Productivity Hacks Worth Trying

productivity hacks worth trying to maximize your work day and help you to be more efficient!
I am a productivity tips junkie. I love knowing how I can maximize my time and be more efficient throughout my day….

I know, kinda nerdy. Nothing better than a steaming hot cup of coffee and some productivity articles, am I right, ladies?

But really.

I’ve been putting the tips I’ve learned into practice over the past couple years and I honestly think that’s how I get it all done. Each day I have a slew of to-do lists with multiple tasks for my blogging work and my school work and each day I’m able to cross every last thing off the list because of these methods I’ve adopted.

So yeah, if you’re ready from some productivity hacks that really work, buckle your seat belts.

The timer method

This is a method I’ve used daily for the past year or so. During the bulk of my work day (10am-4pm), I work to a timer. I typically do a 45 minutes on/15 minutes off time sequence with an hour break at noon for lunch.

I start by taking a look at my to-do list and picking a task. It’s usually something longer such as “study for marketing test”. I’ll study for 45 and take a break for 15. I’ll pick up the task again if it still needs finishing or move on to the next one. Some people do 90 minutes work with a 25 minute break, but that’s too long for me. Find what works best for you!

*important note about taking breaks*

Since this is the “get-shizz-done” phase of my day, breaks are not for scrolling through Twitter or sending New Girl GIFs to friends. Your breaks should be productive and strategic – tackle that chore list after you finish 45 minutes of studying! If you need to vacuum, vacuum to some Adele as your break. If you need to schedule social posts for the next day, schedule while you chug some iced coffee. Maintaining that level of productivity while taking a break is tricky, but so beneficial.

The “I’m on an airplane and it’s 1999” method

Nowadays, some planes have wifi and you are able to use your phone at certain points of your flight. But, let’s pretend it’s 1999 and you’re wearing flare jeans and a white tank. Turn off your phone completely for an hour, an hour and a half, or however long you need to get your assignment completed. It’s definitely old school, but really works.

The organized to-do list method

To-do lists are these menacing things that sit on the end of your desk and disguise themselves as “cute” with their frilly patterns and girly calligraphy. I make mine a little less scary by organizing them. (I realize this makes me sound like a crazy person….let me ‘splain.)

Put the items that you need to do first thing in the morning (between the time you get up and a couple hours after) at the top. It’s the first place your eyes go, so you’ll remember that they are time sensitive to the morning hours!

Put the items that you can be done in any order in the middle of the to-do list. Mine are usually random college girl to-dos like “clean bathroom” and “buy more cereal”. I want to get them done, but they can be done at really anytime during the bulk of the work day.

At the bottom, write the things to be done at night. You may have an evening meeting or you may want to remind yourself to do a face mask. Organizing your lists this way will make them way less scary!

The “don’t make yourself comfortable” method

I once heard someone say that the less comfortable you are, the faster you get your work done. Sounds a little weird, right?

I’m not saying you should set your thermostat to 85 degrees and wear a parka in order to work faster, but you should take some precautions to make sure that you maintain a work environment while sitting in your dorm room or at a coffee shop.

I always stay in the clothes I went to class in since I normally dress up a little bit in jeans and a nicer top. Since I don’t get into pajamas and hop in bed, I really stay in “get-shizz-done” mode. If my room is a bit cold, I’ll allow myself to put on Uggs or a chunky sweater, but other than that, I keep it work-room casual at HQ. It really helps me to push through the work day and celebrate changing into sweatpants at 6!

The email method

I recently read this tip somewhere on Career Girl Daily and it spoke right to me. Basically, don’t keep your email pulled up all day! Every time you get an email, it will distract you from the task you’re working on. Example: This is me…

*working diligently at desk*

Email: BING!

Me: Oh, let me check this real quick.

*2 hours later I’ve answered the email, pinned 200 pictures of dogs on Pinterest, written half of a novel, but never finished what I was originally working on*

So yeah, don’t keep your email tab open! Check your email once when you wake up, once in the middle of the day, and once at the end.

For students: Your school email is the exception to this rule! I’m guessing you have your school send emails to your phone, and I think you can agree it’s important that you check them as they come in. Your professor may be letting you know that class is canceled or that there’s an extra credit opportunity that afternoon. However, follow the tips above for your personal email(s)!

The two-minute rule

(Found this method on Buzzfeed a while ago!)

If you can do it in two minutes, do it. I know that little things pop up here and there that we may need to break away from our work to attend to. Maybe you have to break the email method to send something time-sensitive. Do it in two minutes. Just keep an eye on the time!

Let me know which of these methods you try out and which you find helpful! You can see me in total “get-shizz-done” mode by searching the hashtag #cristinahq on Instagram.