33 Productivity Hacks at Work
What is Productivity?
Productivity can be defined on three levels.
- On an individual level, productivity at work is the time one spends on productive tasks.
- On an organizational level, it is the output one achieves with a certain amount of input.
- At a macroeconomic level, productivity is measured by the average output of goods and services for each hour worked in a country.
How can you measure productivity?
There are many ways to measure productivity. The quality of the work is one measure. The quantity of work is another measure. Employee well-being is also a way to measure productivity.
Types of Productivity
On an individual level, as discussed in the definition, productivity is measured by the time an individual spends on a task/project.
From a team perspective, productivity can be measured by the time the whole team spends on a task/project.
How to be more productive? 33 Hacks
1. Being Consistent
Consistency is key to productivity. Practicing every day and staying committed to what you love will create a compounding effect. Compounding is an art that requires daily practice and frequent ratio adjustments. Some tactics to drive consistency are;
- Write It Down
- Make public statements
- Use Motivational Videos/Quotes to Push Through When You’re Low on Motivation
- Centre Commitment Around Something You Love Doing
- You MUST enjoy the process
- Create Targets That Are Easily Achievable
- Remember it’s about consistency, not perfection
Eager to learn more about consistency being a key to productivity? Here are few resources;
the ultimate guide to being consistent: 16 tips
2. Being Motivated
To be productive at work, it is necessary to be motivated every time you start working. Motivation means knowing why you are working on something and where it will lead you. So, for me, having a clear purpose is the driving factor behind motivation. Motivation ultimately leads to productivity.
You can apply the following 2 techniques to be motivated at work;
3. Thinking better
Do you know you can improve your thinking to drive better results? You need to thing 10x better and divide your process into steps and categorize them into two types of steps:
- Step at Macro Level, and
- Steps at Microlevel.
After the steps are divided, put pressure on yourself to complete them. This can greatly improve your work efficiency. Hold yourself accountable by testing your progress and taking a step forward to develop new skills.
4. Ignore the Norms
You must ignore the accepted norms in order to be more productive at work. There are various reasons to ignore norms. You should ask questions and find out the answers to “why”. Questions you can ask when you’re working on something might be;
- Why should it take that long?
- Why can’t I do it this way?
- Why can’t I be successful with this approach?
This way when you’re questioning, you’re opening doors of productivity by challenging the general norms and assumptions.
5. Hidden power of uniformity
I have found out that people who have similar setups to their workstations and environment have been more productive. There is this hidden power of uniformity that you need to explore to find out why most people like to work from the comfort of their homes.
If you think about every aspect of your day, there are probably many micro-adjustments that aren’t really useful in any way.
- Remembering to pack everything before you travel and need to work remotely.
- Thinking about what clothes you are going to wear
- Thinking about what trainers you’re going to wear
- Having to log in to the same tools on a daily basis.
These things don’t really add any value to your life on a day-to-day basis. You won’t have to worry about the same tasks over and over again if everything is the same.
6. Time Management
A big challenge for many of us is time management. Making the most out of the limited work day can be key to productivity, but it can also quickly become an obstacle in its own right.
How do you remember to keep track of all the time spent on a project? Set up a timer or a tally system to help stay on track. There are many ways to be productive at work, from taking breaks, working in small sprints, and using Pomodoro apps.
Following are some of the most important time management hacks I have discovered during my journey so far;
- Step away from day-to-day management
- Use the power of 20-minute pomodoro technique
- Use the power of applied pressure to work
- Wake up early
- Take advantage of the massive impact of power hours on your work’s success
- Check your emails only 2x a day
- Delete all your social media apps for the better!
You can also check some other Insights on how I get shit done and maybe learn something new?
It is very important to have a set schedule in the workplace. This will lead to improved productivity and provide structure. If you change your routine, you may start neglecting other key aspects of your life apart from facing the dangers of disrupting a solid routine.
7. Managing your team effectively
If you’re at work, you’ve probably got a team to work with. There can be two situations right now:
You’re a part of the team but you’re not the leader, and
You’re leading your team.
If you’re leading the team, here are my top productivity tips for you;
- Manage conflict in a team
- Motivate your team to work harder and work faster
- Set up robust review processes to track productivity
- Build a training programme for interns/new joiners
- Run your team like army cadets to get the best results
- Engage with your team using conversation intelligence
- Engage with your team via running effective meetings
The above tips and tricks can be combined with other guidelines on managing a team effectively to get the best results.
However, if you are part of the team but not a leader, you can improve your productivity via effective techniques such as;
- Building strong relationship with colleagues,
- Avoiding unnecessary conflicts, and
- Engaging with others in the team.
8. Learning effectively
One of the most important drivers for high productivity at work is effective learning, and the key to that is learning how to learn. With a focus on developing skills that can be used in many different contexts, this kind of learning is applicable to all areas of life.
Online courses have been shown to increase productivity at work.
Here are some of my best tips on learning effectively and getting big results immediately:
How to learn effectively and get big results immediately
- Use the power of just in time learning
- Try Using the power of one-to-one intense training
- Try Getting a tutor like I got an Italian tutor and Its working out for me
- Embrace the power of serendipity
- Learn something new and learn it quickly
- Try to learn faster than the other guys using my approach (follow the link)
- Try learning at least 20-60 minutes per day
- Devote 4:30 am to 10:30 am Monday-Friday to learning + reading
9. Investing effectively in yourself
By investing in the right equipment, such as a high-end laptop and ergonomic chair, you’ll be able to increase productivity and complete projects faster. An ergonomic chair will help avoid pains and aches that come with long hours of sitting. A laptop with a large screen can make it easier to focus on the task at hand and avoid distractions on social media or other sites.
All you need is to identify your winning combination and take actions accordingly.
Further Resources on this;
- How to identify quick wins and action them immediately – part 1
- How to identify quick wins and action them immediately – part 2
A consistent stream of innovations can improve your productivity at work.
Innovation is the backbone of any successful company. Without new ideas, the business will not grow. The idea of innovation should not be relegated to just R&D or to certain departments. It should be pervasive throughout the company for it to thrive. The more innovation that happens, the more productive employees are.
Two of my best tips on using innovation to improve productivity at work;
- Put a process in place for relentless innovation
- Drive innovation within your company (from your team)
There are many tactics to increase your productivity at work but focusing on what you’re doing while you’re working is one of the best. When you focus on what you’re doing, it can help to reduce stress and make time go by quicker.
Focusing on the right problem can be one of the best ways to increase your productivity in your workplace.
As a bonus, here are few things to do when your mind is everywhere;
- Get it all out all on paper,
- As you write it all down it’ll leave your brain and you’ll feel calmer, don’t stop writing until you feel it’s all out,
- Take a deep breath before you do any of the above, and
- Decide your final action.
12. Preparing in advance
You should already start to prepare your workplace for next week. Not only will this help you readjust to the change of work schedule quickly, but it will also allow you to get more done by breaking down your tasks ahead of time.
You can read my process of preparing for my week away and organising a management transition.
13. Taking breaks
It is crucial to take spaced-out intermittent breaks. If you don’t, your productivity can suffer. You need to learn how to take breaks properly in order to get the most out of them.
With the goal of boosting productivity, you can explore taking a week-long break every month on the condition that it doesn’t cut into your available time. There are many alluring offers for workaholics, including new ideas and strategies to stay ahead on assignments.
I recommend the following two resources with regard to this;
- Planning to take one week off a month; every month from pearl lemon (Here I’m sharing my personnel experience with my own company)
- How to learn how to take time off from work
14. Using the right tools
Finding the right tools can be an important part of boosting your productivity. For example, if you find that certain tools are slowing you down & decreasing your output, you can try switching to a different set of software and tools.
In order to make my work-styles more similar to my team, I made a week-long experiment to switch from going on the Mac to going on Windows. Soon, I realized that to achieve the desired result, I have to keep using it for a month and share my hacks in switching from MAC to Windows for a month.
Additionally, you can try using different tools and software such as focusmate.
Leading a team is easier when the team leader has the skills to maximize their performance. An effective leader can greatly increase their productivity. They might not be expected to do everything, but some key areas where they really make a difference include:
- Motivating the team,
- giving the team a direction,
- empathizing with the team, and
- Sharing expert tips and hacks.
16. Being unorthodox
Creativity is often limited by what we’re used to doing. Pushing yourself to use different tools and switching from teachers, for example from English teachers to a tutor who teaches a language you want to learn is a great way of challenging yourself.
You can read some of the unorthodox productivity hacks I have shared in the linked post.
17. Getting through Failures
In order to stand out, you must come to grips with the idea of failure. It happens and it is a natural process for growth. But you must be willing to learn from your mistakes and keep going. Success will happen when you know the tips to cope with failures and move on.
But first, you need to learn how to get through failures because they are an important part of life.
18. Crisis Management
While dealing with failures is important, you should also know how to make the best of them. You need to systematically deal with crises because it’s inevitable that they’ll happen. If you do so, though, it will pay off massively by making your work more productive.
I recommend having a look at my process of making the most out of crisis.
19. Making the right decision quickly
The way a person makes a decision can have a big impact on their productivity in the workplace. Often, it doesn’t take long for an opportunity to show itself and not all of them can be investigated for hours at a time.
When we’re making decisions, speed is also an essential factor. It’s not just the quality of the decision that matters, but also how quickly we make it. When people are in a hurry and need to make a decision, they often make worse choices. You should avoid this to be productive.
Here are two of my top tips;
- You need to make uncommonly quick decision
- You need to take Actions and decisions that repeat themselves over the years
20. Addressing your anxiety
Anxiety can be one of the most debilitating diseases, especially when it interrupts productivity. It’s important to recognize the root cause of your anxiety so you can tackle it head-on. The first step is understanding what makes you anxious. What are your anxiety triggers? Is it panic, fear, frustration, or lack of self-worth? Once you know what makes you anxious, learn how to deal with them.
I have shared some 36 ways to address your anxiety in my post, you can read and quickly come up with new insights to help you get a productivity boost faster.
21. Recruit the Right people
Recruiting the right people for the right job is imperative for any company’s productivity.
The key to success in any company is finding the right people for the job. The cost of a bad hire can be a drain on any business. Hiring the right employees for a given position is difficult and can often feel like a shot in the dark. It’s not unusual for it to take months before finally finding the perfect person. Fortunately, there are some strategies that can help streamline your hiring process and make it all that much easier.
Once you’ve find a process that is working for you, you can repeat the process for other businesses and do it all over again.
22. Managing and trusting the process
You need to trust in your process and work harder for better results (more productivity). Here are some of tips that I learnt from trusting my process;
- Keep reminding yourself of the logic
- You should not give up your momentum
- Remember you’re playing the super long game
- Celebrate every day
- Only worry about the things you can control
- Focus on the value that your work is bringing
- Visualise success
- Practice gratitude.
- Ignore the naysayers.
- Embrace failure.
23. Changing habits and lifestyle
We all know that happiness is one of the keys to productivity. When we are happy, we feel excited and eager to take on new tasks and challenges. But how can we build habits that create this feeling? A few habits that can help build happy feelings are prioritizing sleep, exercise, socializing with people you enjoy spending time with, meditating or doing yoga, having hobbies that you enjoy doing etc etc.
Two of best productivity hacks when it comes to changing habits and lifestyle;
24. Dealing with setbacks
One of the best productivity hacks is dealing with setbacks. When you experience a setback, you are more likely to stay focused on your tasks at hand. You can schedule time to deal with the setback and then get back to work. There are many ways to deal with setbacks such as taking a break, researching, or finding inspiration.
- Try different ways to deal with setbacks
- Learn to tackle the monotony of life and its boring routines
- Learn to overcame crippling self doubt in life and your relationships
- Learn to cope with depression specifically during this new era of lockdowns and restrictions.
- Build your creative problem solving faculties
- Learn to deal with business conflicts.
There are many ways that you can get the right inspiration at work, but one of the easiest is through exposure to nature.
But the main question is, where does inspiration come from?
Inspiration can come from anywhere. For example, a coworker could share a story with you that you find compelling, and it could trigger an idea for future.
26. Learn to deal with difficult people
I’ll start with a quote from Dale Carnegie “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity”.
How you respond to difficult people has a major impact on your mood and productivity. Ultimately, how you choose to handle these interactions can make or break your work day. It might be tempting to snap back or shut down, but that will only lead to more anger and resentment. Believe it or not, there are ways to deal with difficult people that will actually make you feel better about yourself.
I have shared my top 10 insights on how to deal with difficult people, that you can read and apply to improve productivity.
Conducting business experiments can be a great way to improve your productivity. Testing different tactics with your project can help you discover what works best, making it easier for you to find the right combination. Experimenting will also allow you to find out what works best for your company or brand.
I have summarized some tips on conducting business and marketing experiments to help you be better at what you’re doing.
28. Improving yourself
One way to increase productivity is by always improvising. By doing this, you will be able to make your current workflow more efficient and may even stumble upon something brilliant.
Here are my 14 rules to improve yourself;
- Say “yes, and!”
- Don’t block
- Add new information
- Avoid asking questions – unless you’re also adding information
- Make statements
- Remove mental blockers
- Disrupt negative or limiting thoughts through distraction
- Change, change, change!
- Focus on the here and now
- Listen, watch and concentrate
- Make assumptions
- Make the people around you look good
29. Quantity vs Quality
The balance of quantity and quality is important in any endeavor. If you’re working on a project, it’s best to find a perfect mix of the two. This will depend on what type of project you’re working on and the constraints that are put on your time and resources.
You should pay close attention to the balance of quantity and quality. A good mix will increase your productivity at work.
But there is this misunderstood truth about quality over quantity, I have analyzed this in detail in the linked post.
30. Dealing with overwhelming
Being overwhelmed can be a big problem. If you don’t know how to prioritize what is important and what isn’t, your day will quickly get more and more cluttered. You may not even realize it’s happening until you’re spending more time moving things around on your desk than actually working. That’s why you need to deal with overwhelming to have a productivity boost.
31. Being competitive
The reason this question is important is because we all need a little motivation sometimes and competition is no exception. Competition is a great motivating factor for people. It pushes us to work harder and better. Competition not only provides productivity boosts, but it also leads to more creative outputs. When you compete with others, you’re forced to think of ways that set you apart from the rest – this leads to more imaginative ideas and innovations.
32. Acting Now
Opportunities pass by so quickly, if you need to do something right now can’t put it off. You must seize this moment. There is this amazing power of now that you can’t ignore!
Let’s face it, most of us are lazy. If given the choice of putting in a little bit of work to get something done or doing absolutely nothing, most people will choose the latter. This is why “Acting Now” can be one of the best productivity hacks right now!
33. Learn to say No
Saying “no,” and rejecting things at the right time can help you become more productive. It can free up your schedule and open up resources for other things. – sometimes it’s necessary to say no to things in order to help oneself.
To do this, you need to learn “how to say no to request, ideas, proposals and more”.
I have discussed 11 ways to say no in the linked post in detail. These can surely help you say no at the right time.