15 Powerful Productivity Hacks to Do More in Less Time

There always seems to be that person you know who is so well organized. He seems like a magician to you.

Yet, by studying their productivity hacks or habits, you can become productive too.

Here are 15 productivity hacks that will enable you to become more productive and do more in less time.

1. Write down your plan

It is always good to write down your plans and goals on paper or in a digital note.

Writing down the goals will help you to keep a track of your tasks.

It also acts as a metric to measure your progress.

Without a written plan, your day will drift away without any concrete achievement.

It will take away all the guesswork and cut all time-wasters from your activities.

2. Set small goals 

Somebody said to his friend that he was hungry enough to eat an elephant. When the friend asked him how he was going to eat the elephant, he said ” Bite by bite”.

The secret to tackling bigger goals is to break them down into smaller, achievable goals.

Doing that will take away the overwhelm from accomplishing your tasks.

Breaking down bigger goals into smaller ones makes it look easy and attainable.

This is a simple but very effective way to achieve larger tasks.

3. Get better at saying “no”

Another major mindset change that will help you to become more productive is to learn the art of saying “No”

You don’t have to say yes to every task that comes your way. You also have to learn to say no to people who are time wasters.

Sometimes, you will have to say no to well-meaning people too if you are busy with your work.

You must develop the habit of setting aside time daily to finish your daily tasks. Block out the time and don’t let distractions encroach upon your time.

Learn to set the right priorities.

4. Stop trying to multitask

Several people recommend multitasking to get the job done fast.

While this may work in the short run, it will be counterproductive in the long run.

It will make you more productive if you focus on one thing at a time.

This will enable you to focus your energy on one task and do it well.

Multitasking spreads you out too thin and we know that you can end up being the jack of all trades and master of none.

It pays to not be the jack of all trades and master of one.

5. Start the hardest task first

Another great secret productivity hack is to start the hardest task first.

The energy levels are high when you begin a task and so you can capitalize on that and start the toughest task first.

Accomplishing one task will boost your confidence and make it easy to finish other jobs.

What you do at the beginning of the day will set the tempo for the day.

This method is highly recommended by productivity expert Brian Tracy in his book called Eat That Frog.

Some people suggest starting with the easier jobs first as it builds up momentum.

You have the liberty to experiment with both the methods and see which one works better for you.

There are no hard and fast rules, do what works best for you.

6. Determine when you are most productive

All of us have our daily ebbs and flows with our energy levels.

It will serve you well to study your own energy levels and plan your daily tasks when your energy is at the best level.

Plan to finish your toughest jobs when your energy levels are high.

Usually, mornings are when your energy levels are the highest.

So make your plans accordingly to get the job done.

7. Cut interruptions (Great Productivity Hack)

One productivity hack that will help you is to keep distractions away when you are working.
 
At least keep interruptions at the smallest as far as possible.
 
Keep the phone in silent mode and don’t allow other tasks to distract you.
 
They say that when you allow distractions, it takes about 23 minutes to get back in the flow of things again.
 
So every time you allow distractions, it will cost you another 30 minutes to restart your work.
 
You can avoid this. Turn off your phone notifications or turn them off completely.
 
Avoid any social media interruptions and even physical interruptions.
 
Let people – even family members -know when you are not available.
 
This will maintain the flow of work and the train of your thoughts.

8. Set time limits

Every goal should be time-bound or it will take forever to achieve it.
 
Each goal or task should have a start date and an end date.
 
This will assist you to know what pace is to maintain to finish the task.

9. Set goals on a daily basis

Set goals daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly.

Setting daily goals will take you with ease towards your goals.

Goals should be SMART.

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Smart goals will clarify all the aspects of the task.

They will not only make the journey easier but also set a clear path towards its accomplishment.

10. Let go of perfectionism

Done is better than perfect.

You will never do anything perfectly. There will always be a flaw somewhere.

Perfectionism often leads to procrastination.

Do things to the best of your ability and leave the rest.

It will surprise you how much you can accomplish in a day when you do this.

Your speed of accomplishment will also increase.

11. Be careful to take time for self-care

Always schedule in time for your own personal care.
 
Make sure that you have enough sleep.
 
You must have some time daily only for yourself where you relax and reflect and recoup your inner energy.
 
You can’t take care of other’s needs if your own needs are unmet.
 
You cannot be productive if you work from a place of exhaustion.
 
Guard your ME time always. It is necessary to become productive.

12. Know the ‘why’ behind your goals

Try to understand why you are doing anything in the first place.
 
When you understand why you are doing what you are doing, you will get a spring in your step.
 
It may be that you are working hard to make a supplementary income to support your family.
 
When you know that your work is putting food on the table, it will motivate you in a powerful way to keep working.
 
It may be that you are helping other people with their careers or jobs. This will inspire you to help as many as you possibly can with your work.
 
It takes away the boredom when you understand that your work is building someone’s life in a small way.
 
This is a little psychological productivity hack for you.

13. Take time to sharpen the ax

According to this productivity hack, you must take time to sharpen your skills. Time taken thus is not time wasted but time invested.
 
It refers to the story of two woodcutters who spent the same amount of time in the woods cutting wood.
 
At the end of the day, one woodcutter had cut more wood than the other one. The one who cut more wood had taken regular breaks to sharpen the ax.
 
As a result of this, he was able to cut more wood than the other fellow.
 
The inference is that if you sharpen your skills, you will be able to do more and be more productive.

14. Use the 80-20 rule

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto discovered this rule. It states that of all the work we do, 80% of the results will come from the 20% efforts that we put in.
 
The challenge is to identify the 20% productive work and cut the 80 % unproductive efforts.
 
This will cut unproductive work and time wastage in a massive way.

15. Motivation comes after work

According to this productivity hack, you must start your work whether you feel motivated or not.

After you start work, you will find the motivation soon.

One famous writer was asked the secret of his motivation to write consistently.
 
He said the secret was very simple- He went to his desk every day and started writing whether he felt like it or not.
 
The motivation to write would come later on while he was still writing.
 
That’s one secret productive hack. There is no need to wait for motivation. Start your work and motivation will come by itself.
 
And if it doesn’t come, do the work anyway.

Conclusion

These are 15 productivity hacks that you can incorporate into your daily work to get the best results.

These hacks will save you time and energy. They will make you more efficient and well organized in your work.

If you want to learn more about such productivity hacks, please read this comprehensive guide by James Clear, an authority on habits.