Saving 10 hours a week is gaining 10 hours a week. If you enjoy spending more time on projects and getting less accomplished, this post isn't for you. This is for those who wish there were more hours in the day and can really use an extra 260 hours (or 10.83 days) per year. These productivity hacks are something that I use on a daily basis, and it has proven to help me use my time more effectively.
Every night, I make a checklist of things that I need to accomplish the next day. It really helps me focus on the things that are high priority objectives. You can use a pen and pad, or an app that allows you to view and edit your daily objectives. If you are consistent and list them all then you will be surprised how quickly you can move from one thing to the next. How many things do you think you can accomplish when absolute focus is applied to your life? Focusing on your daily objectives will lead to a huge boost in productivity.
Planning your ideal week will help you in many different areas. One of my tricks to creating my ideal week is making an additional calendar in my Google Calendars App and having recurring events throughout each and every individual week. I can plan all 7 days of the week, before I ever live them out. I am able to hide or view the calendar with a click of the button to compare between actual and ideal weeks.
For example, my ideal week has Mondays reserved for content development and social media planning for my business. I currently have set a time-frame every Monday where I am working on developing content from 9AM-1PM, and then social media planning from 2PM-4PM. My lunch hour is from 12PM-1PM, where I check and respond to emails, calls, and text messages so that I am not easily distracted on my content development and planning. I then end every day from 4PM-5PM with one hour of any items on my agenda that were missed or need attention. My plan is to do this for every day of the week, so that I know beforehand what my ideal day looks like and it gives me an opportunity to look back on my week and see how closely my actual week was in comparison with my ideal week.
Reacting to every notification that you receive kills momentum and makes it hard to get anything done. Don’t become dependent on the drug of urgency. Did you know that when we see a notification for an email, text message, or Facebook notification, we get a small rush of dopamine. Dopamine is the same substance that is associated with addiction. It’s no wonder why we have such a hard time distinguishing between what is important and what is urgent. We are easily distracted, and distracted individuals produce less. Focus is key. Stop reacting to everything and start responding during your allotted time.
Your smart phone can easily waste large amounts of your time if used incorrectly. One of the best features on my iPhone is that there are many apps that actually help me save time. Here are three of my favorites:
Unroll.Me filters through all of my emails and separates important emails from promotional emails. Rather than receiving 20-30 promotional emails per day, I have consolidated those into Unroll.Me. I can easily see all of the promotions that I enjoy within one beautifully designed email, unsubscribe from ones I no longer wish to receive (with the flip of a finger), and save time by not having to sort through so many different emails.
Productive Habits and Daily Goal Tracker is by far one of my favorite apps. It allows me to create daily habit routines, helps me build my daily checklist, and helps me keep on track with my goals and accomplishments. I would say this is the number 1 productivity app to download!
EasilyDo helps me manage my contacts, emails, calendar events in an automated workflow. This app is a huge help to me by integrating many of the apps that I use on a daily basis including Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, SalesForce, and social media channels. It also reminds me of birthdays, checks the weather, tracks packages, and gives me directions to my next appointment.
If you are going to live according to a realistic schedule and maintain margin for your most important priorities, you must make some tough decisions about accessibility. Being too accessible can be a huge detriment to your success and also the success of others. If I spent more time focusing on accomplishing my mission with MillenniaLeadership, I believe that I will help more people succeed. The more people that I help achieve success, the more successful I will become. It all starts with absolute focus on my mission. The more successful we are, the less accessible we must become. Otherwise, we'll end up cheating those relationships and projects that matter most.
I receive many emails, messages, and social media messages of people who want 10 minutes of my time. Although I would love to speak with these people individually, it's not realistic for me as a leader. It is not because these people aren't important, in fact, they are very important. But it's because I am consistently focusing in on my mission. Therefore, many of these people spend their time messaging or interacting with my team.
The more that you are aware of the things that are keeping you from achieving your goals, the more you can build solid solutions to deal with these things. These 5 productivity hacks are something that I use on a daily basis, and it has proven to help me use my time more effectively.