Today, we’re all working harder than ever. Often, we’re tied to our phones and computer screens well after the workday ends. It doesn’t have to be that way. These 10 work hacks are sure to help you increase your efficiency and productivity in 2015.
Hack #1. Look before your leap. Assess all aspects of a project before you begin work. Put a plan in place to deal with every element and every possible contingency. Not only will you feel more confident and in control, your project is bound to go more smoothly.
Hack #2. Limit distractions. Don’t sit through hours-long meetings, or let chatty colleagues monopolize your day. This can free up an enormous amount of time.
Hack #3. Don’t multi-task. It turns out that juggling emails, meetings, and memos is actually counterproductive. When toggling between tasks, it’s easy to make mistakes. Choose one priority and focus on that exclusively.
Hack #4. Expect uncertainty. Priorities change. Budgets are cut. Colleagues are let go. Change is constant, so try not to let yourself be surprised or angered by it.
Hack #5. Take care of yourself. Avoid burnout by getting enough exercise and sleep, and making time to do things that you love.
Hack #6. Take breaks. Each of us has about a 90-minute window of concentration. After that, a break is needed if we’re to function effectively. Make sure that you take them.
Hack #7. Under-promise and over-deliver. That way, more often than not, you can come out ahead. Additionally, know when you’re about to take on too much work—and stop yourself.
Hack #8. Listen to your body. If you’re a morning person, whenever possible, plan to do your most vital work before noon. If you’re an afternoon person, put off important tasks until later in the day.
Hack #9. Laugh. When you take breaks, spend a few moments watching a cat/dog/animal video online (really!). Read a funny article or share a joke with a friend. You’ll clear your head and renew your concentration.
Hack #10. Do it now. If a task will take three minutes or less, do it! This will help you quickly conquer your do-do list, as well as give you a sense of satisfaction and pride.