You have every intention of being productive, but suddenly, you find yourself back to square one, scrambling to get everything finished. You’re stressed, frazzled, and overwhelmed, which does nothing to help you stay on task.
Get back on track with these 10 productivity hacks.
1. Banish Notifications
When your phone chimes with yet another email landing in your inbox waiting for your attention, you can’t help but get distracted. These small, frequent distractions steal away your valuable productivity time and leave you feeling more frazzled than effective. Put a stop to the notifications and check in when you’re in between tasks instead.
2. Track Your Fitness
It sounds surprising, but tracking your fitness can improve your productivity. Wearable technology puts a constant focus on your activity – so much so that it becomes a game to try to get more steps, activity, or sleep. You’ll also get real-time information about your physical health compared to your productivity.
3. Keep a Water Bottle on Your Desk
Another way to keep your blood pumping throughout the day? Drink more water. It’s easy to forget to get the recommended daily water intake, but with a water bottle at your desk, you have a constant reminder to take a sip.
4. Learn to Say No
Overwhelmed? You’re probably agreeing to more than you should. Don’t be afraid to say no in your private and professional life.
5. Use Your Drive Time Wisely
Your commute is a perfect time to get caught up on the latest industry news or with quick phone calls to clients. Schedule meetings during your drive to or from work. Or, listen to podcasts to get caught up on the latest happenings in your field.
6. Schedule Some Free Time
You don’t have to book yourself solid. In fact, scheduling in free time will give you the breathing room you need to take a focus break and restore your energy.
Do you ever forget to eat breakfast? Is lunchtime spent at your desk behind a computer screen? Schedule in your meal times and force yourself to chow down. You need the nutrition if you want to stay productive.
8. Finish in Two
Can you finish a task in two minutes? Do it. Do it immediately. Putting off tasks that take a short amount of time only piles onto your to-do list and makes you feel more overwhelmed. You become more focused on what’s waiting for you than on the project in front of you.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is add to your to-do list. But a productivity journal can actually ease your feelings of overwhelm. Before you leave your office each day, jot down notes about what you accomplished. Write what’s working and what isn’t. Over time, you’ll gain more self-awareness to help you do more of what works for you.
10. Make a Game Plan
Before you close up shop for the day, write down three must-do’s for the following workday. When you arrive at the office the next day, you’ll have an immediate reminder to focus your activity for the day. It’s effective and it helps you start your day off right.
What is your favorite productivity hack? Tell us in the comments below.
Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.