Not feeling frazzled, wasting time you don’t have on doing things you don’t need to be doing, and actually being able to say, “Yeah! I got a lot done today!” are all huge benefits that can come if you put these 5 tiny productivity hacks into action:
1. Only read each email once.
When you open an email, decide what you will do with it. You can reply, delete, forward, or archive it. What you can’t do is leave it for later. This is how your inbox becomes a monster that haunts you with “all those emails I still have to get back to.”
2. Write down things to remember as soon as they pop into your mind.
You can use a notebook or a digital to-do list (Wunderlist is my favorite), but the goal is to move clutter from your mind into a list that you can check later.
3. Schedule “stress” time.
This might sound really odd, but if you’re constantly spending time stressing over things or feeling anxious over something that’s coming, or a decision you have to make, your brain is a lot less effective at doing other things. None of us can totally get rid of stress, it’s just part of life. But what helps is scheduling a block of, say, 20 minutes, when you allow yourself to just give into your stress.
4. Procrastinate productively.
You know that feeling you get after you realize you’ve just spent half an hour aimlessly browsing through your Facebook feed? Yeah, not a good one. So if you’re going to procrastinate, do it in a productive way. Look for something specific that doesn’t have to do with your work, so your mind can relax.
5. Only write down 5 things at a time on your to-do list.
For your daily to-do list, try to just focus on 5 things at a time. You’ll force yourself to figure out what’s really important, you’ll feel less overwhelmed, and then when you are able to get most of it done, you’ll feel like a real-world superhero.
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