Four Productivity Hacks to Transform Your Week
We all know that the fabulous high that accompanies being truly productive. It feels great to stay focused for hours at a time, completely dedicated to your project and accomplish meaningful goals.
Most of us also know that aimless sensation of spinning our wheels without getting anywhere and finishing a workday wondering if we should have just played hooky instead since we scarcely accomplished anything.
Enter the work of “hacks”. The phrase originates in computer hacking, but today we hack everything from exercise to diet to productivity.
Here are four potentially powerful hacks. Give these a try and if you get inspired, there are about a million more ideas online. So, go explore your options and supercharge your workday!
Break the Week into Thematic Days
If your job demands running multiple projects or pursing a variety of tasks, try assigning a different theme to each day. For example, Mondays to marketing and communications, Tuesdays and Thursdays to product development and improvement, Wednesdays to management, and Fridays to special projects. This kind of discipline can help you work proactively instead of reactively.
Utilize Functional To-Do Lists
A well-crafted list can improve focus and productivity while helping you think tasks through step by step. Here’s a tip, each item on the list should eb immediately doable. If that is not the case, think it through and add the prior elements required so that you list reflects the things you can tackle without obstacles.
Plenty of digital products can help with list making, such as Evernote, Google Tasks, or Apple Reminders. There are also pen and paper versions such as Bullet Journal. Explore the range of options, take a few for a test drive, modify your systems and behaviors, and find the right tool to stay on track.
According to McKinsey Global Institute, the average “interaction worker” (high skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals) spend about 28% of the work week dealing with email. (Are you thinking “Wow, I’m above average!”?)
One popular strategy is isolating emails to just two or three periods of the day. Including a message in your signature, or build an autoresponder, explaining that you check your email daily at 10AM and 4PM for example. You can include an invitation to call about urgent matters, if you like. Then stick to your program.
Try to create filters to automatically sort messages. One idea: create a filter for the word “unsubscribe”, if all those automated messages and subscriptions skip the inbox your clutter will go way down.
Be a Productive Commuter
If you use public transit, keep a running list of quick tasks that you can complete on the subway of waiting in line – why spend valuable desk time on these 2-5-minute tasks? Once all those tasks are done, browse an industry related website or digital magazine, or track your industry on LinkedIn. You can also take an online course to improve your skills.
Drivers should identify podcasts for professional or personal growth and listen to them while commuting. According to podcastinsights.com, there are over half a million active podcasts, including some which cater to every industry from manufacturing and graphic design to human resources and coding.