Have you have tried all the productivity tips in the rule book? Yet…you still procrastinate a lot, you get caught up in the Facebook/Twitter time suck, and your day ends with a long to-do list staring back at you?
Maybe it’s time you took a different approach—why not try a few unusual productivity hacks that you’ve probably not thought of attempting before.
Here are five tips that helps keep me productive and which might just boost your productivity too:
Without a doubt, social media is a double-edged sword—it can be a mammoth time suck or it can actually be used to boost productivity depending on how you use social sites.
A survey by Microsoft indicated that up to 46 percent of workers said social media has helped them improve their productivity. When used moderately, social media can be a source of inspiration, offer a mental break and even enhance your mood.
The next time you feel exhausted, inertia or sheer dread to start or continue with that project, use social media to clear your mental blocks or as a source of creative inspiration.
Someone once said ha+ha=aha! Research shows that humour can play a great role in boosting creative thinking.
Individuals who embrace a culture of humour are usually more open to different ideas; they are able to see things in novel ways and are able to overlook their inner critic.
Humour helps you to relax and keeps you from taking yourself too seriously. A relaxed working atmosphere is not only great for your physical wellbeing; it also opens up your cognitive processes, allowing for greater innovation and creativity.
If you typically have a hard time concentrating on tasks or feeling motivated, why not incorporate some humour into your work schedule. Treat yourself to some funny memes, watch, listen or read something funny; the positive outlook that you will develop and the boost of energy you will experience will surprise you.
Procrastination is perhaps the most vilified obstacles to productivity. But did you know that you can leverage your procrastination in a way that serves you?
How about not fighting the habit of procrastination and instead working with it? Plenty of research shows why people procrastinate—fear of failure, lack of motivation, perfectionism, fear of success, lack of interest etc.
Whatever your reason for procrastination is, there is an alternative to making the most of your time: structured procrastination. While procrastination means putting off what you are supposed to be doing, structured procrastination means doing something else such that you are not wasting your time. So, as you avoid a particular task, you can work on another; therefore, you will at least get one task done.
John Perry, author of “The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing” coined the term structured procrastination. He says, for structured procrastination to work, you must be able to prioritize what is important and requires more time and attention, and what can be done later.
Perry recommends that you create two to-do lists to become a master of the art of structured procrastination. One list is large, containing all the tasks you need to complete over the week or month and a shorter to do list that contains daily tasks that need to be completed for the day.
Bottom line, if for some reason you are unable to get yourself to do a certain task, do something else that is still meaningful and that you are motivated to do at that particular time.
The conventional wisdom is that we need to manage only time. No one ever mentions the importance of managing your energy even though at any given time there is an endless demand on your energy.
How you expend your energy is as important as how you use your time and in many ways, energy and time management are interrelated.
On any given day, how do you expend and conserve your physical and mental energy? To make the most of your limited energy, you want to determine what tasks require your utmost energy and what does not require you to expend that much energy.
This all boils down to prioritizing what is important and applying more resources there in terms of time and energy. If you are spending all your energy on the mundane stuff, you are likely to constantly feel lethargic and therefore become trapped in a cycle of unproductivity.
Sometimes, it’s possible to leverage what seems like unproductive habits to make the most of your time and your experience of work. Whether you are an employee, freelance professional or entrepreneur, mastering the art of working with what you have and who you are could be the ultimate productivity hack.