If you want to work faster and accomplish more by the end of the day, then you probably need a productivity hack or two. No, you won’t be hacking any computer — rather, you will use a life hack, which is a technique designed to make your tasks or routines easier or more efficient. There are many productivity hacks on the internet, but some can actually be counterproductive.
To avoid adopting these bad hacks, use these amazing ones instead:
#1. Think “High energy + focus = success.”
Focus your energy on doing one task at a time instead of multitasking.
The logic behind multitasking seems solid at first glance — instead of doing one task at a given time, do as many as you can and you’ll accomplish more within the same period. It’s practically like saying one plus one makes two.
But studies disagree and even suggest that multitasking is bad for your brain health. One research says multitaskers actually waste time as their brains’ cognitive functions adjust to the different sets of rules of each task. This wastage grows worse as tasks become more complex. Another study found that multitasking can hinder brain function and lead to lower brain density and shorter attention span.
Multitasking disrupts your focus and makes you more likely to commit mistakes or turn up low-quality output. Instead of squeezing in as many tasks within a given time frame, focus on doing your best on the one at hand.
#2. Savor fewer but longer breaks
Do this instead of taking short breaks often.
You may have read somewhere that taking frequent, but short, breaks lets you take advantage of your body’s natural bursts of energy. As a result, you are primed for greater efficiency and can finish more tasks than usual.
This hack may work for small tasks, but not so for bigger, more complex ones. Like multitasking, taking frequent breaks disrupts your focus and forces your brain to stop and go. Instead, make your breaks less frequent but take your time. This will give your brain adequate time to rest and adjust to different cognitive functions.
#3. Find out when you are most productive
Don’t wake up early just because others become their most productive when they do so.
“The early bird gets the worm,” says a popular adage. If life were a race, being an early riser gives you a headstart and a greater chance to beat everyone else to the prize.
But apparently, the adage works only if you’re a morning person in the first place. Different people have varying energy levels at certain times of the day and being forced to wake up too early can impede your efficiency. Instead, determine which waking hour lets you be as productive as you can be.
#4. Schedule tasks according to importance, not difficulty
Don’t finish hard tasks first as doing so may wear you out.
The harder the task, the more time they usually take to finish. Thus, some hacks recommend prioritizing tough tasks so you can get them out of your schedule for the day. This leaves you with time to do more of the easier tasks as your day ends.
But just because a task is difficult doesn’t mean it’s important. Prioritizing work based on difficulty could lead you to neglect and delay those that are easy but crucial and urgent. Instead of crafting your workflow around how hard tasks are, focus on their level of importance or urgency.
#5. Relax and enjoy your weekends
Don’t try to get ahead on Sunday as this may just make you falter throughout the workweek.
Some hacks recommend getting a head start by starting work a day early. This means checking your emails, fixing your schedule, or getting a task or two done as early as Sunday. But while this can indeed reduce your workload for the week, it can have negative consequences.
Working early decreases the amount of rest you derive from your days off from work. You could end up with less time to sleep, which can affect your performance come Monday or worse, lead to mental health problems. Rest days give your mind and body the respite they deserve, so take advantage of them as much as you can. Read a book, go out with your friends, or do something that makes you happy. These will make you more energized to accomplish more at work the next day.
Efficiency and productivity will help you get ahead in your business or career and the internet can be a good source of good hacks to improve both. However, take everything with a grain of salt and make sure the advice you take does not ultimately hinder your performance or affect your mental health negatively.
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