In a culture that really values output, we often find ourselves looking for the best productivity hacks. After all, the more productive we are the more we can get done, and the more we can get done the more money we make.
I’ve tested several productivity hacks throughout the years. Some worked while others were an epic fail. Here are some of the productivity hacks that worked best for me.
The Pomodoro Technique
When I was in college, I realized that if I had days to write a paper, I just wouldn’t get around to it. Even if I did, the end product wasn’t as good and would usually get a mediocre grade. On the other hand, if I waited until the night before I could pound out a paper in a few hours and get a good grade.
The same happens in my business. I recently had four hours dedicated to writing pitches for clients. I got nothing done in those four hours. However, when I only had 10 minutes before my pasta was finished, I knocked out six pitches – all of which my clients loved!
I have no idea whether or not there is a name for this phenomenon. What I do know is there is a productivity hack that works along this idea. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique. Essentially, you set a timer for 25 minutes and then take a break for five. Just feeling the pressure of the time gets me hyper focused.
Batching is my business bae. Out of all the productivity hacks out there, this one is by far my favorite.
The concept is simple – you group similar tasks together. For instance, I’ll have days solely dedicated to writing. I’ll even batch my writing days according to which client I need to write for.
I also have days dedicated to my own brand and taking meetings. For instance, I had a day this week where I was on the phone for six hours because I just put my meetings on the same day. Simply put, I know I won’t get any writing done in between meetings anyway, so I keep them separated.
KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)
KISS isn’t just one of my favorite productivity hacks, it’s also a way of life. The premise is simple: If you keep things simple, you’ll be more likely to get it done.
Take myself and planners for example. I think I’ve tried a thousand of them but end up giving up within two months. At the end of the day, what works best for me is a simple notebook and an online calendar.
Knowing What Your Priorities Are
The last of my favorite productivity hacks also happens to be a life hack. If you don’t have clear priorities for yourself, it’s unlikely that you’ll be productive because you don’t have a clear focus.
For example, if you don’t have clear priorities for your business, you run the risk of taking on what too much. This is actually counterproductive.
At best, you should have a maximum of only three priorities. If what is being requested of you doesn’t fit those priorities, then you say no. The same is true of any ideas you may have. It may be a great idea overall but it simply doesn’t fit into your priorities at the moment.
Productivity hacks don’t need to be complicated. In fact, I have found the more simple they are the more effective they are.
What are some of your favorite productivity hacks? Share them in the comments below.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.