There are times when we struggle with completing tasks, even the mundane ones. Did you know that asking for help actually does save you time? Especially when you are trying to find something in the library or supermarket. Want to know some more? Read on!
1. Wake up at 4:30 am. Too early? Think about the people who work at farms and have already fed their animals, had their breakfast and probably completed about 10 more things while the rest of the city still slept.
2. Avoid looking at your phone in the first hour of the day. Seriously, your phone contains so many things that can distract you from starting on a task. Your To-Do list exists for a reason. Checking your phone is probably not on the list.
3. Listen to music and/or sing in the shower. Surprised? Professor & author Stephen Clift explains that singing has a positive effect on our well-being and health. The activity releases endorphins or happy chemicals in the brain. Blood circulation also improves when we take in air while we sing.
4. A cold shower can wake up your senses. The coldness jolts your entire body into awareness, increases your heart rate, and energizes your for the day.
5. Put together tomorrow’s outfit tonight. Start your day smoothly by just slipping into what you need to wear instead of hunting down the other sock or your belt or a top that looks good with the bottoms you are holding.
6. Start having NO MORE ZERO DAYS. Try to do at least one thing, no matter how small it is, towards achieving your goal. Slowly, but surely, you will develop the habit and find yourself doing more.
7. Create incentives for yourself. How about a pint of your favorite ice cream when you complete your tasks for the week? Too much? Okay, how about having free time to put your feet up and watch your favorite TV show if you complete all your tasks?
8. Meditate or exercise. Some people prefer doing this at the start of their day because it helps their body be ready for the tasks ahead.
9. Group and do similar tasks. For instance, set a schedule for just all the things yard related (potting, weeding, etc.) or all the chores inside the house (folding laundry, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) You can also set aside time for “social tasks” and use it to email, text, check social media accounts, respond to paper invites, etc.
10. Do small/challenging stuff first. This is really up to you. While some people prefer to do the more time-consuming things at the beginning of the day, others prefer the ones they can finish right away. But guess what? You get something checked on your To-Do list either way, right?
11. Every morning, write down 3 of the most important tasks and BE SPECIFIC! Writing these tasks down will help you remember them. Don’t just write “Research on CBD.” Instead, write “Research on effect of CBD on adult behavior” for example or the exact reason why you are doing research on cannabidiol.
12. Set a specific time to check your email and stick to it. How many times have you thought of just checking on a notification and ended up opening other unread emails, organizing emails, or going through spam in case an important email got lost there?
13. Restrict social media usage to 15 minutes daily. Sounds quite challenging? Just think of how many times you exclaimed, “Oh, crap! It’s already been an hour??” and scrambled to get back on track with your tasks.
14. Correct the mistake, not the person. This helps you not only in the kindness department, but also in actually getting a solution to the problem. For instance, why would you say, “You forgot to give me the weekly schedule.” That only makes the other person feel bad and still doesn’t get you the schedule. Instead, you should just say “Can I have the weekly schedule, please? I don’t think I got it.”
15. Set your goals, plans, and deadlines. What do you want/need done? How will you about it? And the most important question is: when MUST you have it done? Setting deadlines is important because it forces your brain to tell your body – DO THIS!
16. Set check-in schedules on your calendar for each goal. Are you getting stuff done? When you have a check-in date, you can see the progress or lack of progress towards a goal and adjust your course of action, if necessary.
17. Remove any distractions at your work station. Keep your work station simple. Use decor that suggests productivity.
18. Turn off notifications on social media accounts and text messages. What’s more important – finding out what’s happening in another person’s life or getting your task done? If people REALLY REALLY REALLY need to talk to you, they will CALL you.
19. Learn to say “no,” especially when you are working on a lot of things. If you can complete the favor in 2 minutes, go do it. If not, apologize and say you are swamped. If it’s your boss, respectfully let them know about your to-do list and ask which one they would rather you do first.
20. Use the Pomodoro Technique. Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980’s and named after a tomato (aka task), the Pomodoro technique requires you to: a.) decide how long you need to do a Pomodoro, b) complete the Pomodoro in 25-minute blocks; and c) take a 5-minute break after each block or longer for each completed Pomodoro. Supposedly, when you focus and work intently on part of a task for a short time, you’ll be able to get more things done in a day.
For random tasks
21. Put something away, like right away. The secret of a tidy home. Remember that if you only put it down, you basically just moved it to a different spot. You’ll still see it and would have to put it away afterwards.
22. After a bath, use your hands like a squeegee to wipe the water off your body. Do this before drying off with a towel. No mopping wet towel. No puddle on the floor.
23. Keep cling/saran wrap in the freezer. This will keep it from clinging to itself or crumple when you use it.
24. Avoid a sidewalk shuffle by looking at the direction you want to take. This helps the other person know to go the opposite way.
25. When you are in a conversation with someone who doesn’t want to stop talking, drop something. Then start talking while you are picking it up.
Have you tried any of these life hacks? Do you have life hacks that help you to be productive?