Success is enjoyed only by those who are well organized and productive at work. Higher work productivity makes one a desirable employee, employer, and person, in general. But, how does one remain productive at work? And how do these successful people remain ahead of their competition?
In order to achieve more with your working hours it’s absolutely vital to have the right tools (both mental and physical) to increase productivity. Advances in technology such as artificial intelligence (Ai) can produce significant improvements in efficiency within businesses, but this is often viewed on a macro-level. Tools using Ai can benefit the productivity of startups in many aspects of the business, for example, Ai tools such as CRM systems that create huge cost and time-saving benefits.
Still not convinced? Below are some of the most important hacks for you to consider for your business.
15 Useful Productivity Hacks
The old adage says, “It takes 21 days to make or break a habit.” By applying this along with the following hacks, you can become a successful brainiac. Without further ado, here is a list of the best productivity hacks!
1. They keep a clear head
It’s easier said than done, but clear out those negative thoughts, worries and work burdens haunting your productive streak. Successful productivity nerds get their work done by focusing on the task at hand. They clear their minds of their daily woes, and to-do lists and power through.
It gives them a clean slate and helps to maintain focus on the pressing tasks. One must live in the present because the past has gone and the future is yet to come. Hence, do what you must do right now, don’t over complicate your task by thinking “what’s next”.
2. They prioritize
These people believe in setting priorities in life. Not every task that you get at work is equally critical. Some tasks may require more effort as well as time, so sort your work according to what may be accomplished quickly, without becoming counterproductive.
Once these tasks are completed, you can then focus on achieving the others. Now, you can dedicate your energy and time to accomplishing the essential tasks.
3. They are optimistic
Productive people tend to remain positive at all times. Most of the time, procrastination stems from the feeling that something cannot possibly be achieved now, so it must be delayed. Keeping oneself optimistic keeps procrastination at bay. If you are positive that this task can be completed today or right now, then it will be for sure. Pessimism and productivity repel each other.
4. They don’t aspire to do more than their capacity and stamina
This is one of the lesser-known secrets of the most successful and accomplished people on this planet. They do not overfill their bucket just to please others. They pick only those tasks that are well within the capacity and stamina. If you cannot do as much as your fellow colleague can, do not even try to make a comparison. You are different in every sense.
5. They get over the most dreaded task first
Don’t leave the worst until last. It’s something we’re all guilty of at one point or another. Get the annoying stuff out of the way first. This will help you to remain at peace for the rest of the day because the worst has already passed. Leaving the worst tasks for the end of the day leads to build up of aggression and more often than not, you’ll have less energy at the end of the day. This will make it much harder to tackle these already snooze worthy tasks.
6. They follow a 2-minute rule
The 2-minute rule was invented by David Allen. This rule states that if every new task on your plate can be accomplished within two minutes or less, do it right away. If you procrastinate on the small tasks, they will continue to accumulate eventually turning into something much larger. Hence, if it can be done quickly, do it and get it over. You will be surprised to know how many tasks you can finish quickly in a day if you follow this rule.
7. They have a golden hour
The typical 9-5 schedule is not for everyone. Some people can perform better during the nighttime while others feel more active while the sun is out, shining brightly. Find your golden hour – the time of the day when you feel most active and alert. Reserve that time for working and you will perform with enhanced productivity.
8. They say ‘no’ easily
It is time that you learn to say NO. Every time you take on that one ‘small’ task, you’re slowly overburdening yourself. In the long term, you’re setting yourself up for failure. You’re not a robot, you’re a human being and there’s only so much you can do at once. If you want to hit that monthly increment, do what you are given. Taking up more tasks is not the answer.
The ability to say ‘no’ to a manager, or even a colleague at work is not something that is commonly encouraged within the rigid structure of a corporation, however if they are to remain competitive in hiring top talent, they must adopt this element of startup culture.
9. They avoid distractions
Successful people live by a motto that allows them to avoid distractions that stand in their way on their path to success. There are several distractions, primarily those caused by technology. If you keep checking your phone every now and then, you will never achieve the focus needed for particular tasks.
Social media apps and smartphone usage kill time and productivity. Hence, you must avoid these distractions and put aside time to deal with them. You can download apps to monitor your active phone usage. Apps like Mute, or the inbuilt Screen Time function on the new iOS update can help you manage your time online.
10. They relax often
No matter the burdens you experience at work, you must set aside time to relax. You cannot expect your mind and body to continuously work, without taking the much-needed breaks and time off for relaxation.
The ability of down tools and leave your desk in order to clear your head is something that is promoted within startup culture, and this is one of the key factors in millennials preferring to work for startups instead of corporations.
11. They have a personal life
Successful people make time for a personal life. They don’t skip dinners, or make excuses for not attending important events. It is about finding the perfect work-life balance, and of course it won’t happen overnight. But when you find that ultimate balance, you’ll notice that work becomes that little bit more bearable.
12. They believe in delegation
Successful people take the ‘I’ out of everything and talk in general terms. They are neither control freaks nor micro-managers. Instead, they allow others to perform. Not only does this provide an opportunity for others to do well, but also it takes the work away from your plate too.
13. The use of essential tools
In order to manage your time better, there are a couple of tools available that may be used to enhance work productivity. Successful individuals make most of the tools accessible to them. EverNote makes to-do lists easier and you won’t have to worry about losing the list, as it is all digital. Others like Boomerang allow you to schedule your emails.
14. They eat well
Successful people eat well too. Their diets are extremely healthy and they tend to be picky about all that they consume. If you are to remain productive at work, junk food and untimely snacking will not help. It will only add a few extra pounds, so choose the food that boosts your brainpower and impact on work productivity.
Consume fresh fruit, fresh juices, almonds, and the like. If you have trouble controlling what you eat, a food diary can help. You will be more aware of what you’re putting in your body, and you’ll think twice before eating that second piece of cake.
15. They use the silent feature on their phones
Another fact on enhanced productivity is the silent feature of your smartphone and its major impact. Phones cause unnecessary distractions at work. Hence, make use of the silent feature, and leave your phone out of sight. This feature is there for a reason. Try it a couple of times and you will experience a noticeable change in your work productivity.
If you aspire to be as successful as some of the notable figures in the world, try a few of these productivity hacks for at least 21 days. You will see a major difference in your work habits and performance. You could even grow more successful than the people you look up to. Good luck!
I’ve co-founded 5 startups. Currently the CMO of a venture backed Ai company Valuer.ai. Published a few marketing e-books. Consulted on SEO/SEM for 3+ years in the Washington, DC area. Grew up in Washington, DC but have been living in Copenhagen, Denmark for the past 3 years. Mentor, startup junkie, technical marketer, and growth hacker.