In case you missed it, I’m running a mini-series on life hacks – helpful tips to help you go about your daily business – here on the TNC site. If you didn’t get a chance to read my first installment on health and well-being, thou shall not carry last!
Today, the topic turns to productivity. Here are a few handy tips to help you make the most of your day and actually get stuff done.
1. Do your most difficult tasks in the morning.
This is when your brain if still fresh, active and can analyze better. If you have to study for an exam, clean, and go grocery shopping, do the studying first. Cleaning and shopping are mindless tasks, studying on the other hand demands a lot from your brain.
2. Don’t postpone any task that takes less than two minutes to complete.
You’ll be surprised how much this will simplify your life. Washing dishes after cooking or eating, for instance, takes less than two minutes. It’ll keep your kitchen clean, and improve your mood and sense of satisfaction. Try this and you’ll start to notice that you get more things done every day.
3. Learn to separate urgent from seemingly urgent.
Checking your email, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, whatever else you use can make a huge dent in your productivity time. If you can’t resist, schedule a time to check this stuff. There are exceptions, of course, but the point is to avoid such exceptions. You can set your email to alert you when you get a mail from particular people or someone you’re expecting to hear from. Every other mail can wait.
In fact, just stay off your damn phones, except you’re working on it or your life depends on it. If you’re not expecting an email from someone, there’s just no point in checking your email every five minutes. I can’t stress this enough.
4. Read every day.
Doesn’t matter what. It keeps your imagination alive and your brain active. Reading improves language and vocabulary. If you’ve never read a word, you might never know what it means. But when you read regularly you continually but subconsciously build up your word bank. Reading also gives you exposure and increases your tolerance.
6. Keep an idea pad.
I’ve told a few friends this and I do it myself. It might be a waiter’s pad or a note application on your phone. Write down every idea that comes to your head, no matter how ridiculous. You never know when an opportunity will arise which will make an old idea suddenly make sense and become achievable.
7. Plan your day before leaving the house.
He who fails to plan is planning to fail. Do I need to say more?
9. Never waste your time arguing.
It doesn’t matter with whom. There’s just no point to it. Nobody ever wins.
10. If you want to remember a topic you’re about to study, follow these steps.
Research the topic for relevant materials, read several materials about the topic, write a summary of the topic after studying, and then watch a video about it if there’s one available. If possible, try explaining it to someone else. What you’ve done is used different senses to absorb information about that topic – you’ve seen and heard it – which is very helpful in making sure you retain the information you’ve consumed. Being able to explain what you just studied to yourself or someone else, also helps you remember. Lastly, avoid studying at night if you can, since your brain isn’t likely to be at its peak at that time.
That’ll be it on productivity life hacks. Are there any routines you follow to make sure you have a productive day? If you know any other life hacks on productivity that work for you, or disagree with the tips I’ve listed above, feel free to share in the comment section.