Productivity Hacks I’ve Been Swearing By

April 13, 2016

Productivity Hacks

As I continue to make try and practice better habits this year, I thought I’d share some productivity hacks I’ve been employing and have found to really be helpful. This area always feel like it could use improvement for me so if you have tips I’d love to hear them, too!

Social Media Mobile Clean Up

I deleted Facebook off my phone in February and it has been life changing! One last thing on my phone to aimlessly scroll through when I could be spending my time doing something more constructive. Seriously, this is one of the best things I’ve done for my mental sanity this year. On top of that I also removed nearly all notifications from appearing on my phone home screen. It limits my distraction and helps keep me more efficient.

Schedule Your Workouts Like Meetings

This is rather tried and true and I’m sure you’ve heard of it but I block off my workout windows at least 3 times a week and sign up for classes (via ClassPass) during those windows to ensure I make it to my classes. By setting the time aside in advance I don’t make other plans or allow myself to be distracted by other invites and truly set aside the 60 minutes I need to decompress and stay active. The combo of this tactic + being held accountable for classes through ClassPass has kept me more dedicated to working out than I’ve ever been before. You can read more about my pursuit of wellness in this post & this post if you’re interested.

On the Topic of Scheduling…Schedule Your To Dos, Too

When I have a day that I really need to be productive and be on top of my to do list, I pencil in the items I have to do right there on my calendar in 15, 30 or 60 minute increments based on how long I anticipate they’ll take. This method particularly helps on days where I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed and I’m not sure where to start when I look at my to do list. Putting them on my calendar ensures I pay the attention needed. (And helps with the ol’ success rate of that oh-so-satisfying feeling of checking something off your to do list!)

Pick Out Your Outfit Before Bed

Make like when you were little and pick out that outfit and lay it out before you go to sleep. I have long subscribed to doing this as I don’t like feeling rushed in the mornings. By choosing what I want to wear in the PM, I am already prepped on the day’s weather, have tried something on to see how it looks styled if need be and don’t spend 10+ more minutes of my morning routine with my head stuck in my closet thinking “I have nothing to wear.” By choosing your outfit before you go to bed, you’ll have a less stressful morning and can use that time you would have spent picking out an outfit on a leisurely morning cup of coffee or reading the day’s headlines.

Maximize Your Commute

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am really into podcasts recently. Since I walk to work it is the perfect 30 minute window for me to take in podcasts. Recently I’ve been listening to That’s So Retrograde, TED Talks: BusinessAchieve Your Goals With Hal Elrod and The Good Life Project.

Read Emails and Flag Them In Real Time

My Type A personality really shines with this one but I can’t stand to have Unread items in my inboxes really. I don’t know why it bothers me so much but I read my emails (or at least the intros of them to determine their importance) relatively in real time and flag them immediately. Then I set aside time to reply to those that didn’t require my attention right away and do responses in one sitting if I can.

What are your productivity tips that you swear by? I always love to hear what other people find effective!

[Bekka Palmer Photography]

comments +

  1. Rose says:

    I get so easily distracted when I have to pick out my clothes in the morning and haven’t thought about it…it’s actually easiest when I stay at my bf’s, because then I can only wear whatever I happen to have there so my options are much more limited. I usually make sure I look at the weather before I get up, and then when I’m showering/brushing my teeth/doing whatever before I get dressed I use that time to think about what would work for the day and where it is so I’m not distracted or frustrated when I get to my clothes!

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