In a world of constant distractions and notifications, being productive seems like an impossible challenge. To help you save time and get more done, we put together our top five productivity hacks.
"To-do lists are a great way to keep track of outstanding tasks, but they can be poor motivators."
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with the time they have—rather than against it. Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks. These intervals are referred to as pomodoros. After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes.
Once this hack becomes a habit, your ability to focus during the duration of the timer is 10x better. That’s why this tactic is so powerful, it uses conditioning to put you in the zone instantly. Instead of feeling like you have endless time in the workday, you know you only have 25 minutes to make as much progress on a task as possible without experiencing burn out.
We recommend downloading a pomodoro timer to your phone if you’re planning to try this hack.
Write down your three most important tasks (MIT’s)
We’re all familiar with the never-ending to-do list—work tasks, personal tasks, general reminders, things we’d like to do, things we have no time to do, etc. Before the day even begins, it feels like we’re behind. But in reality, the key to being productive is to have a smaller to-do list by prioritizing your MIT’s.
An MIT is a work task that is important for you to complete. It should be a task that moves you forward on one of your big goals and should be something that takes less than an hour to complete.
The key is to write down your 3 MITs first thing in the morning, and then focus all your energy on completing your MITs before you complete other tasks, such as checking your email and texts. Try it out for a week and see how this hack impacts your productivity.
Set specific times to check emails
How many times per day do you check your email? Most don’t know a specific number, although they’d agree it’s more than they’d like to admit. While you might think that checking your emails before moving on to other tasks boosts your productivity, it's actually one of the worst ways to start your day. When you check your email too often, you are constantly being interrupted and switching your focus from one task to another.
Scheduling specific times to check email is much more efficient. Start by picking certain times throughout the day to check email, whenever it works best for you—but to keep this to around three to five times per day. You will thank yourself later!
Learn to say “no”
The ultimate productivity hack is simple: say no. This may be another counterintuitive approach to productivity, but starting with “no” means that you get to say “yes” to a whole host of other things that are your personal priorities.
When someone comes to you with a new project or need, start to think about whether this task is worth your time or if your effort should be focused on your other list of priorities.
Write down your tasks and to-do’s
To-do lists are a great way to keep track of outstanding tasks, but they can be poor motivators. While using the pomodoro technique and writing down your MIT’s helps to boost productivity, having the right tools can help too. The Get It Done Planner is the ultimate goal-setting and productivity planner chosen by professionals.
The Get It Done Planner is designed to make it easy for you to schedule your tasks and to-do’s. Having 3 most important tasks of the day allows you to focus on what needs to get done as soon as you sit down at your desk in the morning.
We know an annual planner can feel, well, a little daunting. That’s why the GID planner breaks things up into 90-day quarters, so it’s easier to plan, track, achieve your goals, and ultimately get things done.