Career, Lifestyle

Productivity Hacks 101

I love a good hack (and not the wiki-leaks kind of hack, I assure you; scouts honour)…financial hacks, beauty hacks – you name it, I’m a sucker for it. Anything that is a cheat sheet for helping me to do something more effectively, count me in! However, I do have one personal favourite, which trumps all others, and of course you guessed it – productivity hacks.

During my short but well lived years on earth, I have learnt two very important things: 1) Oreo ice cream fixes almost everything and 2) time is a respecter of no man or woman. And whilst I would much rather spend my days eating Oreo ice-cream and watching the Good Wife (am I the last person to latch on to how great this show is???), I know that these goals won’t achieve themselves and this beast that is my career won’t evolve without my help or input.

And with that being said, I have searched far and wide (well google crawls across every corner of the globe so I think that counts) to find the best productivity hacks. However, I think this would be an appropriate time to insert a disclaimer (drumroll please) these are productivity hacks that I have found to work personally for me, of course you may have other ideas which I would love to hear.

Anyhoo, I present my favourite productivity hacks of all time; go wild with it 🙂

Be realistic about your to do list

Limit yourself to 3 things that you must absolutely, critically do that day. That way, you don’t feel deflated at the end of the day when that unwieldy to do list is still looking back at you with nearly half of the things still as they were in the morning – undone.

Block out specific times for tasks

Scheduling is probably one of the best habits I have cultivated after cooking in bulk. Allocate specific time slots to complete each task such as writing this post. It helps you to be more focused especially for the tasks that you really DON’T want to do.

Turn off alerts!

Switch off ALL notifications and this is really difficult. I mean who doesn’t enjoy a cheeky text from the Lover or a video of the niece/nephew to brighten up your day?? But needs must; you have to be ruthless. Switch off email and phone alerts! They are distracting and waste a considerable amount of time.

Say no?

I think this is probably one of my favourite words EVER. Its not everyday say yes…sometimes just say no and then revel in how good it feels.

Work on Sunday

Spend an hour or so getting some key things done to relieve yourself of some of the pressure in the week ahead. And in addition to this, complete a forward look. Write a list of key meetings and actions that you must get done that week – this includes calling your mum on the daily commute and following up with that friend to see if they are feeling better.

Keep a diary for heaven’s sake

At your age, you shouldn’t be forgetting your best friend’s birthday. There are a wealth of resources out there – either get a hard copy diary or use one of the many electronic tools that exist. No excuses!

Drink water

I know water is dull but it really is great brain food. It hydrates the body, which is needed in order to get the most out it. Get yourself a water bottle and just leave it in your pedestal and/or bag. It allows you to drink water in much more manageable quantities.

Use productivity tools!

I have recently discovered Wunderlist and can I just say it really does deserve a standing ovation. It is a great way for staying abreast of your many different to do lists and it has a beautiful interface which will always be a winner for me.

The genius Kofo, swears by One Note; it allows you to tabularise absolutely everything and of course it syncs across all your devices (what was life like before Steve Jobs?)

All else failing, I LOVE good ol’ pen and paper including the following:

  • Desk pads (nobel peace prize award please for the inventor)
  • Filofax – as a former moleskine user, I am a believer people and have joined the online filofax community *descends into heap of paper; exhilarating!*
  • List book – my lovely friend Titi bought me a list book *throws paper in the air*  it is fab because it comes pre-packed with post it notes of different sizes which are great for inserting into my filofax.

The trusted filofaxe and sheet from deskpad!

The trusted filofax and sheet from deskpad at the top!

SO…go ahead and maximise your day and I hope that these tools will help you to be more productive in the process. I am off to watch the Good Wife with the Lover minus the Oreo ice cream. Two out of three isn’t that bad…

Don’t miss me too much…