14 productivity hacks you can use instantly

We've listed 14 hacks that will boost your efficiency and help you survive through the school term and workdays. Please enjoy and share the knowledge!

1. Avoid looking at your phone first thing in the morning

You may not realize it, but you might have a habit of looking at your phone first thing in the morning. You need to take control back and become independent from your phone. Wake up, wash your face, brush your teeth, and have breakfast. Get house chores out of the way. Have a morning routine of your own that does not involve social media. After that, you can dive back into your phone.

Whatever is going on in your phone is waiting for you, and it won't go anywhere. It will make no difference whether you read it right away or in an hour from now.

2. Take a moment and plan your day ahead

Before you go out to seize the day, plan how you are going to do it. Avoid aimlessly wandering through your waking hours. Make sure you know what you are going to do and execute that plan. This doesn’t mean it should be overly rigid. Plans can change, but for the most part, stick to it.

3. Don’t do two things with half the effort, choose one and give it all you’ve got

Don’t try to "multitask" — which is another word for putting half the effort into multiple things and achieving nothing. Instead, focus on one thing, get it done, and move onto the next one. That alone is an insane productivity boost.

4. Keep an agenda

The best way to keep track of everything you have to do is to have it written down. A simple notepad can help you follow your tasks properly and without fail. You can also write them down and give them a priority level. That way, you’ll know what you have to do without a doubt and what you can do tomorrow if you don't have enough time.

5. Two-minutes? Might as well get it done

When you are writing down everything you have to do for the day, avoid mentioning anything that’ll take you less than two minutes. Instead, do it here and now.

For example, taking out the trash. There’s no need to wait until you are back from work, tired and willing to put it off until tomorrow. By doing the little tasks, you are warming up for the bigger challenges of the day.

6. Design templates to make everything easier

A template is a canned response you have, something you can create from experience. For example, if something gets frequently asked, you can use canned responses to deal with this issue. If you have to talk to your supervisor on Mondays, get spreadsheets ready to go and fill it in with the details later on.

Repetitive tasks will be repetitive either way, but you can deal with them faster if you make use of your experience.

7. Headphones on, all the time

Music or no music, you should wear headphones when you are alone at the office. It’s a two-way street that'll make you productive no matter what. First of all, if you are wearing headphones, other people will know not to bother you. Secondly, if you do it enough times before you get to work, your mind will understand this as a time-to-work signal and will adapt to it.

But don't think listening to music is completely necessary because it isn't. Sometimes it’s counterproductive. The headphones are there to isolate you from the outside world and let you fully submerge into your work.

8. No more notifications on your cell phone

Most notifications are worthless, and the rest are not emergencies. If it’s life or death, someone will probably call you. The best thing you can do is turn off most notifications to avoid being tempted to check your phone.

9. Check your emails once a day

Whether you do it at the beginning or at the end of the day, make sure to check your emails only once. Read all of them and decide what to do. Never, ever postpone it for later. If it’s not important you can delete it. If it needs your attention take your time to reply to it.

But don’t let emails accumulate and create a monster you’ll be afraid to take care of in a week. Of course, this is easier said than done, and it takes time to perfect. But once you do it, it pays off pretty fast.v

10. Realize downtime is learning time

Increasing your productivity is a constant effort. Sometimes you’ll have little breaks in-between activities, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is to let them go to waste with doing nothing. Use any downtime you may have to learn something and use it as an opportunity to improve yourself.

If you are on public transportation, you can take that time and read a book. If you are driving to work, you can listen to audiobooks or podcasts. If you don’t want to carry a book around, you can download an e-book to your phone.

Or, you can have an audiobook app to find what you want to listen to next.

A thirty-minute bus ride might seem like nothing, but if you are going to work five times per week, that’s around 2.5 hours you are wasting every week and 10 hours every month. It adds up rather quickly. Make the most out of that to make a real difference.

11. Train your mind to boost your reading time

A lot of people move their mouths along with what they are reading. Others actually read out loud to themselves. This is completely counterproductive. You are slowing yourself down if you are waiting for your lips to read a word before moving onto the next one.

Your mind can read way faster than your mouth can say words — you should take advantage of that. If you start removing the mouth factor from your reading, you are going to finish books like you never have before. If it seems too hard to do, try chewing gum. It distracts your mouth while you are reading and before you know it, you'll stop reading out loud.

12. Keep your calendar up to date to motivate yourself

Buy a big calendar and hang it up on the wall somewhere visible, preferably in your bedroom.

Write down important days and everything you need to do during the month. That way you’ll always know what’s ahead of you and stay motivated to do so.

13. Get everything ready the night before, no matter what

The point of this exercise is to have no problems when you are starting your day, potentially ruining it before it even starts. Pack your bag, get your wallet and your keys together, and take what you are going to wear out of the wardrobe. If you get that out of the way before you go to sleep, you’ll breeze through your morning and have plenty of time to plan your day.

14. Make sure you charge your phone in the kitchen

If you keep your phone with you at all times, it’s going to kill your productivity no matter how disciplined you are. Most people charge their phones in their bedroom, and in doing so, they end up checking social media late at night. You can easily fix this situation by charging your phone far away from your bedroom. And when the alarm rings, you’ll have no choice but to get up and deal with it.

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