14 Productive Hacks to Get Things Done at Work 1 269

  • Productivity is the result of intelligent planning – not working extra hours every day. And we know that there will simply never be enough hours in the day. So, we've curated a list of clever productivity hacks to help you along.
  • One other:  Top 10 Easy Shortcuts to Boost Your Productivity
14 Productive Hacks to Get Things Done at Work

Productivity is the result of intelligent planning – not working extra hours every day.   The following productivity hacks can help you feel more in control of your workload.

  1. Isolate Yourself from Distractions

It is estimated that about 60 hours of work is wasted each month because of distractions. It also takes us about 25 minutes to get back on the job when we are distracted.

Remove all distractions from the work area. Things like news, games, and all other things that will hinder your productivity.

  1. Prioritize the Top 3 Things First

“Success is the sum of small efforts done day-in-day-out”

– Robert Collier

Write down the top 3 things that you have to do for the day. Be as clear and as specific as you can when writing them. Then do those 3 things first.

  1. Drink Lots of Water

The human brain is made up of 75% water.

Proper hydration is necessary if we want to function properly. Drinking the right amount of water gives us more energy, flushes out toxins, and it helps improve our work performance.

  1. Have Short Meetings

Your meetings should be short with a maximum length of 30 minutes.

Research says that the human mind has this ‘cognitive backlog’. This ‘cognitive backlog’ simply means that that the more information our brain acquires the harder it is to process new information. Long meetings provide lots of information which people tend to forget.

Have short meetings and have every member prepare what they’re going to say beforehand. Meetings should be where people decide on a course of action, they’re not supposed to brainstorm ideas on the spot.

  1. Use the Pomodoro Technique

What is the Pomodoro technique? This technique is all about breaking down your work into short 25 minute Pomodoro blocks. In between each block you give yourself a 5 to 10-minute break. After completing 3 to 4 Pomodoro blocks, give yourself a 30-minute break.

This short bursts of work and breaks will ensure that you are productive throughout the day.

  1. Group Similar Tasks Together

You’re doing paperwork for one hour and at the next hour, you’re doing interviews. This greatly reduces your productivity.

Doing similar tasks, on the other hand, improves neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is simply the ability of the brain to get stronger and better at tasks that it does over time. So you’re actually building a momentum of productivity when you’re doing similar tasks for a long period of time. Try it sometime.

  1. Music Boosts Productivity

Teresa Lesiuk from the University of Windsor, Canada has found out that the lack of music in the workplace impairs the quality of the work being done. It was discovered that work took far longer to finish without music.

Lesiuk also found out that listening to background music while doing repetitive tasks helps improves our mood and our focus. Mood and focus being a factor that determines how productive an individual is.

Why not listen to your favorite beat and tune to get the job done. If you can’t listen to music in your workplace, then try humming to yourself.

  1. Just Say No

Don’t be a “Yes Man”. It’s good to help others, lend people cash, or help your fellow coworkers. Just don’t say “yes” to things that will greatly affect the quality of your work. If your boss gives you extra work over the weekend without extra pay, then you gotta say “no”, since working on the weekends can affect your work performance.

Learn to say no because you are not a doormat to step on. Don’t sacrifice your work for the sake of others.

  1. Use Ad Blockers and Site Blockers

Don’t you find it irritating when ad continuously pop up during work? You have to turn close them one by one. Only to find out that minutes later, another ad has popped up!

This is probably one of the most irritating things that you could ever experience at work.

There are studies that show that these sites can disrupt the work of even the best multi-taskers in the world. If they get distracted by it what can a normal office worker do?

You should also avoid sites that take up a lot of your time like Facebook, game sites, news sites, and other sites that you visit often.

  1. Believe in what Elon Musk Says

We all know who Elon Musk is. He’s the man who wants to go to Mars, and he’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it in his lifetime.

Whoever you are, wherever you from, or whatever you’re doing. I recommend that you listen to what Elon Musk says on business, productivity, and all things concerning life.

He’s a man with a net worth of over 15 billion US dollars, he’s a big influence on today’s space exploration efforts. And he’s a man on a mission.

Elon Musk Believes that “If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it.”

This touches us to something that we should all remember. If we want something badly then we should do everything it takes to get. If you want to succeed in work and in life, then you should make an effort to succeed.

No productivity hacks or workplace tricks can contend with the sheer willpower needed to succeed.

South Australia

A post shared by Elon Musk (@elonmusk) on

  1. Start the Day with Something Small or with Something Tough

You should always prioritize the most important things first. If your report is a day late, then prioritize in finishing it today.

If you don’t like to start big, then you can do the easier tasks first. You can build confidence and momentum that way. And then you’ll eventually be able to do the big tasks.

  1. Follow the Two Minute Rule

What is this two-minute rule?

Well, it’s very simple, if you can do something within a few minutes, then you should do it right away. Because if you don’t, then you’re work pile will continue to pile up and up and up and up.

  1. Don’t even think about procrastinating

The biggest hindrance to productivity is procrastination. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do for today.

Do your job and don’t even think about procrastinating.

  1. Just Do It!

Do you know what Nike’s motto is? That’s right, “Just do it”

Don’t overthink things and just do your job.

Also, check out these 21 productivity apps.

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Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace 0 303

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Honesty is the best policy is an old but well-known proverb. It certainly is and a lot of people believe it. People will always appreciate the honesty of another.

However, the truth is uncomfortable to talk about, especially when you’re in an office set up. Business relationships are always built in a way where you need to put on a false persona. You need to save face and most of the time you have to hide who you really are.

Many professionals have to put up with this because authenticity in the workplace is something that can’t be easily achieved. No matter what your background is, the cold and honest (ironic huh?) truth remains that you have to hide your real persona.

Being authentic at work might trigger other people. You will be the target of envy, of scorn, and you will be an outcast.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

What now?

So what does freedom in work actually mean? Does it mean having a pantry filled with things that you can eat at your own leisure? Does it mean having a dress code that allows you to come into the office while your favorite hoodie and sweatpants?

This is true for some people but to many others, it means being able to bring out who they truly are without having to fear to be an outcast. It means that’s they can simply be themselves. The question now presents itself, how do we achieve this for everyone?

We are all made up of layers

In this age, if you don’t act like other people or do what other people do, then you are already a target for scorn. Your unique perspective and actions aren’t really accepted by corporations and businesses.

People who come from the LGBTQ+ community or married individuals who choose not to have children may find that even the simplest of questions could open up a hazardous path leading to awkward office conversations. These people may be forced to answer a question that they don’t want to answer.

Questions like “when do you plan on having kids?” or “are you really gay?” are inquiries that people who fall under the spectrum of being ‘different’ have to deal with every day.  And honestly, it can get very tiring after a while.

Even if you aren’t technically hiding your sexual orientation, people will always still want you to magically conform to the norms of society. They may be thinking that asking questions like this might magically make you change your mind on whatever you’ve already set your heart on. To be honest, this never works.

The Global Head of Culture & Inclusion at Twilio, LaFawn Davis says that “We are all intersectional, meaning all have layers with which we identify. There can also be negative and long-term impact on intersectional technologists from expending the energy to determine whether or not all their layers will be welcomed or excluded”

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

The Pressure to Cover

In day to day office conversations, a non-conforming person may find themselves straining their minds. They are always burdened because they are always trying to think of ways to communicate with other co-workers without offending any of them.

An example of this would be, someone who does not have any interest in the importance of marriage or relationships in general. This person would have to find a way to explain that they are not interested in other people without offending the inquirer. In some cases, the non-conformist will have to evade the question altogether.

In tow with evading a conversation, individuals who find themselves in this type of situation commonly resort to talking about another co-worker. Not from ill intent, but from the perspective that this would be the only way to change the topic.

Of course, this is easier said than done. For the non-conformist, it would be hardly able to shake off the innate feeling of wanting to be different. One could not simply toss aside the feeling of being authentic. But, to talk about taboo things in the office would only lead to more complications.

Research shows that the act of ‘covering’, or the act of someone downplaying their differences from the norm actually affects the workforce badly. 3000 employees in over 20 large US firms had a turnout of 61% of employees that had faced implicit pressure to cover up their true selves in some way. While 50% of employees said that the pressure had disappeared because of their commitment to the company.

However, this practice still has a negative effect on people. This practice hinders the performance of the workers, and it could drain the individual in the process. Covering is also seen as a leading cause of attrition, with over 1000 casualties in companies.

Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace
Why Authenticity is Rarely Seen in the Workplace

Lead with Empathy

The best solution to this persistent problem is to develop safer and friendlier environments for people who fall under the spectrum of ‘non-conforming’. Leading with empathy includes implementing inclusive values, such as respecting an individual’s preferred pronouns.

To an employee, the people with the most influence are their supervisors. Once their team managers make them feel like their needs are acknowledged and that they’ve established that they are in a safe zone, then these individuals will feel less of an outcast and less likely to leave the company. Authentic concern for employees always produces good results, whether or not they are classified into the minority.

Supervisors must also strive to lead by example. Once someone from a higher position starts setting a new norm, their subordinates will start picking up on the habit. If everyone in the company starts being their true to themselves without having to hide behind a mask, then the company can slowly become a safe and conducive environment.

Being ‘authentic’ in this world is a hard feat to accomplish, but staying open and humble in a conversation helps in trying to make authenticity become the new norm. There is no single answer to the existing problem but if leaders lead with bravery and trust, they are sure to herd the industry into the right path.

How to Create a Culture of Collaboration.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours 0 243

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

The modern worker is no stranger to working after hours. While your job offer did not explicitly say that you would be working a few hours after 5 pm, you might be needed to work extra hours because of deadlines and changes in schedule. In fact, it’s even a norm now. Not a lot of people can escape from this trend. And if you were asked to work extra hours, then you might as well enjoy it right?

Picture this. It’s finally time to go home, but then your boss calls you about a project that you need to finish ASAP. It’s a bummer, however, it’s a situation that we are powerless to stop. Working overtime doesn’t mean working uncomfortably though. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your late night a bit more pleasant.

Go Home if You Can

If you’re able to bring your documents or project files home, then, by all means, do it. A lot of work doesn’t mean that you will have to stay and do it all at once inside the office. A change of scenery and of ambiance will dramatically boost your productivity. Staying in the same place for a long period of time will bore you and it will eventually wear you down.

Your work will feel less of a burden as you find yourself in the comfort of your own home. Relax and leave your professional persona without having to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder, have some dinner or snacks, dress up comfortably and finish up what you need to do.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Get Comfortable

If your office comes equipped with lockers or if you have your own permanent workstation, then it would be a good idea to change into a set of comfortable clothes. It’s extremely useful for times that you need to burn that midnight oil.

Being in the office after hours means that there are fewer people to see what you’re doing. This also means that there are no supervisors to tell you what to do. It’s time to loosen your tie and make yourself at home. You can even take off your shoes and put your feet on the desk.

Take a Break and Eat Something

Can’t leave the office and go back home for a good meal? Give yourself a break and look for ways to eat out or eat in (whatever you prefer). There’s no use in working on an empty stomach. See if you can get food delivered to your building, or if there is anything in the office pantry that you can munch on.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Feeling a little drowsy? Go get a cup of coffee to improve your condition.

If dinner is out of the picture, remember that you can snack on other things until you get home. Get some nuts, or some candy, to help wake you up and keep your focus.

Know Your Limits

Working after hours is challenging as it is, but if you feel like you won’t be able to do anything productive, then learn to stop and call it a day.

If you’re tired and worn out, then stop. You’re just putting your work to waste. You’ll probably be called out on it and you’ll have to do your work all over again. If staying up late is not your forte, why not just call it a day? Wake up earlier the next day and finish everything you haven’t. Your work will produce better results this way.

Start With the Most Urgent and Most Challenging Things

After getting your game face on, organize and execute your tasks based on priority and difficulty. Confirm which ones you will need to present tomorrow morning and which ones you need to do right away.

The next thing that you have to do is to start on the tasks that require your full brainpower to execute. You may not be able to finish the whole task tonight, but having a head start will help you finish things easier. A solid foundation is a key to finishing any task without difficulty.

How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours
How to Actually Enjoy Working After Hours

Plan Before You Get Started

Starting without a plan is like going on a trip without a map or a navigation app. failing to plan is planning to fail you know.

You’ll soon find yourself getting lost in a sea of things to do. Make a list of things that you need to do before setting out to finish them.

You may discover things that you won’t be able to do without a co-worker’s cooperation. Before business hours end, remember to make a list of things you need from other people so that you can do your work effectively. This will ensure a smooth sailing operation for both you and your colleague.

Set Yourself Up for the Next Day

Tonight isn’t the only night you’ll be working in the office. Remember that you need to come back the next day to start on your other tasks (or tasks that you didn’t finish tonight). Make a list of everything you need to have.

If you did your extra work at home, then spend time preparing for the things that you the next day.

Treat Yourself

All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy. Are you finally done with your tasks? Are you ready to go home? Awesome!

Your efforts to finish the task deserve a reward. No matter how small the reward, you’ll still get a good confidence boost. Take some time to treat yourself.

Let your mind and body unwind with a good bath, indulge in a snack, or if you feel too tired to do anything, then go to sleep. Sleep is the best reward that you can give your body.

Conclusion

Working late to accomplish tasks isn’t an easy or fun thing to do, but it’ll be a little bit more bearable if you know how to handle it effectively. Hopefully, late night jobs don’t happen to you frequently. Remember to take care of yourself and recognize when enough is enough.

You can do it!

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