Maintaining energy throughout the day is a struggle for most, and often we end up feeling overwhelmed and exhausted - which does very little to boost our productivity levels.
Are you finding that no matter what you try; getting to work early, working through your lunchbreak, 6 cups of coffee – that you still can’t find enough time in the day to get everything done that you need to? We have put together our top 8 productivity hacks, that will encourage efficiency and leave you with a daily dose of satisfaction.
1. Morning Routine
We love mourning routines at Melbourne Public. Whether it's walking the dog, going for a run, 20 minutes of meditation - we all have our own favourite routines that work for us and we stick to them. Finding something that energises you for the rest of the day is important, and it means that you don't always have to rely on that cup of coffee as soon as you wake up... (maybe...)
You've probably heard the phrase 'automation' floating around recently, and assumed that it is tech/marketing speak and therefore not relevant to you - but think again. Automation is basically just a buzzword for 'life hacks'
If you haven't read '4 Hour Work Week' by Tim Ferriss, then do it. It is full of automation tricks and advice that can be adapted to suit any role, in any industry.
One of our favourite takeaways from this book is the concept of ‘batching’. Time consumers are things that must be done, but often interrupt high-level work – customer service, last-minute travel arrangements for your boss etc. By stretching the time periods between doing these kinds of tasks then doing them all at once, you eliminate setup and switching time, among other efficiencies. Obviously this isn't always possible, but it's worth a try whererever you can!
3. SMART Goals
Often have the same item on your 'to do' list for weeks on end, and somehow avoid addressing it on a day-to-day basis? It is probably because it is not a SMART goal. SMART goals must meet all of the following criteria:
SPECIFIC - your goal must be well-defined... what do you want to achieve?
MEASURABLE - what will you see, hear and feel when you reach your goal?
ATTAINABLE - is your goal attainable?
RELEVANT - is your goal relevant to you?
TIMELY - you must set a date for completion, which must be realistic.
4. Plan Ahead
It's a good idea to work on a 3 month cycle. Anything more than that is overwhelming, but any less than that - and it is likely that you will be subject to those last-minute frantic calls to suppliers, pleading favours. Save yourself sometime in the long-run, and start planning as early as possible for big events.
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5. Escape The Office
Sometimes it feels impossible to take a lunch break. How can you leave your desk when you have so much to do? Check out this article here on why taking a lunch break increases productivity. We're not suggesting to take a full hour and go clothes shopping or squeeze in a nail appointment. We're talking a 20 minute meditation, a 15 minute walk around the block in the sunshine - or just mindfully eating your lunch away from your desk.
6. YOUR Optimum Time Of Day
Everyone is wired differently. Some people are night owls and others thrive first thing in the morning. Work out what time of day you are at your optimum and plan around it as much as possible. Leave any mind-numbing monotonous tasks to the time of day that you don't function quite as well at, and all of the big meetings and strategy planning for the time of day where you will do your best work.
7. Work/Life Balance
Unfortunately current work culture and advancements in technology encourage long hours, where you are always on call. However, never forget the importance of a work/life balance. Working late every night, always checking your emails and being available 24/7 will leave you burnt-out and unproductive (not to mention it is bad for your health - both mentally and physically). We know that workplaces differ dramatically and that often this is expected of your in this new-found culture - but wherever possible, try to balance your life and work. At least one night a week we would suggest letting your boss know that you will not be on call that night, leave before 6pm and relax. Your work and health will suffer if you don't.
8. Cut Down On Meetings
Some people just love a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. Try to wind these down as much as possible, as they are a waste of everyone’s time and energy. When you do have meetings, make sure there is a clear agenda and time frame attached to it, to prevent people going off on a tangent that is not relevant to everyone in the room.
We would also suggest having meetings in the afternoon, and creating clear objectives and goals that should be followed up immediately the next morning. Minutes and tasks being circulated immediately after the meeting is also a great way to ensure you get the most out of your meetings.
So there you go, we hope you enjoyed our top hacks - now to start putting them into action...
The MP Team