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Productivity Hacks: 5 Expert Tips To Help You Get More Done In Less Time

  • Written by Telegraph Magazine

In today's fast-paced, tech-driven world, productivity is non-negotiable if you want to keep up. As a business owner or professional, you need to squeeze as much juice out of your workday as possible. Whether you’re working in the best coworking space in Melbourne, a lively startup in San Francisco, or a legacy company in London, you probably face a host of daily distractions and competing priorities, each of which makes it challenging to stay focused and productive.

In the post below, we explore five expert tips to help you achieve more with each workday. 

1. Prioritize your tasks

Before you can effectively deploy any productivity-boosting strategies, you need to know where your priorities lie. Identify which tasks are most important and urgent (these are two separate categories), and focus on completing them first. 

If you fail to highlight these tasks at the start of each workday, you run the risk of simply going for the low-hanging fruit – the tasks that come to mind first or that you’re most familiar and comfortable with. So, get in the habit of setting your priorities at the start of each day. If you want to get extra strategic about it, consider using the Eisenhower Matrix to categorize tasks based on their urgency and importance.

2. Minimise your distractions – including the subtle ones

Distractions are a major productivity killer, and in today's digital age, they exist in greater abundance than ever before. You’ve probably already figured out that you should put your phone in do-not-disturb mode, limit notifications on your computer, and create a peaceful workstation that’s conducive to focus. 

However, there are more subtle distractions that can still get in your way. This could be anything from chatty coworkers to distracting websites or even a bad habit of compulsively checking your email multiple times a day. Spend a few days being conscious of your workflows and noticing when something breaks your focus. Note it down, and come up with a strategy for minimising its impact. 

3. Break your tasks into manageable chunks

Large tasks can be overwhelming, especially if they seem complex. However, you can make them feel more manageable by breaking them down into their component parts and then tackling these smaller tasks one by one. Set goals and deadlines for these tasks to ensure you stay on track.

4. Use relevant technology to your advantage

Technology can be a powerful productivity tool or a deceptive distraction, depending on how you use it. There are countless apps and tools available to help you stay organized, but many consume more time than they free up. So, be mindful of your choices. 

A good place to start is with time-tracking apps like Toggl or RescueTime. These platforms allow you to track your productivity and identify where you're spending (and wasting) your time. 

5. Take regular breaks to recharge

Productivity isn't just about working harder or adding more hours to your workday. It's also about taking care of your physical and mental health. Regular breaks can help you stay focused and energised. They’re also key to avoiding burnout. 

When taking a break, it’s important to step away from your workstation entirely. Go for a short walk outside, do some stretches, or simply move to a different part of your home or office and take a few deep breaths. Along with breaks, good sleep, healthy eating, and regular exercise are essential productivity ingredients.

Work these productivity hacks into your routine, and you can look forward to getting more done in less time while maintaining your focus and avoiding burnout.