Life is honestly hard. It’s full of so many chores that have to be done and errands that need to be run. You can attest to the fact that most at times, most of these activities stand in the way of the stuff you actually want to do. If you’re feeling burnt out due to this, here are some productivity hacks that will make you better at actually getting stuff done:
1. Start Saying No
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to making good use of your time is forgetting how to say no. When trying to be more productive, many people take on too many tasks and responsibilities. The idea is that if you have more to do, you’ll get more done. Unfortunately, this often isn’t the case. Instead, spreading yourself thin can leave you feeling bogged down, and end up with you falling behind on the more important jobs. When someone asks you to do something, really consider whether you have the time to get it done along with your other, preexisting tasks. If not, don’t be afraid to decline.
2. Learn how to Ignore People
Try to be as isolated as possible when you’re working. If you can, turn off instant messengers and email notifications. Set your phone to silent or, if you’re comfortable, turn it off entirely. This will let you dedicate the bulk of your attention to the task at hand instead of having your mind pulled toward distractions.
If you’re too paranoid to go notification-free for long stretches of time, then schedule specific times to check your phone or email. That way you’re changing speeds on your own terms, instead of being taken out of a productive moment.
3. Start Eating the Frogs
When you’re looking at the tasks you have to do in a given day, figure out which tasks are the frogs. “Frogs” are jobs that you don’t want to do, but you absolutely have to. These can be anything from boring data-entry tasks to the phone calls you’re dreading. Once you’ve identified the frogs, put them at the top of your to-do list.
Eating your frogs first thing works well for a few reasons: First, it capitalizes on your early-morning energy, and second, it gets them out of the way. If you put them off until the end of the day, you have to spend hours dreading it and knowing it’s coming. This can sap your energy, and make you less productive until you cross it off. Doing these tasks early means you can get through the rest of the day without thinking about it.
4. Make very clear Goals
Big goals, small goals, wild and lofty goals: The important thing isn’t the size of your goals, but the specificity. Making very specific goals will motivate you to reach them.
A goal like, “Build up my savings account,” is too nebulous. How much are you building it up? Over what period of time?
Without more details, adding five dollars to your savings account qualifies as reaching the goal. Odds are good you meant something a little more substantial than that, so make a goal that reflects your real aspirations, like, “I want to have six months worth of pay saved by next year.”
5. Drink Water
Most people don’t drink enough water, so you don’t need to feel bad if you’re not as hydrated as you’d like to be. However, if you want to be more productive, now’s the time to start refilling that water bottle. People who are well hydrated have more focus, higher energy, and get better sleep. Try to get at least eight cups of water a day to give your brain a boost.
These are five simple tips you can start implementing today to get the most out of your work life. It may sound difficult to practice these at the start but the more efforts you put into it, the more productive you will become.