10 Productivity Hacks You'll be Thanking us For

29 October 2021

Working at home is not preferred by everyone; hence, the inefficiency. 

There are employees who like to get up every day to dress up for the office, to see other faces other than their family’s, and to work alongside their officemates. By far though, the biggest struggle from working at home is to stay focused on every task with the bed in another room or a social media site in just one additional tab. A supervisor can only do so much in watching over an employee’s activity for the day which makes it easier for the latter to entertain distractions at any time. 

You are not alone. Many people have been searching for productivity hacks online, hoping to work more productively even while at the comfort of one’s home. Your Google search might have even led you to this article. You are desperate for a solution because the utility bills are waiting by the mail and you can’t afford to lose your job. 

And it’s not just the danger of losing one’s source of livelihood, it’s also not being able to live a good quality of life from constant cramping and procrastination. It’s time for the excuses to be set aside and to stay committed to a disciplined work ethic. There would be less stress in the office home space which would mean more energy for you to engage with friends and family outside of work. We listed down ten specific productivity hacks that are easy to follow. 

1. Designate a fixed sleeping and waking time every day. 

Your body’s sleeping pattern can be trained. Go to bed at the exact same time every single night to train your body clock to shut down at a certain time. Experts recommend turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before sleeping. You may replace your social media scrolling with reading a book to put you to sleep. Other hacks that some people subscribe to include drinking a glass of cherry juice or warm milk. Their tryptophan content releases serotonin and activates melatonin which is believed to aid in sleeping faster. Put your phone in a separate room and set it to only ring when important people contact you. 

Why is this important? A good night’s sleep will help you stay focused throughout the next working day. 

2. Use an alarm clock or a watch that is not your smartphone. 

Cut the habit of reaching for your phone the minute you wake up by having an alarm clock on your bedside table or wearing a watch so you could check the time without opening your phone. Instead of checking your chat messages, you should start your day by washing your face and drinking a glass of water. 

3. Before the day ends, write your to-do list for the next day. 

Before you sign off work or right after your timeout, dedicate a few minutes to write down what you need to do the next day. Use a magnetic dry erase board to break down your tasks into small, actionable ones that are easy to follow and complete. It will give you the satisfaction of ticking each bullet aka to-do task across the day. Use a whiteboard surface that is easy to write on with any dry erase marker and wipe-off with a cloth or eraser. 

4. Invest in a standing desk. 

To improve work efficiency, it has been discovered in recent years that a standing desk can help you be more alert throughout the day. You may also convert your whole workstation without using additional floor space by using a standing desk converter. Flexispot has an array of height adjustable standing desks that are all durable and sturdy. Even at their highest points, they could still carry weights up to almost 300 pounds. The height is easily adjustable and could be customized to fit your size.

A standing desk converter will help you improve your posture. For instance, the height of the FlexiSpot Standing Desk Converters M7MB-35" range from 4.7” to 19.7” on top of your standing desk. It has a removable keyboard tray and a spacious work surface that could fit two monitors and still have room left for other desk items.

5. Count up to five seconds and start what you have to do before you get to 5. 

As a famous sportswear brand’s slogan says, “Just do it.” Count up to five and start your task before you get to 5. For instance, you find it difficult to get up in bed as many of us do. Try this trick and stop thinking, count up to five seconds, and at 4, immediately stand up and voila! You’re already up at 5. You’ve already done one difficult task for the day. 

6. Make use of the Tabata method or the Pomodoro technique. 

Have you ever tried a Tabata HIIT workout? It’s when you do eight rounds of a specific strenuous exercise move for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. It’s the same concept with the Pomodoro technique---working hard for 25 minutes before you take a timed rest. Follow these principles while working or studying. Do 20 minutes of undisturbed work and rest for five minutes before you head to your next task. 

7. Use apps that block off sites that disturb you. 

As a starter, you may turn off your phone’s notifications but if you’re waiting for an important message, you may set your applications to only enable message notifications from particular contacts. If turning off your notifications is not enough, there are apps like ColdTurkey that block off distracting sites such as YouTube or Reddit, or the StayFocusd app that could limit your allowed browsing time on Facebook or Twitter. If it still doesn’t work, you could always uninstall an app on your phone and just reinstall it when you need it again. 

8. Listen to classical music. 

For deep focus and concentration, listen to classical music. Numerous studies show that it can sharpen focus and improve work performance even in high-pressure environments. 

9. Take active breaks instead of checking social media. 

Stay active during your breaks by doing mindful activities instead of getting caught in a loop of social media posts. Maybe you want to practice your planking game so do a minute when you get distracted, drink water, then return to the task that you were doing. You may also use the break time to declutter your desk or sweep the floor---anything to keep your mind off from work but also not to rush to something addictive that may lead to hours of unproductivity. 

10. Every time you get distracted, get your journal and make sure to jot it down. 

Practicing awareness while you work includes knowing when you get distracted. Each time your mind wanders off, write down the reason or the thought that came into mind in your journal or maybe a post-it sticker. Stick or pin it to a corkboard in your workstation so you’d have a picture of what your distractions are and how you can avoid doing them again in the future.