10 New Productivity Hacks for 2021 You Need to Try
As we start the year, you probably have new goals that you want to achieve.
Regardless of what your goals are – whether you want to start a consulting business, get to the pinnacle of your career, or achieve financial freedom – you will need to maximize your productivity if you want to achieve these goals.
In this article, we will take a look at 10 productivity hacks that will help you maximize your time and reduce stress in 2021.
1. Create A Daily To-Do List
Having a to-do list with all the tasks you need to get done each day is one of the best ways of keeping yourself productive.
To-do lists work for several reasons. First, they keep you organized. As you start each day, you know exactly what you need to do, so you’re unlikely to waste time trying to figure out what you should be working on that day.
Second, to-do lists make it easier for you to prioritize your tasks. When you have a list of everything you need to do in a given day, it becomes easier to determine which tasks are more important. You can then focus on getting these tasks done first.
Finally, having a to-do list reduces the likelihood of forgetting some of the tasks you need to handle each day. This way, by the end of the day, you’ll have completed everything that you needed to do that day.
2. Avoid Multitasking
A lot of people think that multitasking allows them to do more in less time. In reality, multitasking actually makes you less productive.
According to this HBR article, multitasking reduces your productivity by 40% and lowers your IQ by up to 10 points. This is because the human brain is not wired to focus on multiple things simultaneously.
If you want to be more productive this year, therefore, quit multitasking. Instead, focus on one task, get it done, and then move to the next.
3. Use Templates To Boost Your Productivity
Templates are another great way to boost your productivity. Instead of trying to come up with something new every time, using templates allows you to get things done in less time, freeing up time that you can spend working on other tasks.
For instance, if you’re reaching out to bloggers as part of link prospecting, using an email outreach template allows you to send out more emails to more bloggers in less time.
The best part about templates is that they can be used just about anywhere. You can create templates for social media marketing posts, email marketing, proposals for freelance clients, blog posts, client thank you notes, animated video templates, or any other task that you handle repeatedly.
4. Use The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking up your work into multiple segments with short breaks in between.
Using this technique helps keep you highly productive by preventing you from getting bored or tired with what you’re working on. It also allows you to maintain your creativity as you work.
To start using this technique, create a timetable dividing your work day into 25 minute work segments, with a 5 minute break between two work segments.
5. Have A Dedicated Workspace
Following the Covid 19 pandemic, more people than ever are now working or running their business from home. If you’re one of them, avoid the temptation to work from the dinner table, the couch, or the bed.
Instead, you should create a dedicated home office that you use for nothing else but work. The benefit of having such a dedicated workspace is that every time you go to this space, your mind shifts to work mode. This will definitely keep you more productive.
6. Minimize Distractions Around Your Workspace
Having lots of stimuli around your workspace increases the amount of information that your mind has to process. In other words, it is a lot harder to focus on the task at hand when you have a lot of clutter in your environment, especially as a remote worker
To boost your focus and productivity, always keep your workspace decluttered. Keep any paperwork in your desk drawers, get digital to reduce the amount of paper on your desk, and use organizers to keep things like stationery well organized.
7. Suggest Stand-Up Meetings
Meetings are huge time wasters. Actually, 37% of meetings do not add any value, yet the average mid-level manager spends 35% of their time (close to 2 days every work week) attending meetings. This definitely drives down productivity.
A good way to keep meetings from making you less productive is to suggest stand-up meetings – these are meetings that are held standing up. Why standing up? Because stand-up meetings tend to be shorter, meaning less time will be wasted discussing things that add no value.
8. Dedicate Specific Times For Checking Email
Most organizations run on email, but email can also be a huge time waster. This is especially true if you respond to emails the moment they hit your inbox. Doing this switches your focus from the task you were working on and makes you distracted.
The best way to avoid getting distracted by emails is to dedicate specific times for checking and responding to emails. For instance, you might decide that you will respond to emails the first one hour after reporting to work, and the first one hour after lunch.
9. Group Similar Tasks
When you have multiple tasks to handle, a good way to maximize your productivity is to group together similar tasks.
For instance, let’s say you need to write 5 emails, post on social media, edit two blog posts, and make two cold calls. Which of these two approaches do you think would allow you to maximize your productivity?
- Approach A: Write 1 email, post on Facebook, make 1 cold call, edit 1 blog post, post on Instagram, write another email, edit second blog post, post on Twitter, write second email, make second cold call, write remaining emails:
- Approach B: Write all 5 emails, post on Facebook, then Instagram, and then Twitter, make both cold calls, then edit both blog posts.
You’ll definitely be more productive with the approach B.
10. Learn To Say No
Sometimes, we are not as productive as we would like to be because we say yes to every request and challenge that comes our way. We pause our work to help colleagues with their projects, respond to texts from friends, work on something the boss forgot to do, and so on.
If you want to maximize your productivity, you have to learn to say no to unnecessary obligations. Unless something is in your to-do list, or unless it is absolutely necessary for you to do it, say no to it until you accomplish your tasks for the day.
As we start the year, you will need to maximize your productivity if you want to achieve all the lofty goals you have set for yourself. There are tons of great productivity tools to also consider, but at a minimum these 10 new productivity hacks that will help you maximize your productivity in 2021and punch 200 in the face.