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Two Productivity Hacks for Your Week

Today I’m gonna let y’all in on two secret hacks for productivity (they’re actually not secret, but roll with me). We all know what it’s like to sit down to work and then get sidetracked by every little thing. Suddenly you’re trying to do 3 things at once, and not even one of them gets done. I don’t know about you, but I find it incredibly annoying to feel like I’ve spent my day being “busy,” yet unproductive. 

Search the internet for productivity hacks and you can go down some gnarly rabbit trails. For now, I’m going to explain two approaches in particular that help me get the most out of my time, without me needing to put in any extra effort.

  1. The first productivity hack is called batching, and many of you may already be familiar with the term. Maybe you’ve even heard a social media influencer say something along the lines of “I’m batching content today” and you automatically want to punch them in the face. Regardless, it can be extremely helpful.

The “batching” approach means you spend a block of time grouping the same task together that you’d typically split out over several days or weeks. For instance, if you send out weekly or monthly emails, you plan and write them all at once and schedule them out, rather than setting aside time to do so each week. If you post regularly on social media for a business, film all your content and put together the captions/posts in one day, then simply post them at the appointed time throughout the week. (Yes, this is how I do 90% of my Instagram posts.)

Don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to do this with every life task. Sometimes it’s easier to do things a little bit each day, like completing a load of laundry or washing the dishes after each meal. However, when it comes to tasks that require a specific headspace or concentrated effort, it’s much easier to dedicate more time at once to get them done. You get into a concentrated groove, creativity starts flowing, and it’s much better to make the most of that “flow” rather than constantly start and stop.

  1. The second productivity hack/tip/whatever we’re calling this is known as the “Pomodoro Technique.” This means you break your work up into smaller concentrated sessions. Once you start on a task, set aside ALL distractions (yes, this means put your emails on DND and leave your phone in another room), set a timer for 25 minutes, and work without breaking concentration until you hear the timer go off. After 25 minutes, take 5 minutes to do absolutely nothing (or whatever you feel like, but the idea is to give your mind a break), and then repeat the process. Every 4 sessions, you take a longer break, maybe 15-20 minutes.

This technique may seem a little silly to you. Why, in fact, do you need a timer? After all, if you sit down with the intention of working for several hours, you don’t need a timer for 25 minutes, 5 minutes, etc. But in fact, I would venture to say that you’re probably spending very little of that time in focused, uninterrupted effort. 

The point of both of these techniques is simple: make the most of your concentration. So often, a task takes us way longer than it needs to, simply because we get distracted or find ourselves constantly starting and stopping.  Research shows that it can take up to 23 minutes to get into the same level of concentration we were previously in before a distraction appears, which can be as simple as a “ding” alerting you of a new email. Twenty-three minutes. That’s a lot of wasted time, and our time is precious to us.

Rather than say “we need more hours in the day,” why don’t we start to hone in on the hours we DO have. Our time is the most valuable thing we have. We won’t be perfect at this (life is, after all, life), but let’s make the most of it whenever we can, shall we?

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