We are all given the same 24 hours every single day.
But some people use that time to start multi-million dollar businesses. Other people learn amazing skills or form beneficial relationships.
And some people just get by.
That is why I want to give you a few productivity tips you can use at work. These are my office productivity hacks that I use to get twice as much done every single day. Or to get at least enough work done in a day to have more time to do the things I love.
But keep in mind that productivity is not getting a bunch of random things done super quickly. It is about doing the really important stuff more quickly. That said, here’s my first productivity hack for you.
#1. The first thing you do in the morning
The day before your work week starts, sit down and set a timer for 10 minutes. And then just brainstorm what would you do to accomplish whatever goal you’re trying accomplish if you had infinite time. Just imagine for a moment that you have all the time in the world and write down every single thing that you would do to achieve your goal. Once the timer goes off, look at the list and prioritize.
How do you prioritize?
Pick the biggest-impact things that are gonna take the least amount of time from you. Once you have that list of high-impact things, you wake up every Monday to Friday and you just make the first thing on that list the first thing you do that day.
This guarantees that no matter what happens, no matter what crazy stuff comes from your boss or troubles come up in your business – you get to go to bed knowing you did something big to accomplish your goals. If the thing on the list is something big like writing a book or launching your business, then just turn it into 60-minute chunks and then just do that first every day.
#2. Turn work into an escape room
If you haven’t done escape rooms, then here’s the gist of it. Basically, you get locked in a room and you solve puzzles and riddles in order to escape before the clock counts down from 60 minutes to zero.
Well, what if you do that exact same thing with work?
This is great for killing perfectionism. Given infinite time, work is like a gas and it will expand or contract depending how much time you devote to it.
This is an amazing method, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, it lets you have more time outside your business. Or if you work a job but you want to start a business of your own, then it gives you a method for doing that. Working eight hours a day and then just slapping on two or three hours on top of it so you can be free of a job you don’t like within a year or maybe just a few months!
#3. Slay the time vampires
if you are only going to work two or three hours a day, then how do you make those two or three hours productive. How do you make them count as much as possible?
One way is to say no to time vampires.
A time vampire is anything that sucks your time and does not give you anything back in return. This could be group calls with 15 people about a project that you’re not really involved in or a coffee meeting with someone that you’re not very excited to hang out with.
Just say no to it – it’s super easy for an entrepreneur or a student but it could be even if you work for somebody else. If they invite you for a call with 12 people and you say “Hey, Joe, I’d love to come to this but I’m cranking really hard on this project that I think is more important and I’d love to be able to sit this one out and just focus on that other thing.”
If what you are working on is gonna make that person more money or make them look good, then they are going to say “Yeah, for sure. Skip the call. Do your thing” which means that you get to stay at work less because now you don’t have to go to the call and and stay late. Or you get to do what’s important to you and skip the stuff that’s boring.
Other time vampires to say no to are things that you bring on yourself. For instance, Facebook, email, your phone – huge distractions.
So many studies show that even looking at your phone for five minutes doesn’t just cost you those five minutes; it takes you out of your flow, it distract you. And then when you go back to work, you’re thinking about what you just looked at. And it makes you so much less productive. So just shut it all down and go into airplane mode. Stay focused for that work period and then go actually have fun and do something that you really enjoy afterwards.
#4. Say no brain-drainers
In addition to killing off the time vampires, say no to brain-draining activities. Great example of this is drinking alcohol. If you know that consuming something is going to inhibit your ability to be productive the next day, then at least ask yourself if it is worth it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against partying. But lately I’ve been going out without resorting to intoxication. I usually just have a diet coke or sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
#5. Time Arbitrage
Now, this might be the only item on the list that is not available to everyone. But if you have some extra money, then I highly recommend time arbitrage.
Write down all the things that someone else could do that take time out of your day. This could be grocery shopping, cleaning your apartment, getting gas, whatever it might be and think if you are able to hire somebody to do that for you. Such as a Japanese maid for example.
Can you pay somebody else to do this at a lower rate than what you make per hour? Because if you can work for three hours to save yourself four hours, that’s actually amazing. You basically gain an hour to go and have fun or work toward your goal.