Productivity Hacks From Leading Experts That Will Change Your Life
We all know that one person in our lives who seems to have all their sh*t figured out better than anyone else. They always have a schedule (which they follow), they’re always eating healthy, they always look great, they’re constantly energized. I mean, seriously, HOW do they do it? Well, forget about being jealous anymore because you’re about to learn 5 productivity tips shared by experts worldwide.
1. Kris Duggan, CEO of BetterWorks, one of the most successful goal-setting softwares in the world shares: “The key to being productive at work is alignment. If you are aligned with your manager and know what he or she expects of you, and if your work is aligned with meeting your team’s goals, it becomes easier to prioritize what needs to get done. Time and time again, I see employees doubling up on work, or spending too much time on projects that don’t matter, simply because they don’t know what their peers are working on or why their work matters. To be productive, have open conversations about what is being done cross-functionally, and work with your manager to understand what he or she sees as top priority, so you can eliminate other tasks that distract you from being productive.”
Kris Duggan basically tells us to be more organized with our tasks by knowing exactly what to get done and which things to prioritize. When your to-do list gets too long and/or over-complicated, it’s difficult to make progress because you just don’t know where to start. Do it his way – speak with your boss and colleagues to make sure you’re on the right track.
2. Successful author and ex law professor at the University of California-Davis, Toni Bernhard, J.D., has inspired many through her chronic illness to stay positive and fight through life’s toughest dips. Her best way of staying on task is by “…think[ing] in terms of getting a task done as opposed to spending a set amount of time on it. Most people allocate a certain amount of time to a task; I do the opposite. I break the task down into doable chunks and then work until that chunk is done. So, if I’m working on an article for Psychology Today, instead of saying, “I’m going to work for an hour on it,” I say, “I’m going to work until I have a first draft done.” If that draft is done in 15 minutes, that’s when I stop working; if it’s done in an hour, that’s when I stop working. I take the same approach to gardening and other household tasks.”
We’ve tried this trick ourselves and have to admit that it’s absolutely one of our favorites. By finishing tasks one by one (as opposed to focusing on the time it takes), you will feel a greater sense of achievement. It’s practically giving yourself instant gratification.
3. Founder of the company, Sallie Krawcheck believes that spending a small amount of time everyday to write can instantly boost both creativity and productivity. She mentions, “I head to the kitchen, get a cup of coffee, and sit in front of the computer and just start writing. I tend to wake up with ideas, and I try to get them all out of my head and written down before my conscious mind starts to censor itself. Some of the ideas are perplexing when I read them later, but some are actually pretty good. A few are even great (in my opinion).”
Even if you don’t think of yourself as much of a morning person, you’ll be surprised to see just how activated and alert your brain is in the morning. Open a word document on your laptop while eating some nice breakfast and take Krawcheck’s hint by typing away. Not only will this stimulate your creative juices and have your brain stay activated throughout the day, it will also give you a sense of accomplishment.
4. Leading psychologist Craig Malkin, Ph.D. emphasizes the importance of taking breaks in between work. He shares with us, “Stress leads to binary (either/or) thinking, distractability, and procrastination. Taking time to reduce stress enhances productivity by keeping you sharp and boosting your capacity for creative problem-solving.”
It’s been shown that working in smaller segments leads to higher productivity because your brain is only capable of focusing (full-on) for a shorter period of time. Even on your busiest of days, taking a small, 5-minute coffee break will have you feeling grateful and more relaxed.
5. Marketer genius, Gary Vaynerchuk, is a successful entrepreneur who has become an Internet sensation after delivering some of the most inspiring public speeches ever. His productivity tip is to hire and pick great people to work with. He says, “As a matter of fact, here is my productivity hack: With Linkedin and Medium becoming bigger and bigger parts of my content strategy last year, I took one of the best content producers at my company, Steve Unwin, and had him become, in essence, my editor-in-chief. When I produce source material (like recording my thoughts for this article), he cleans it up for editorial and remixes different parts of it for Facebook, Slideshare, etc. I have an amazing assistant, I had a C.E.O. for my book. Ultimately, the way I hack is by creating a tremendous team of people around me.”
What Gary is basically trying to say here is that even the best, smartest and most successful people need a (good) helping hand. If you’re trying to make your business thrive but are constantly swamped with e-mails, you’re lacking the time to stay on top of things and actually make progress. It may be a good idea to hire an assistant to start taking over various aspects of work that you need help with.