Whether you're a student, professional, entrepreneur, or basically anyone who is trying to get anything done, staying productive is critical to achieving your goals and keeping your sanity. Unfortunately, productivity can be difficult to master, with distractions, procrastination, and burnout all interfering with getting things done. You can, however, stay on top of your game and overcome common productivity challenges with the right productivity hacks. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of California, people who set specific, ambitious goals were up to 90% more likely to achieve them than those who did not.
In this article, I’ll dive into some common productivity challenges and 10 hacks that can help you stay productive and crush your goals.
What are some common productivity challenges?
As someone trying to get so many things done, there are just as many things that can make you unproductive and let all your tasks go off-track. Some common productivity challenges include:
Procrastination: the words “I’ll do it later” have escaped your mouth way too many times because you believe you can just always get it done at the last minute.
Distractions like your phone, social media, or even your friends can make you unproductive.
Lack of motivation, which is something that can stem from procrastination.
Multitasking: you may be shocked by this, but doing too many things at once can cause you to be unproductive.
Poor time management
10 hacks to stay productive and overcome common productivity challenges
1. Use the Pomodoro Technique
This technique involves working for a 25-minute period and taking a 5-minute break after. This technique helps preserve your motivation, do more work in less time because of how focused you are, and fight procrastination.
2. Practice single-tasking instead of multitasking
According to a Stanford University study, people who multitask are actually less productive and have more difficulty focusing than those who single-task. In fact, the study discovered that people who regularly multitask perform worse on cognitive tasks than those who don’t.
According to another study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%. This is because when you switch between tasks, it takes your brain some time to refocus and get back on track, which can be a significant productivity drain. You can give one task your full attention and complete it more efficiently if you focus on that one task at a time.
3. Make a distraction list to keep track of your urgent tasks
This process involves making a list of not-so-pressing tasks so you can in turn get a clearer picture of what you need to get done, which will make you more productive. Also, making a list like this helps make sure no goals are slipping through the cracks, and that everything gets the attention it needs whenever it needs it.
4. Give your workspace a makeover
You are underestimating the importance of a good, conducive workspace. Having somewhere that is conducive enough to help you focus, abandon distractions, and take action on your goals does a whole lot for your productivity. Think of it as you think about the difference between lying in bed to study and going to your school or a library.
5. Use music or ambient noise to help you focus
A study by the University of Illinois found that listening to music can help improve mood, increase motivation, and even enhance cognitive performance.
This is because ambient noise can help drown out distracting background noise, and make it easier for you to focus on the task at hand.
In a study published in the journal Work, it was found that instrumental music or white noise can improve concentration more than music with lyrics or speech. It's important to find a volume that works for you, though, as music that is too loud can be distracting, and one that is too quiet can be ineffective. You can find out what works best for you and increase your productivity by experimenting with different types and volumes of ambient noise.
6. Use the two-minute rule
This rule states that if you have a task that will take a very short time to do, you should do it immediately and get it off your to-do list and your chest. This will help you create enough time for tasks that take longer to do, put a stop to procrastination, and overall be more productive.
7. Use a task management tool
Using a project management tool or task management tool like Drogo can help you break your tasks down into smaller bits to make it easier to keep track of, and reduce the overwhelming feeling you get from having so much to do being shoved in your face all at the same time.
8. Take a short nap during the day to recharge
Working for long stretches is bad for you and can cause you to achieve less in a long time. In a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, it was found that taking a 26-minute nap improved performance by 34% and alertness by 54%. So taking a 30-minute nap to recharge can help you stay productive, and be more alert.
9. Take a cold shower
While it might not be the most comfortable experience, taking a cold shower can help boost your energy levels and increase alertness. According to research, cold water can activate the sympathetic nervous system, which increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which will result in increased focus and productivity.
10. Use productivity-inducing colors
In a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, blue and green were discovered to be the most effective colors for increasing productivity and focus.
Blue is known for its calming properties, which can help reduce stress and increase focus, and green is associated with feelings of growth and renewal, making it an excellent choice for increasing creativity.
Incorporating blue and green elements into your workspace, such as painting the walls, adding blue and green plants or artwork, or using blue or green lighting, can help create a more productive environment for you.
Staying productive is a crucial instrument to being on track and achieving your goals. So go ahead and browse through these hacks, figure out which one could work well for you, and get to work. Drogo is one of many project management tools that keep the user in mind in order to make staying on track, taking action on your goals, and achieving them, very possible. If you haven’t already, give Drogo a try today!