5 Productivity Hacks to Help You Accomplish More in Less TimeNov 04, 2021
Do you ever get to the end of your workday and feel like you didn't get everything you wanted accomplished in your business?
This is one of the top struggles I hear people talk about when it comes to being a solopreneur because you’re most likely doing everything yourself.
Not only are you learning how to do a lot of new things, you have all these ideas and thoughts swimming around in your head and there's just a lot of noise.
And it can feel like every single thought or idea wants your immediate attention!
So today I'm going to give you 5 productivity hacks I believe will set you up to accomplish more in less time and reduce your stress levels to boot! Because here's the thing... you only have so much time to work in your business and I know you want to make the most of of it, right?
And you don't need all the mental clutter that creates a lot of stress for you because that's not good for your health.
There is strategy behind getting more accomplished in less time.
And if you do these hacks consistently, over time, you will get more accomplished in less time, and you'll also have a streamlined way to clear the mental clutter so you can really drill down, get focused and get a lot done.
Now this first one might ruffle your feathers...
Productivity Hack #1: Stop Multitasking!
I think you know what multitasking is but just in case you don't know, it's working on two or more tasks simultaneously and switching back and forth between them.
And even though it might seem like a great way to get a lot done at once, research is proving that you're actually less productive when you multitask.
Yes - less productive!
Various studies are showing that:
- multitasking lowers your IQ
- it changes the way your brain functions and processes emotions
- and it increases anxiety and stress levels
And we all know how stress leads to burnout and is a co-contributor to just about every illness.
Research also shows that multitasking actually decreases your productivity by 40%!
And you might thinking, "But I'm really good at multitasking!"
I hear you!... I used to be one of those people, too!
The reality is that it's really hard for your brain to focus on more than one thing at a time. And switching back and forth between tasks actually makes them take longer.
For the love of your sanity, stop multitasking!
So if you're not going to multitask, what do you do?
That question brings us to Hack #2.
Productivity Hack #2: Start Your Day with a Brain Dump
I don't have to tell you that you're living in the age of information overload. You already know that!
You're super busy running your business, while making time for your family, and managing all the other things that are part of your life, and that's why you need to start your day with a brain dump.
So what exactly is a brain dump?
A brain dump is simply the act of dumping all of the contents of what's on your mind onto paper so you can start with a clear slate.
It's where you're going to take everything that's pre-occupying your thoughts and dump it all into a container of some sort.
Your container can be a piece of paper, a page in your journal or planner or your favorite productivity app. My favorite container is a designated section in my planner. You're going to use whatever container works best for you.
You don't have to be organized for a brain dump, just let the thoughts flow and freely write down whatever's on your mind, and don't hold anything back.
Once you get everything down on paper you're ready for Productivity Hack #3.
Productivity Hack #3: Choose Only 3 Priorities for the Day
Now as important as it is to do a brain dump and get things down on paper, it's just as important to organize and assign priorities to what you put down on paper to prevent stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety come in when you're trying to do more than you can handle.
Stress releases cortisol, and as a result your body kicks off the stress response which not only lowers your immunity, it interferes with how your body makes the hormones you need to stay balanced. It even affects your ability to lose weight!
Okay - enough of my tangent!
You know even something as simple as clutter produces cortisol, especially in women, who tend to be more susceptible to clutter-induced stress. (You can read more about that here.)
So you've dumped out everything that's swimming around in your mind, and this is where universal law comes in. You want to take look at what you wrote down so you can organize it set some priorities because you want to be intentional about what you want to work on and create in your business.
You have the co-creative power to create anything you want in your business when you're intentional with your thoughts and actions.
I actually like to cross through any items on my brain dump list that's I've decided to delete and let go of completely. Then with the remaining items, you can prioritize them intentionally in order of importance and then choose the top 3 items for the day.
If you're not sure what tasks to make a priority and take massive action on to grow your business, let's chat. Just click the image below to set it up...
So Hack #1 is Stop Multitasking, Hack #2 is Start Your Day with a Brain Dump, Hack #3 is Choose Only 3 Priorities for the Day. And when you add hacks #4 and #5, it's like adding in rocket fuel.
So let's move on to Productivity Hack #4.
Productivity Hack #4: Work Smarter by Batching Your Work
Now that you know what the your top priorities are, it's time to work smarter. You can do that by batching your work.
Batching is simply doing one task or type of task together so that you can tackle them all in one efficient go-round instead of scattering them throughout your day or week.
Here's a list of 10 business activities that you can batch:
- batch brainstorm and keyword research your blog or video topics
- batch write bullets for your blog or video
- batch record your videos
- batch create thumbnail images for videos or blog articles
- batch create social media posts for each video
- batch write the captions for these social media posts
- batch your coaching sessions into specific days of the week
- batch your bookkeeping tasks together
- batch checking and returning emails
- batch phone calls and returning phone messages
The whole point of batching is staying in the same frame of mind as you do multiple-related tasks together.
This allows you to stay more focused at the type of task at hand, it allows you to be more efficient because you're not switching gears by multitasking, and as a result you are more productive with your time.
Let's review Productivity Hacks #1 through #4, and then we'll finish up with Productivity Hack #5!
- HACK #1: Stop Multitasking!
- HACK #2: Start Your Day with a Brain Dump!
- HACK #3: Choose Only 3 Priorities for the Day - and remember if you get those completed, you can always go back to your priority list and work on the next item.
- HACK #4: Working Smarter by Batching Your Work.
Like I mentioned before, if you want to add rocket fuel to your productivity, then you're also gonna want to add in Productivity Hack #5, which will be super easy for you to do!
Productivity Hack #5: Calendarize Your Batches into Focused Time Blocks
Now I'm gonna guess that you can probably count on one hand the number of times you've completed 8 hours of work in an 8-hour workday.
And that's because whether it's meetings, emails, phone calls or people (including family) that pop into your space or call you for a "quick chat", your productivity rarely makes it through an entire day.
It's just the way things are for most people.
Part of that can be a boundary issue (which we'll save for a future training), and part of it is because when you design your to-do list for an 8-hour workday you don't realize how long things actually take and you don't factor in time for disruptions.
When you only end up with just 1-2 hours of productive time because you're jumping from thing to thing on your long to-do list, you're really just spending your time putting out fires! And doing it this way really sets your business up for productivity failure.
No need to fear, because that's where time blocking comes to your rescue!
So what exactly is time blocking and how do you use it?
Time blocking is the practice of planning out your day in advance - that's where the intentional piece comes back into play - and then you dedicate specific time blocks for certain tasks and responsibilities.
You plan out your day in advance and you can be putting your work batching into these designated blocks of time.
The reason it works so beautifully is because it's designed to create focus and eliminate distraction. And you need these things to be productive!
I like to think of batching as the "what" and time blocks as the "when".
Batching is what I'm going to focus my time on and then time blocking tells me exactly when I'm going to do it.
There's actually a time management method called the Pomorodo Technique. It was created in the late 1980s by Franceso Cirillo, where you break down your work into 25-minute intervals followed by a 5-minute break.
He actually created it for students who had learning problems to help them focus. And studies show that taking breaks helps productivity and creativity.
I kinda think this is where modern-day time blocking comes from.
You can do shorter time blocks or longer ones; it's your choice!
Personally I prefer setting up my time blocks into a 60-minute time block because at the 25-minute mark, I'm really in the flow of my work and I don't want to stop or be interrupted. So I do a 50-minute focused work session and follow that with a 10 minute break.
During that 50 minutes, I'm totally focused on the task at hand until I hear my phone alarm signaling me to take a break. During my 10-minute break, I get up and move around, do a restroom stop, and then refill my water jug. My goal is to get multiple 60-minute focused time blocks in during each work day.
If you implement time blocking into your business, you will ramp up your productivity!
In fact, if you implement all of these productivity hacks, you will get a shit ton of work accomplished in your business. Just adding in one of them will make a massive difference!
Doing Productivity Hacks #2 through #5 have helped me stop multitasking. I start each day with a brain dump, and then I intentionally prioritize what's there, adding only the top 3 priorities to my day.
Implementing these productivity hacks is huge, because it removes the stress and overwhelm!
I can move the other priorities to other days on my calendar.
Since I've incorporated batching and time blocking in, I feel like my productivity is on fire!
So those are my 5 Productivity Hacks to Help You Accomplish More in Less Time.
One Last Thing to Make it All Work...
One last thing I want to instill in you is consistency.
You have to be consistent!
Because you cannot go and do all 5 of these productivity hacks in 1 day and expect your creativity, focus and productivity to permanently skyrocket in your business.
It's just like raising kids. You cannot teach them right and wrong in one day and expect them to have a good moral compass. It takes consistent teaching and modeling.
It's the same thing with your productivity. You're gonna burn yourself out with stress if you don't commit to getting organized and focused so you can make the most of your time in your business, right?
You might be thinking that doing a brain dump will gobble up your time, but spending 10 minute to get clear and focused is exactly what can help you get clear and be more productive.
You'll actually save time by batching like tasks together and putting them into scheduled time blocks. And you'll be surprised by how quickly you can train your monkey mind to get on the productivity train!
So that's it.
That is my lesson for today: 5 Productivity Hacks to Help You Accomplish More in Less Time.
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And if you're really overwhelmed and not sure how to put all the pieces together to create massive success in your business, I'd love to talk it out. Book a complimentary BIZ GROWTH EXPLORATORY SESSION where we can chat and get you where you want to be with your business.
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Hi! I'm Michele.
I'm from the Midwest - think the Black Hills and Badlands of the Dakotas! I'm a mom of 2 grown kiddos and married to the best man I know and love for 30+ years.
I'm a seasoned intuitive healer with business and marketing know-how for coaches and healers who want to grow their businesses online. I have a passion for empowering and educating female entrepreneurs to take ownership of their financial independence and abundance because as they do, not only do they create more choices for themselves, they create a positive ripple effect in the world.
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