Follow these Productivity Hacks to Achieve Results at the End of the Day
Time is gold, so the saying goes.
You have probably read hundreds of expert advises on how to become more efficient and stay productive all day. But if you are still struggling to get more things done, then those advises are obviously didn’t work in your case. However, the most effective tricks that work for a lot of people in terms of achieving higher level of efficiency and productivity are these: sticking to a routine that works for you, and following and maintaining a healthy & balanced lifestyle.
Here are some productivity hacks that we found effective for many students and young professionals:
Establish a routine
Our daily routines can make a big impact on how our day starts and ends so it is important to establish a routine that optimises our time in school or at work, and maintain productivity all day. Be smart to create a plan or a to-do-list the night before, and make sure it will work for you. Better yet, create a weekly calendar where you can write down and schedule all important activities that you need to do or accomplish — whether personal, work, or social activities — and religiously stick to your schedule!
Set realistic goals
Setting unrealistic goals sets you up for failure. So make sure you don’t fall into the trap of expecting too much by setting goals that are in no way attainable.
Effective goal-setting means clearly defining specific goals and setting short-term milestones that will help you stay on track, and will make your long term goal much more manageable and attainable. So before you start your work day. put the most essential tasks at the beginning, focus on achieving smaller goals, and stick to your schedule as much as possible.
Don’t skip breakfast
Needless to say, a good breakfast is indeed the most important meal because it fuels you up and gets you ready for the day. Eating the right foods in the morning gives you the energy and endurance that you need to get through a busy day, and help you concentrate and perform better whether in the classroom or in the office. So choose the right foods, eat well and do not skip it!
Eat energy-boosting foods in the morning like whole grain, nuts, yogurt, fruits, dark leafy vegetables and dark chocolates. Also eat natural brain booster like eggs, meat and fish as well as dairy, nuts and vegetables.
Exercise in the morning
One of the most important morning routine that productive people incorporate into their morning routine to optimize their time and maintain productivity all day long is a 7-10 minute exercise.
Morning exercise, whether it is just a 10 minute walk in the neighborhood, a 5 minute yoga pose, or just simple stretching, helps shake off sluggishness from the night before, and energizes and conditions your body for a day-long activities.
It also promotes good health and improves your mood for up to 12 hours following your workout.
Keep yourself hydrated
Being well-hydrated increases your body’s power to work to its full capacity and also helps your brain work better and helps your concentration. A lack of water shrinks brain tissue which makes it harder to think. By drinking enough water every day, people see a 14 percent increase in productivity at work and at home. Mayo Clinic advises adult males to drink 13 glasses of water and females to drink 9 glasses of water for optimal productivity every day.
In this hi-tech age where it is so easy to be swept away by a lot of interruptions in the form of social media, internet, TV, cellphones, emails, etc., getting things done on time becomes a problem. These distractions seem to sabotage our productivity, break our concentration and cause us stress.
Set specific times (and make it short) for each small task or activities like checking emails, answering phone calls, texting, using social media, watching TV or even chatting to friends when it is not the right time to do so. You can choose not to open your mailbox yet as soon as you wake up, for example, because as soon as you start replying to your emails and answering phone calls, you will be surprise at how much time elapsed and before you know it, you don’t have much time to accomplish the more important/ urgent things.
Limiting yourself to checking and responding to emails at set times during the day will save you a lot of time and energy. Batching your phone calls or purposefully setting aside a definite time to speak to your colleagues or clients will also not just save you time, but it will also make your calls more focused, uninterrupted and productive. With fewer distractions you can focus on what really matters and breeze through your most important or most urgent task.
Clean up your desk
Clutters affect your brain’s ability to concentrate and process information. The physical clutter in your surroundings like a messy desk, disorganised cabinets, used clothes hanging around, etc. they all compete for your attention, resulting to being distracted, inability to concentrate, decreased performance and increased stress.
So to stay focused and productive, start cleaning up your study table or work desk. Throw away the things that are useless, keep away the things that are not in use like the books that you are not reading at the moment, put pens and note pads in the right place, and leave only the things that you always use on your desk.
Take a break
Working for long hours is not equal to good work. Devising individually effective break routines promotes efficiency and productivity more than sitting behind your desk for a straight 8 hours without intermissions because our brain and its thought processes are not designed to be continuous.
Frequent breaks, say taking a 5 minute breaks every 30 minutes can help you recharge and avoid mental exhaustion. Blocking out two planned, 15-minute breaks in your day, say coffee break in the morning before lunch and an afternoon tea break at around 3 p.m., or any time during the least productive time of your day, will help you maintain mental acuity and productivity level.
Get a good night sleep
Many of us already know this – – – more sleep is good for our bodies and boost our brain functions. So if you want to wake up fully-recharged and to be productive all day long, you need to make sure you get adequate and quality sleep.
Insufficient sleep or interrupted sleep have negative consequences for how we function in the daytime. People who don’t get enough sleep often feel sleepy, sluggish and fatigued during the day, thus, affecting their performance and productivity. Teenagers and adults need about 8-9 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep to be able to function at their best during the day. So when the clock strikes 9pm, get ready to jump into bed and grab the opportunity to relax and get quality sleep.
Find out what will work for you
Since people possess different study or work styles, what may have worked for the majority may not be applicable for the others. So don’t be afraid to try to find a routine that you think will work best for you. Take small steps and determine what makes your life easier. As soon as you discover an effective routine that will allow you to accomplish more in less time, you will get more of that irreplaceable and important resource — more time.