.

Keep Momentum Up 
You should spend the first part of your day working on the hardest task on your list. That is the project that requires most of your brain, creativity and work. That's when you have the most energy to give to it. Some experts recommend that we have the capacity to do this for four hours. After that, fatigue sets in. But, you can keep the momentum up throughout the day by completing tasks that will take you a couple of minutes to complete straight away. If you know a task won’t take long, just do it and check it off your list. This helps you to avoid procrastination and keep up the feeling of accomplishment. 

Don't Over Schedule
I typically make my list for the week, pulling from a master list that I have on the app Todoist. From the weekly schedule, I'll make a daily schedule that I pull a max of five tasks from a day. In the past, I used to create a daily list that could have sometimes 20 things to do on it. Then, realistically, only checking off four things. Some days, even only one or two. This left me having to transfer things to the next day, then the next. It also left me not feeling accomplished. Since then, I have adjusted to a more realistic daily list, using the concepts behind Priority Matrix, and I am able to achieve my daily tasks. The results leave me feeling accomplished and motivated to do the same, day after day.

What are your strategies for productivity?

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