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.



  • I love these! I’ll definitely be trying that timer method – 45/15 seems like a great sequence to me!


  • these are all awesome tips! I always shut my phone off when I have a lot of things to do, it seriously helps so much!

  • I LOVE the timer idea. I sometimes feel like I don’t take a break for hours, which then just sucks down my productivity later int he day. I will need to try the 45 minutes on, 15 off method. Great tips! Xoxo Mindy

  • I’m a huge “don’t get too comfortable” type of gal when it comes to getting sh*t done, mostly because it usually ends up in me binge watching Netflix.. oops? I try my best to get dressed and move myself to a productive area – I’ve even been known to sitting on the floor (it’s not comfy at all) to get stuff done!

    XO, Rachel

    • cristina

      I never thought about sitting on the floor! Genius 🙂 X!

  • These are great strategies! I keep telling myself that the timer method won’t work for me, but I think it’s time I started giving it a try. Like you, I love my to-do lists and find them super effective!

  • I’m basically the worst when it comes to productivity (okay, maybe not the WORST but I’m up there). I’m definitely guilty of checking FB or my email whenever there’s a *bing* or a notification pops up and then I find that it’s an hour later and I’ve done a whole lotta NOTHING. I really want to try the timer method, but I feel like I’d have a hard time getting myself back into the groove of things after taking a break. Maybe that’s just me though! I’m definitely going to start organizing my to-do list like you suggested because I think that could really work for me. Great tips, girl!

    Kayla |

    • cristina

      Thanks girl! Let me know how the timer method works for ya 🙂 X!

  • Turning my phone off or restricting access (leaving it in my car or on silent in my purse) always increases my productivity!! These are great tips girl, thanks for sharing!

    • cristina

      I should really put my phone in my purse! Thanks girl 🙂

  • Haha! I am in love with the The “I’m on an airplane and it’s 1999” method! So clever 🙂

    • cristina

      Thanks girl! 🙂

  • This is such a great post! The timer method is a great idea, I need to try something like that. It’s so hard for me to get in the zone, so I feel like that may help.

    • cristina

      The timer method has definitely helped me get in the zone! It’s great because you really look forward to those breaks and you want to keep being productive 🙂

  • Ashley

    These are great ideas!! Don’t make yourself comfortable is probably my biggest tip, too! I always knew I was in trouble when I put comfy clothes on and snuggled up on the couch with a blanket to “get work done”….the only thing that ended up happening was me taking a 2 hour nap. Oops!

    xo Ashley

    • cristina

      Right?! If I get in my bed I end up binge watching Fuller House! Haha 🙂

  • Amy

    I use the timer method allll the time! I guess the fact that I am under pressure with time sets a fire under my butt. Thanks for sharing your tips!
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

  • I LOVE these! Especially the “I’m on a plane and it’s 1999” hahahahah perfect!!

  • These are great tips. I especially like the pretend you’re on a plane like it’s 1999 reference. Probably because I spend a heck of a lot of time on planes.

  • Ahhh I love the two minute rule! I’m going to try this…I think it’ll help especially since I have a toddler running around!! Thanks! 🙂

  • Hannah

    I’ve heard of the 2 minute rule and want to try it!


    Hannah from HMS Jewels

  • Excellent article, Cristina. Useful tips indeed. My personal favourite – organizing your to-do list, certainly helps in getting things done in a faster and more systematic manner. Thanks, Niraj (Founder at

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