In this post, we will discuss 7 productivity hacks that you could implement in your life today to become more efficient, more organized and that help you to get towards your goal faster. We all only have 24 hours in a day and how we use these hours is what determines our success in life.
Personally, I have my periods of struggle when it comes to keeping up my productivity and the hacks that I share below have worked really well for me. So let’s dive right in and I am looking forward to discussing your productivity hacks in the comments below!
#1 Become an Idea Machine
One of favorite business and self-improvement podcasters is James Altucher. James talks about various topics but is maybe most known for what he calls the idea machine, which in shorts means training your brain muscle to write down 10 ideas per day, every day.
Personally, I have implemented this trick myself in my life and I have noticed the positive effects that it has. It helps me to grow and develop my entrepreneurial mindset but also trains me to more open to new things and how I can further contribute value to other people’s life.
Becoming an idea machine does not mean that you should keep your ideas to yourself, the key is also in sharing those ideas with those around you. Helping other people is not only good for them but also helps you in the long run.
Becoming an idea machine maybe does not directly relates to productivity but for it was a game changer. My brain is more open to new ideas and solutions of problems that I deal with, I always have something to work on and helping others succeed gives me the energy to push forward.
#2 Up your Morning Routine
I never really used to be a morning person, I could barely wake up in the morning and I always had to rush out of the door. But as I was listening to Tim Ferriss’ podcast I noticed that he always keeps talking about morning routines with all his guests, most of all these guys had morning routines and seemed to benefit from it greatly.
The idea behind a morning routine is that you start the with focusing on yourself, in all peace and quietness. What works best for you depends on, some like to meditate, write their affirmations, workout or get some work done for their side project. The key here really is focusing on yourself, the rest of the day you have to listen to your colleagues, boss, clients, customers, family and everybody that wants something, the mornings are for you and about you.
I started with my own morning routine seven months ago and basically all my websites and everything I have done online, I build in the morning. As I do not generate a full income with my websites I still have to rely on some sort of a job, this is why my mornings are so important to get some work done.
This is what my mornings look like:
6 AM – Wake up and immediately get out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off.
6:05 AM – Start the day with a glass of water and a double shot of espresso.
6:07 AM – 7-minute workout routine
6:14 AM – Morning affirmations and goals of the day, I write this down in Evernote.
6:25 AM – Start working on my online businesses, I usually plan already ahead the day before so I know what I will be working on. I usually have morning playlist on from Spotify and another cup of coffee and a lot of water.
7:45 AM – Breakfast, I always focus on eating a good breakfast in the morning.
8 AM – Shower, shave, and fresh up. I like my shaves in the morning, I wet shave, it helps me to feel fresher and more energized during the day.
8:30 AM – Leave the house
This is the general morning routine that I have, I do the same routine in the weekend, although on Sunday I usually allow myself to wake up one hour later.
My personal experiences are that this shy of 1.5 hours in the morning that I work on my businesses are the best hours during my day. I get so much work done. It was hard to imagine before I started this, but I am happy that I do it.
If you are like me and have trouble waking up earlier I can share another tip with you. When I was still working in China I would usually wake up at 7:45 AM and for me waking up earlier seemed impossible. I gradually started with waking up earlier every week. So the first week I would wake up 10 minutes earlier, the second week another 10 minutes, this made it easier for myself to adjust.
For me this morning routine works now with the time I mostly have to leave the house, the time I go to bed the day before and the hours of sleep I get. I have noticed that this balance is very important. I need at least seven hours of sleep, which means that I have to be in bed before 11 PM. Make sure that you balance all these aspects when determining what works best for you.
#3 Plan Your Day Ahead with Goals
In my morning routine, I mentioned that I plan my day ahead, I found this to be vital to a more successful and productive day. The key is to set goals of what you want to accomplish the next days, these goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Related).
Aside from setting goals, I also want to focus on the minimum viable results I can accept for a specific day. Not everything always goes the way you plan and to prevent yourself from being stressed and unhappy, you could set one specific task you wish to complete that day.
Ultimately you want to keep track of how far you are from accomplishing your goals and separate goals from daily tasks, mid-term projects, long-term goals and minimum viable daily results. If you are running a blog as an online business this could look something like this:
Minimum Viable Result: Finish article that I am working on and publish.
Daily Tasks: Article writing, maintenance of your website(s), interact on social media, work on mid-term and long-term projects.
Mid-term projects: Write drafts of new articles, research your niche, connect to other influencers, build a different channel.
Long-term projects: Prepare the launch of a physical product or service, a new website or another type of new project.
Setting clear goals for yourself is a good way to keep yourself motivated and keep track of what you are moving towards. Don’t set goals you won’t be able to reach but make sure to push yourself to always develop and grow your business.
#4 Celebrate Small Victories
There is nothing wrong with sometimes taking the time to celebrate a small victory. Maybe it is your first sale, or first affiliate commission that has been paid out, or maybe you reach a traffic goal. Reflect on what you have accomplished and from where you came, use this positive energy to move forward.
When I got my first 100 page views in a day I was stoked, I realised that some people actually care about what I have to say and that feels great. Small victories are a great time to reflect what the components were that contributed to your win, use these to your advantage in the future.
#5 Batch Activities and Tasks
Batching activities and tasks are strongly related to focus, focus is essential of running a business. This goes for a lot of different things and I have had my own fair amount of struggles with this topic. I have learned that batching activities help you to have clearer focus, which ultimately leads to better results.
Let’s use and example to underscore the importance of batching activities.
Likely you will receive a lot of emails during the day, now you can either: 1) check and follow up on these emails as your receive them, or you can 2) schedule a time during the day to handle all your email at once.
Imagine you go for option 1, now every time you receive an email you are distracted from what you were doing. Say you were writing an article and you received an email, your brain needs to shift from writing an article to processing and answering an email, later, you need to shift back to writing an article again. That does not sound efficient.
Now option 2 would allow you to fully focus on writing that article without having the device attention to other tasks. Once you are in writing mode and fully focussed, you will feel that writing is easier and you would be able to use your time better.
This method can be applied to other aspects of your business as well, you could have an hour that is dedicated to social media and ONLY social media, you can have your email hour or even your website maintenance hour. Batching these activities will allow you to give it all your attention and that will only benefit your business.
I take this one step further, I also batch my personal time. If I am spending time together with Teresa, I am not focussing on my website, my phone or anything else that would take my attention away.
Doing two things at the same time is a waste of time because you are likely to be doing neither things well.
#6 Don’t Clutter Your Brain
You know that feeling, you are lying in bed trying to fall asleep, but thoughts keep going through your head. Maybe you worried about something, maybe you have too many ideas that you are excited about or maybe you are still processing the day. This happens to all of us. I am no stranger to not being able to fall asleep for various, sometimes random reasons.
Now planning ahead already helps to deal with a lot of these thoughts as you will become more organized in general. Besides planning, I found that keeping a journal really helps with decluttering your brain. Before I go to bed I write a journal with random thoughts, I feel if I sort off ‘write them off’ I sleep better.
You can use a paper journal, Word or any note taking app on your laptop.
#7 Get Enough Sleep
This sounds like a cliche but is very true nonetheless. Sleep is vital for a healthy body and mind and ensure that you get enough sleep during the night. You can’t be on top of your game during the day when you are tired.
Now some of us need more sleep than others, but try to get at least seven hours of sleep during the night. If you have used the hacks I shared above you will have less trouble sleeping and more importantly, the quality of your sleep will also improve tremendously.
So there you have it, my seven hacks to boost your productivity and become more organized and efficient during the day. Some things are hard to incorporate in your life at first, but sticking to something long enough will result in certain things becoming a habit. Ditch bad habits and focus on getting positive habits in your life.
Now I realize that 7 hacks to boost productivity are merely the tip of the iceberg so to speak, let me know what works for you below! Thanks for being awesome and good luck with supercharging your day!