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A lot of people are saying that this year is the year to be productive simply because we’re all at home with nothing better to do. So why not improve yourself right? Whether it’s for your business, for your personal life, or just to learn something new, here are Seven Productivity hacks that will change the way you look at things and as a bonus, I’m also adding three things you should avoid doing if you want to be productive!
Give yourself time to rest from work
Believe it or not, rest is an essential part of working. You can’t come up with good ideas if you’re tired. You can’t be your optimal self if you’re thinking of when the next break will be. And now that we’ve transitioned to a work at home setting, it’s difficult to stay on track with all the distractions we have at home. Giving yourself some time to rest in between work or even an ample amount of sleep that day will help you stay focused, stay healthy, and most important of all, it also helps you think better.
A study on sleep explains that if our brain lacks even just 1 hour of sleep, it cuts 10% of our cognitive functions which means that’s less ideas to improve yourself and the way you work and more time doing the things you should be avoiding.
Find a hobby that can scale into a business
If you have some extra time on your hands, why not get into a hobby that fits well with your business or something that you can turn into an extra source of income? There are lots of options now like blogging, vlogging, creating a podcast — there are tons to do now especially because there are more people online than ever before.
Doing these things in the long run can get you a massive audience meaning you can start transitioning to paid ads for your videos and podcast episodes, affiliate marketing for your blog, and if you have your own business, you can funnel your audience into your business too!
Get into the habit of meditating
Like rest, meditation is also something you might want to consider. A lot of people now are having difficulties transitioning to this new world. People are stuck at home, going out is limited, and we can’t travel like we used to and there are some people who just can’t accept it because they might be outgoing or it’s something that their system simply can’t accept… and there’s nothing wrong with that by any means.
The best thing to do to reduce anxiety, reduce stress, and find a nice breather and just relax is to learn how to meditate. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube that teach you different kinds of meditation techniques. Find one that suits you and do some research of course before doing it. Just a few minutes of meditation a week (or better yet, do it daily!) can make a huge difference in your life.
Improve your sleeping habits
This ties in well with giving yourself time to rest — giving yourself the proper amount of sleep the day before can impact the next day tremendously. Like I mentioned above, just an hour of lack of sleep can lead to bad results but did you know? Some serious potential problems that could happen if you constantly miss a few hours of sleep are high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Other problems include obesity, depression, impairment in immunity and lower sex drive. If this happens often, it can even affect the way you look.
One bonus tip is that if you think you can do more work by staying up late, that’s actually working against you. The more hours you lack sleep, the less brain function you’re using meaning a task that would have taken a few minutes might take hours for you if you’re sleep deprived. Get some sleep people!
Remove To-Do lists and start doing
Some productivity gurus or teachers might suggest creating a To-Do list to keep everything on track. While it works for some people, I think there’s a better way. Just do it. The tendency with these things is that the To-Do list becomes too big to even manage and you end up canceling some things you should have done or you might simply lose the motivation to do one thing and end up just quitting on it.
Ever since the start of the pandemic, everything pretty much revolves around staying at home. Even work has been placed at home but that isn’t all a bad thing. Since work-at-home started becoming a thing, tasks become more linear in nature.
When you get that task, why not just do it? If you followed all the tips above, you should have enough brain power to finish the task right away and move onto the next. That way, you don’t miss any task. On the contrary, you might even finish everything you need to do ahead of time which means you get more time for yourself, right?
Block yourself from distractions
While we’re on the internet, there’s no question that we’re always tempted to check out our favorite YouTube channels if they have new videos up or maybe browse Facebook or Instagram for a bit. This usually escalates to hours of wasted time. We don’t want that if we want to stay productive.
One simple way to fix this is to block advertisements on your browser. There are a lot of free plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and any other web browser you’re using that blocks ads for free. This way, it removes the distraction of advertisements and keeps you focused.
For social media, there’s a Chrome extension called “Work Mode” which blocks you from using social media when you turn it on. Pretty useful when you’re on… well… work mode. And for watching your videos, simply stay away from YouTube while working. Yes, the temptation is there but nobody improves if they don’t choose to improve.
Stand up and walk around the house
The last piece of advice is to get up and start walking around. Sitting down for long periods of time is pretty taxing on the body. That’s probably what’s happening right now to work-from-home employees or business owners. If you want to get a glass of water, just get up and walk over there. Stop bringing that water canteen and filling it up. Instead, do it the old fashioned way. Take a quick break every hour to stretch your muscles and if you’re done, stand for a few minutes to relax your body from that long work session.
And like I promised, here are three things you might want to avoid if you’re changing yourself for the better. These are three things that I used to do that kept me away from productivity!
Doing it later… then tomorrow… then the next day
It’s a very common habit but it needs to be mentioned. When there seems to be so much to do… or something simple that we think we can do quickly, we tend to leave it for later. Bad move. When you leave something for later, it becomes something for tomorrow… then it might be moved over and over again until you forget to finish it. Like I mentioned above (my section against To-Do lists), just do it!
Sleeping all day
It’s kind of obvious but sleeping all day isn’t productive. Especially on days off when there’s nothing to do in particular, we usually just sit around, read or watch something, and then sleep all day. Not only is this extremely unhealthy, you’re basically lowering your own quality of life. There are tons to do outside of work e.g. that hobby I told you to get! Another thing you can do is workout or exercise for a few minutes on your weekends. It’s ideal to do this everyday but if weekends are your only time to exercise, take it. In the long run, your body will thank you.
Binge Watching Movies and Shows
I used to love binge watching my favorite shows on TV on the weekends. The problem with doing this is that it takes up a lot of your time and keeps you in an idle position like sitting down the whole time or laying down. Yes, it is fun but overly engaging shows might lead to lack of sleep on your part, you might want to keep going even though it’s past your time to get some rest or it might even lead to a dopamine overdose. That’s simply getting an excess amount of dopamine which can lead to everything else becoming boring and you could lose motivation faster due to this.
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