24 hours in a day are never enough?
If you can’t get everything done in time and have no energy left for what really matters, you need a productivity boost. Here are twenty productivity hacks PaperCoach writers swear by. Give them a try and let us know which ones are your favorite.
1. Write everything down
Do not rely on your memory, as you are likely to miss important details or forget about some things altogether. Keep a pen and notepad with you or use a note-taking app on your phone. You can also use the voice recorder function to ensure you get everything. Just don’t forget to review and organize your notes once or twice a week.
2. Get up early and set up a productivity-boosting morning routine
If you wake up an hour early, you can get in a short workout or stretching session, read a book, cook a healthy breakfast, or take a quick walk outside. You can also make time to do the one thing that will take you a step closer to your long-term goals.
3. Keep a journal, blog, or try writing morning pages
Keeping a record of your efficiency and analyzing the changes is vital if you want your productivity to continue increasing in the long-term. Revisit your notes once in a while to track your progress.
4. Visualize your morning before going to sleep
If you struggle with starting up your wake-up routine, imagine yourself completing it before you turn in for the night. This will give your resolve a much-needed boost.
5. Unfollow and unsubscribe
Your subscription list needs a clean-up. Delete any subscriptions you haven’t read or followed for three months. This will free up your time and let you add new channels and profiles that reflect your current interests and goals.
6. Use ready-made or personalized templates to save time
Google Docs and other word processors have dozens of templates available; you just need to use a search bar to find the ones that suit your needs. You can also create templates from scratch to save time on outlining, taking notes, or drafting emails.
7. Create playlists with music that helps you focus and start them whenever you are working
If you can’t find songs that don’t distract you from research or writing, try Focus@Will. It’s worth the subscription cost to be able to focus at a click of a button.
8. Set aside the time for email and social media
If your hand reaches for the phone whenever you’re procrastinating, schedule a specific time throughout the day for checking your messages, and ignore notifications at other times. Every time you get distracted by an email, it takes your brain up to 30 minutes to get back on track. Turn the notifications off if you can’t ignore them.
9. Forget about multitasking
Trying to do two things at once will take more time than if you were to do them one after another. You should also let go of the habit of messaging and scrolling through your Instagram feed when you are watching a show. This scatters your brainpower and makes it difficult to focus when you get down to work.
10. Automate mundane tasks to save your cognitive resources
You don’t need to waste your brainpower on choosing what to cook if you have a plan for a week or a month. The same is true for choosing your clothes or doing laundry. Once you have a set of habits and routines, you will have much more time for your long-term projects.
11. Pick three top priority tasks every day
Your to-do list may be a mile long, but you should always keep track of the most critical tasks. If you can check three boxes at the end of the day, you will feel a lot more productive.
12. Try interval work with a Pomodoro timer
Set a perfect laser-focus work interval and rest periods, and you’re all set. The secret to super productivity lies in focusing on this one task and making most of the limited amount of time. Earning pomodoros is also fun!
13. Batch similar tasks for maximum productivity
If you need to write three essays, start with researching all topics, then set time for outlining the three papers. You can batch writing and editing tasks too. This trick will help you save the time your brain would usually need to refocus from one activity to the next.
14. Track your time to find the time-suckers in your daily routine
You might not realize how much time you waste surfing the web or watching funny cat videos. Log your day using Toggle or any other tracker and try to shift your priorities for increased productivity.
15. Set up a “Do not disturb” routine
Distractions cost too much time and hamper your productivity. Find a way to inform the people around you that you are “in the zone” and do not wish to be disturbed.
16. Find a perfect productivity spot for every activity
You might find that you research better in the library, and your typing speed soars in a corner coffee shop. When your brain gets used to associating these places with a particular activity, it will be easier for you to get into the flow.
17. Work hard; play harder
High productivity is impossible without quality relaxation. Instead of vegging out in front of a TV, plan to spend your weekend outside. Go for a hike or a road trip, sign up for a pottery class, or go to a book club meeting. New activities will supercharge your creativity and keep you from overworking yourself.
18. Create an idling list for low-energy periods
When your productivity is at an all-time low, you don’t want to default to YouTube and Netflix. Instead, draft a list of useful things you can accomplish when out of energy for hard work. Washing the dishes, exercising, taking a walk, or reading a book are all great options.
19. Research and implement emotional control techniques
They will help you process emotional spikes quickly and efficiently instead of getting stuck in a vicious cycle of anger, jealousy, or sadness. Consult your campus counselor if you are having trouble dealing with severe emotional outbreaks.
20. Experiment with different tricks and hacks and tailor them to meet your goals
You don’t have to follow every piece of advice in this post or any other. Instead, find one or five things that work for you and make them a part of your daily routine. The results will follow.