In the endless search for productivity we are looking to maximize every second of our limited time.
Emily Price the author of Productivity Hacks: 500+ Easy Ways to Accomplish More at Work – That Actually Work! A freelance journalist, Price explains the hacks she picked up from working in “a lot of difference offices,” interviewing CEOs, and just picking up suggestions along the way.
Stash your phone out of sight and hearing
When it’s within your view you’re more likely to pick it up and waste time on social media. Instead, as soon as you arrive at work, set your phone to silent and put it in a drawer, retrieving it only for lunch and during a morning and afternoon break.
Create a visual “chain” of consistency
Back when Jerry Seinfeld was a touring comic, he used a calendar system called “Don’t break the chain.” He marked each day on a calendar that he worked toward a goal. As you mark the days, you will not only track your progress but also appreciate the daily work you have put into your aspirations. After a while you’ll have a long “chain” of days where you’ve completed a specific task or taken another step toward your goals. The aim here is to not “break the chain” by missing days along the way.
Set ninety-day goals rather than yearly ones
Everything can change in a year. While many of us spend the beginning of the year creating goals for what we hope to accomplish by December 31, it’s better to set goals you’d like to finish by March 31 instead. Come April, you can evaluate how close you are to reaching those goals (if you haven’t reached them already) and revamp them — or create new goals—for continued success in the following three months. Even if you haven’t reached your original goal, you’re now on track to reach it in the next time frame.
Use your calendar for everything, not just specific appointments or meetings
If you use your calendar just for scheduling meetings, you can quickly run into a situation where you don’t have time to accomplish other tasks. Use your calendar to block off time for projects, just as if you were scheduling a meeting, so you have a clearer grasp of when you have time for new tasks or meetings.
Take a personal day (Take a vacation day to knock things off your personal to-do list)
If your personal to-do list starts to get out of hand, consider taking a day off from work to tackle it. The whole point of taking a vacation is cut down on stress. If your personal stress is starting to become too much to handle, then taking a vacation day to knock things off your to-do list can actually help you de-stress better than taking a day off to relax on the beach.