Finding the motivation to jumpstart and sustain productivity throughout your workday is not always easy, especially if you’re a self-employed professional. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s the importance of self-discipline as we continue to adapt to the WFM (work-from-home) life. As entrepreneurs or busy professionals, it can often feel as though we’re frenetically trying to balance a million things at once. The truth is, doing as such will be neither practical nor sustainable. As we begin to feel overwhelmed and burnt out within our work lives, these feelings will begin to transcend into the other areas of our lives as well.
To help you ease the burden of everyday responsibilities, here are our top four life hacks that can help increase productivity.
1. Do the Most Important Task of Your Day First
You may have heard some variation of the Mark Twain saying, “Eat the live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you.” Here, the “live frog” refers to your most important or daunting task. Employing this concept into your workday or any other facet of your day can do wonders for your productivity. Rather than leaving that task you’ve been dreading for the end of the day (which often gets trickled into the end of the week), getting it done first thing in the morning will leave the rest of your day with unlimited potential. After all, if you can conquer that live frog, there’s nothing you can’t do.
2. Weekly Brain Dump
In a previous article, we talked about the concept of bullet-journaling, and more specifically, how writing things down can have numerous benefits on your mental state as a busy professional. Doing a weekly brain dump allows you to write down all the pressing and worrying thoughts circulating your mind, even if they are not work-related. In order for this method to positively affect your productivity, your brain dump should be separated into two categories: Things you can control and things you can’t. From here, schedule your controllables into tiny tasks for the upcoming week. Once you’ve done so, tear up the page with the uncontrollables to help release any mental tension.
3. The Two-Minute Rule
The two-minute rule was a productivity approach coined by time management consultant David Allen. It’s a simple and effective strategy that helps you determine the order in which your tasks should be completed. Basically, if you have a job that you know can be completed within two minutes or less, it should be prioritized first. By prioritizing your responsibilities based on how long they take, you can more easily organize and devote your time to tasks that require more effort.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
Some studies have shown that multitasking can significantly reduce your productivity by up to 40%. According to the study, multitasking is not actually an attainable state of being. In reality, it’s impossible for the brain to focus on all your tasks simultaneously. When we may think we’re multitasking, what we’re really doing is switching our focus between different tasks quickly. And the truth is that it takes your brain much longer to complete tasks this way than if you attempt to do each of them separately. Your brain is most productive when it is allowed to focus on one cognitive task at a time.