Take a look at your to-do list for today. How many items have you crossed out so far? Do you even keep a list at all?
It’s funny how demanding life has become considering how advanced technology currently is. Maybe it’s because we can now accomplish so much that we are expected to do more. Or maybe people just find it harder to earn a living these days, so they have no choice but to take on more work. Well, it’s either that or it is all just because we are perpetually distracted by social media, games and everything else fun so we have little time left to do actual work.
No matter the reason, the bottom line is that we are not getting much done. But all that is about to change! Check out these easy productivity hacks—based on personal experiences, scientific studies and advice from people who seem to know what they’re doing—that you can do every day:
1. Make a list
No, it’s not supposed to be a nagging reminder of how hectic your day is. Instead, it’s something that can help you better manage your tasks. Highlight the ones you must do today. The rest can be pushed back a bit in case you end up spending more time on the highlighted items. Find comfort in knowing that you don’t have to finish everything today.
And don’t forget to cross out items you finish as soon as you do. A visual reminder of your progress can help keep you motivated throughout the day.
2. Get started
Just jump right in! It doesn’t matter what task you do first (even if most people will tell you to start with the most challenging ones). Taking the first step is the hardest part, so just start with whatever you want and get some momentum going. You should find it much easier to get things done once you’re already in motion.
3. Bite-size ’em
Huge complex tasks can be overwhelming. The good thing about them, however, is that they are usually composed of many sub-tasks. Use this to your advantage. Break down mammoth tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces so you can focus more and enjoy quick victories along the way. Imagine how much more fulfilling crossing sub-task after sub-task off your to-do list is than waiting a whole day, week or month to finish the whole thing.
4. Take a break (or two)
Let’s face it, people can only do so much without getting burned out. And trying to power through your to-do list even when your body and mind are explicitly calling for a timeout results in shoddy work or super slow progress. The solution? Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Get off your chair—which is better for your health in and of itself—and get movin’! The increased blood flow to your brain coupled with the time off should help you feel refreshed, focused and ready to get back to work in no time.
5. Get enough sleep
When you get enough sleep, you wake up energized, focused, and even more creative. That’s a scientific fact. And when you are energized, focused and creative, you get things done with ease.
But 10-minute power naps are good too according to this article from Forbes—just don’t use them as a replacement for a good night’s sleep.
There you have it! Give these five productivity hacks a shot and be on your way to becoming a master of getting things done.