Hughes These… From Inc.com
These productivity techniques will keep you on track and happy all year long. Get ready to dominate in 2015 with these helpful hacks!
1. Turn Off Alerts
It’s terribly tough to get into your Zen zone when your phone is buzzing every few minutes. Depending on how chatty your phone is, you may get notifications for everything from new emails to retweets. It’s essential you shut these notifications OFF! Trust me, you’ll see efficiency skyrocket once you tell your phone to shut its blabbering mouth.
2. Ignore the News
As I lengthily discussed in an earlier article about productivity, the news can be a tremendous time sink. The idea that we need to keep up to date on the news is largely outdated. Most of what passes as “news” today is prettily packaged garbage–it’s trivial, depressing, unreliable, and largely unimportant. If something major happens, you’ll find out one way or another. Instead, focus your attention on what’s useful and actionable in your life.
3. Exercise in the Morning
It’s been shown that exercising in the morning can greatly improve your productivity. Exercise energizes rather than exhausts you, contrary to what the couch potatoes might tell you (not that I’m judging. I can be very spud-tacular myself at times).
Exercising also promotes good health (quick, alert the press!) and some studies have shown that exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours following your workout. Less stress, more efficiency–it’s definitely worth setting that alarm 30 minutes earlier.
4. 30 Minute Meetings
As Jeff Haden notes in an Inc article, “whoever invented the one-hour default in calendar software wasted millions of people-hours.” The truth is that most meetings never need more than 30 minutes to accomplish their missions. Many really only need 15 minutes. Don’t be a calendar default deadbeat. Next you’ll tell me you kept your phone’s default ring tone too…
5. Drink Water
Most of us don’t drink nearly as much water as we should. Our bodies thrive on water–just like the rest of the world! Drinking more water gives you more energy, keeps you healthy, and gives you an excuse to get up for bathroom breaks so you’re not stuck in a chair all day (which is horrifically unhealthy too, so you’re killing two birds with one water bottle).
6. Give Yourself a Break, Man!
You work hard–you deserve a break! Maybe with a Kit Kat, maybe with a cup of tea, maybe with a walk in the park. It’s easy to burn yourself out if you try to work at full-throttle all day long. The truth is that our minds just aren’t designed to work that way. For optimal productivity, try the popular and praised Pomodoro technique–work for 25 minutes, then give yourself a 5-minute break.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Say “No”
This one is a pretty standard productivity tip, but it makes the rounds for a reason–when you’re too eager to please, you often end up getting in over your head. Remember, it’s not simply a matter of being agreeable–when you take on too much, all your work suffers. You may end up missing deadlines, and despite good intentions, you could end up disappointing others when you are unable to meet the extraordinary expectations you’ve created for yourself. Sometimes you just have to say “no,” and there’s nothing wrong with that.
8. Hug Your Dog
Many studies have shown how having pets can promote physical and mental wellbeing. Employees that are allowed to bring their dogs into the office are less stressed and often report more job satisfaction. There’s nothing like a cuddle with a furry friend to alleviate some of that toxic stress.