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6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

Batching Tasks

Instead of reacting to things as soon as they show up, write them down and then later do a bunch at the same time. 

This prevents them from constantly interrupting your workflow, while still making sure everything gets done.

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6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

6 Better Productivity Hacks if the "Famous" Ones Never Work for You

https://www.themuse.com/advice/6-better-productivity-hacks-if-the-famous-ones-never-work-for-you

themuse.com

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Key Ideas

Find Your Golden Hours

Schedule your most important tasks for the time of the day that suits you best.

It doesn't matter if you're not the most productive in the morning. Just find your golden hours and do your most important work then.

Start Easy And Work Up

Start with the small tasks, the ones you can finish in 10 minutes and run through them first.

You’ll feel motivated by the win of knocking out a couple of tasks quickly and ready to handle more serious work.

From Start To Finish

If the Pomodoro Technique doesn't work for you and you prefer to do tasks from start to finish in one sitting, you should adjust your plan to fit with your focus.

So work until you complete those tasks, and then take a break.

The "Done" List

By writing down all the tasks you complete, you see where your time goes. 

By making a "done" list, you can make better decisions when you have hard data on your work, and you’ll be motivated to keep at it when you can actually see your progress.

Adding Tasks Bit by Bit

If seeing your calendar all packed causes you extra stress, fill your calendar once a week.

This regular review gives you more flexibility but still lets you meet deadlines and stay on top of longer-term projects.

Batching Tasks

Instead of reacting to things as soon as they show up, write them down and then later do a bunch at the same time. 

This prevents them from constantly interrupting your workflow, while still making sure everything gets done.

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Align your to-do list with goals
  1. Break down your big goals into daily tasks. You can't add "Get in shape" to your daily to-do list, but you can add "spend 30 minutes on my bike."
  2. Consider your week as a whole. You likely have multiple goals. Some goals benefit from daily activity, while working towards others a few times a week can create momentum.
  3. Add your have-to-do tasks last. We often fill our to-do lists with have-to-do tasks that crowd the whole day. Adding it last forces you to fit your have-to-do tasks around your goal tasks.
Have one daily priority

Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.

A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.

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  • Task management. This one is most commonly taught and includes systems like Getting Things Done.
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What's on your plate

Prioritizing tasks at work involves getting all your tasks and commitments in one place.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to get done. Questions to help you:

  • Do you have commitments to others like your boss, partner, kids, or clients?
  • Do you have anything you need to submit? 
  • Do you have any financial tasks that need to get done? 
  • Do you have any planning that needs to get done? 
  • Do you have any administrative tasks? Legal, insurance, staffing, or training?
  • Do you have any professional development tasks that need to get done? Training, areas to research, skills to develop, books to read or study, or classes to take?
Brainstorm your goals

Find your goals. Without them, it is impossible to prioritize your tasks. Try to set 90-day goals, which is long enough to make meaningful progress. Questions to prompt goals:

  • What’s the one thing you could do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?
  • If you were giving advice to someone else in your position, what 1-3 things would you tell them to focus on?
  • What do you want to have accomplished over the next five years?

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Ruthless prioritization

It means deciding not to do things you'd really like to do. It also means deciding what's the most important task even when everything on your list feels crucial.

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Consolidate All of Your Tasks Into a Single Source

To-dos arrive from a variety of sources. Your boss sends you an email, you get a Slack message from IT, a bill arrives in the mail, or a coworker asks for a favor in the hallway.

In order to prioritize your task list efficiently, you need a master to-do list that contains all of the tasks you need to prioritize and complete from all of those sources.

Analyze Your Task List

Go through your list, review each task, and decide what you want to do with it. You have 4 options:

  • Do: complete the task now
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  • Delegate: assign it to someone else
  • Delete: remove it from your list

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