Running a business, a household with student athletes, and maintaining my personal peace requires both organization and productivity. Admittedly, I do not accomplish all my tasks and some days I must move dreaded duties to the following day. I am a master procrastinator on daunting tasks. However, when I have my tasks organized, I feel more in control and that gives me peace. I love a good hack so here are 7 productivity hacks from one busy person to another:
#1 – Get rid of distractions
Most people check their phone around 47 times a day, according to a study performed by Deloitte. It’s one of the most distracting items we can bring to our desks but there are ways to better navigate these devices.
- Block out three windows of time in your workday to check notifications. Consider setting a morning, lunchtime, and afternoon check-in during work hours.
- If you find yourself indulging in frivolous websites, download the Chrome extension Stay Focused to prevent mindless scrolling during your workday.
#2 – Snooze your notifications
If you are still attached to your device, despite the attempts to get rid of distractions, you can snooze your notifications. If you find yourself in Facebook or Insta on a consistent basis, snooze your notifications on those apps (or simply set the snooze feature on your phone and quiet ALL notifications) until your tasks are complete.
#3 – Create a to-do list
Reported in the Project.co 2021 Project Managements Survey, 95% of people feel that having a list of tasks each day is good for their mental health. So, what’s your stance on the infamous to-do list? Do you write yours or prefer a digital list? Either way, making and accomplishing that list will offer peace of mind.
When considering my list and the fact that I will procrastinate on tasks that feel overwhelming, I will move pesky items from day to day for only two days. When the items get to day three, I will not accomplish anything else before knocking them out.
#4 – Use a project management system
If you have more people on your team or simply want more polished project management software, try one of the many free options available online. These systems are helpful for managing contacts, projects, and assigning tasks to others.
Examples include Monday, Asana, Smart Sheet, Hubspot, and Project.com. The availability of complimentary memberships with these may vary.
#5 – Access the 2-minute rule
Author James Clear states in Atomic Habits that you should do a task now if you can accomplish it in two minutes or less. If you cannot get it done quickly, schedule the task on your calendar, set a timer, and get to work.
#6 – Unsubscribe to unwanted email
You may need some support with the hundreds (or thousands) of unopened emails sitting in your inbox right now. I know I do. So, use Unrollme.com or similar software to identify unwanted subscriptions and clean out your inbox.
#7 – Play productive music
Finally, I will share my all-time favorite productivity hack — listening to productive music while working. Since childhood, I used classical piano and symphonic music to cut out distractions. With hundreds of curated playlists available for free on YouTube, just press play and get to work.