We all have 24 hours in a day.
And just like others, you have two feet and two hands and good-enough intelligence.
So how come they get more things done, while you’re always sprinting your way to deadlines?
Maybe you’re not doing the productivity hacks they’re doing.
If you want to get more things done in a day, here are 12 productivity tricks that will make you 10x more efficient.
1) Condition yourself mentally and physically
It’s simply impossible for you to give your 100% if you’re going around feeling like a zombie. That’s why you need to take care of your mind and body first thing in the morning.
Let’s cover the basics!
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Eat an energy-boosting breakfast
- Take a cold shower
- Remember your life goals
- Visualize your day
- Recite affirmations that can boost productivity
- Think of a reward at the end of a productive day
2) Make yourself FEEL productive
How you feel about yourself matters a lot in how you’ll act for the rest of the day.
If you want to be 10x more productive, trick your brain into thinking you’re the most hard-working and well-disciplined person you know.
Here are some tricks to do that:
- Fix your bed. It only takes a minute and yet it can make you feel like you’re responsible.
- Spend a few minutes doing easy-to-do tasks like deleting emails. Just make sure you won’t get carried away.
3) Tackle the most important task before lunch
After you feel productive with the little tasks, it’s time to get really productive by tackling the biggest task of the day immediately after you’ve warmed up.
Don’t save the most difficult one for later. Instead, look at it straight in the face and say “You’re gonna get sooo done right now!”
Aside from accomplishing the task, this also has a good psychological effect.
You see, we sometimes dread working because we feel like there are certain tasks that are just so daunting—like there’s a fat cloud hovering over us.
Dealing with it as soon as possible will make you feel relaxed and fulfilled all throughout the day…making you motivated to do more.
4) Get organized
A cluttered desktop, an inbox with 1000 unopened mails, a disorganized schedule—all of these things don’t just mess up with productivity, they could also sabotage your career!
Imagine losing files and receipts.
Finding them would take away 10 days of productivity or more. Plus, you’ll also get a cluttered brain which is, well…a great reason things don’t get done.
You’re not a third grader. Make use of productivity apps and make sure you stick to using them DAILY because it’s hard to be productive when you’re very disorganized.
What to do:
- Jot down notes—your memory isn’t infallible
- Write to-do lists and make sure to follow up on them
- Use productivity apps to keep track of your schedule
5) Figure out your best time to do “deep work”
According to studies, most people are most productive between 8am- 2pm. But maybe you’re not “most people”, so figure out your best hours to work.
Some people work best at the crack of dawn, others prefer the afternoon.
And sometimes people change over time too, preferring to work at night as a teen and preferring the day as an adult.
The only way to know is by testing out different times and monitoring your productivity. And once you know your best time, you can customize how you work based on it.
I just discovered that I write three times as fast at 4am, so now I changed my schedule. I sleep at ten, wake up at 4 to work, then do my morning routine by 8am.
6) Learn to delegate tasks
If you really want to dramatically increase productivity, learn to delegate tasks.
Sometimes, we want to do everything on our own because we’ve been told that we must always get everything done by ourselves—that we’d be admitting defeat by asking for help.
Or perhaps you’re a perfectionist and you believe that if you must get anything done right, you must do it yourself.
The problem is that you’re only human. There’s only so much you can do in one day!
Sooner or later you’ll have to learn how to reach out to others and share your load—whether that’s hiring someone to do your website, assigning some tasks to an intern, or asking your partner to do more stuff around the house.
7) Try the pomodoro technique
The Pomodoro technique isn’t a way of cooking tomatoes, it’s a way of working.
It’s a tried-and-tested way to greatly improve how you work. I just discovered it and I’m so happy how it has dramatically increased my productivity.
Here’s the formula (it’s really so simple!)
- Do 25 minutes of deep work
- Take a 5-minute break
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 three times
- Take a 30-minute break
I think it has the same idea as what I notice when I try working on a puzzle.
When I spend too much time forcing myself to think, nothing comes out. But when I switch my attention somewhere else (even for just two minutes), I can solve the puzzle immediately.
Our bodies and minds need to take small breaks every so often if you don’t want to crash from overwork—and that’s what the Pomodoro technique is really all about.
8) Have a separate workspace
If you work at home, do yourself a favor and don’t work on your bed, or out in the living room where people can bump into you or disturb you.
Consider dedicating a special room in your house to be your home office instead—preferably somewhere that isn’t your bedroom to avoid the temptation to just curl up and sleep.
But if you can’t afford it and must use your bedroom as your home office, then at least try not to work on your bed.
Try to find a desk you can use placed far from your bed.
Having a dedicated workspace like this gives you control over your environment, allowing you to control just how noisy it is around you or how often people may disturb you.
9) Listen to music
Most of us enjoy some kind of music, and plenty of us used to listen to music in college to help us study.
It turns out that there might be a good reason for that.
Music has been proven to be quite effective at helping us be more focused and productive.
But before you start googling for “good music to study”, keep in mind there’s no one answer for what can help you focus.
My thoughts flow faster when I’m listening to classical music, but it goes at the pace of a snail suffering from arthritis if I listen to anything with lyrics.
Some people focus better with loud, gnarly rock music, while others find that distracting and prefer classical or lo-fi.
Try to find what music makes you feel alive without distracting you—that’s probably the kind of music that suits you best.
10) Have face-to-face meetings only when necessary
First, ask yourself if you really need to have a meeting because let’s be real— there are so many unnecessary meetings!
If the answer is yes, ask yourself if the most efficient way is by holding it virtually or face-to-face.
Depending on the type of project and the type of discussion that needs to be done, face-to-face meetings are necessary.
But sometimes, a meeting can just be an email or a phone call…or something that can be done via Zoom. We learned that this actually works just fine during the pandemic so yes, it’s always an option especially if you want to save everyone’s time.
11) Get rid of ALL distractions
If you’re serious about productivity, I guess you know this is a must.
Turn off phone notifications. Better yet, turn off your phone if making and receiving calls is not part of your job.
And if you have a noisy coworker, well…turn him off, too. But if it’s not possible, well then you gotta learn to tune him out or politely tell him you need to work now.
You need to focus if you want to be efficient. Reserve all your distractions for later.
12) Remind yourself of your “Why”
What is your dream life like?
Why are you working? Why do you want to get so productive? What will happen if you just laze around?
You have to remind yourself of these things and why productivity is key to your success.
Do this daily, and do it more than once if you’re feeling particularly lazy.
It’s hard to be passionate and efficient if we don’t consider what we’re doing as important—for ourselves and for everyone else.
What does it take to be truly productive?
Contrary to popular belief, you need more than just motivation—you also need to build a system that enhances productivity.
And you can do that using the productivity tricks in this article.
Just one more thing: I hope you want to be more productive to have a better life.
Because you have to be careful. Aiming to be productive so you can get more and more work could lead to burn out—and this would not only affect your productivity, it can totally stop you from doing work altogether!
The goal should be having a productive but well-balanced life.