How to Get More Time: Our 5 Favourite Productivity Hacks
We all wish we had more time. Between kids, work, errands, and the little tasks we try to take care of around the house – it’s difficult to get to the things that really make a difference. While we can’t magically give you an extra hour or two, here are 5 productivity hacks to help you get more done in less time. So you can carve out that extra hour or two for some needed R&R or to work on that personal goal you’ve been putting off.
We’ll also share how the Academy of Learning Career College helps prepare students for personal and professional success from day one.
1. The Pomodoro Technique
One of the most popular techniques to prioritize your time is all about tomatoes. Yes. Tomatoes. Or pomodoro, which is Italian for tomatoes.
The idea comes from university student Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. And what did he do? Well he grabbed a tomato shaped kitchen timer and the Pomodoro technique was born.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Step 1: Pick a task.
- Step 2: Set a 25-minute timer.
- Step 3: Work on your task until the time is up.
- Step 4: Take a 5 minute break.
- Step 5: Every 4 pomodoros, take a longer 15-30 minute break.
Pushing through a task that might take hours leads us to getting bogged down and could result in the task taking longer than it should. Which means we’re getting less done. Pomodoro works because it keeps your mind fresh! And fresh minds are better workers.
2. Eat That Frog
Here’s the big idea: Most people don’t like to eat frogs. Likewise, oftentimes when we look at all the things we have to get done during the day, there is that one project or task that is kind of like eating a frog. No fun, so we avoid it and do things that aren’t really that important.
And the productivity hack? Eat that frog. First! By getting the task you don’t want to do out of the way first, it frees up your time for things you enjoy.
3. ABCDE Prioritization
Sometimes we have a long to-do list and it can be hard to determine which things to get done first and which things are okay to put off. So how do you pick what to do and when? ABCDE
- Step 1: Write down your full to-do list.
- Step 2: Label each item A, B, C, D, or E.
A – Very Important (MUST DO)
B – Somewhat Important (SHOULD DO)
C – Good to do, but not important (CAN DO)
D – Delegate – These tasks are important, but someone else can do them
E – Eliminate – These tasks are not important and shouldn’t be done right now
- Step 3: Execute! Once you’ve prioritized your list, it’s time to get to work… even if it’s eating a frog.
4. Time Batching
Time batching, which is a recommended component of the Pomodoro Technique discussed earlier, is about combining similar tasks into one time slot to help you accomplish your tasks faster.
An easy way to illustrate this technique is to think about how we run errands (or how we should).
- Option A: Go out to pick up groceries, then go out to pick up the kids from school, then go out to the bottle depot, then go out to get gas, and then go out to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.
- Option B: Go out to the bottle depot, the grocery store (and visit the pharmacy inside), get gas, and then pick up the kids from school… in one trip.
The same is true for work, home, and study. Combine this idea of batching with the Pomodoro Technique and you’ll be flying through your to-do list!
5. Plan Tomorrow Today
Here are two ways to maximize your productivity by planning ahead.
- Plan 1: Don’t stop working or studying until you plan your next day. What this looks like is carving out the final 15-minutes of your work day to build your to-do list (and prioritize it) for the following day.
What this does is allows you to walk away from your work or study session with a plan for success.
- Plan 2: The idea here is the same as option 1, except you’re doing it at the end of your day. Think through what needs to happen, write it down, prioritize it, and go to sleep worry free.
You could even keep a pad of paper on your bedside table. Do you ever go to bed thinking about all the things you need to do? Here’s a best practice – get it out of your head and onto paper!
An added benefit to this productivity hack is that when something pops into your mind that you may have forgotten about, rather than thinking about it all night, you can roll over, grab your pen and paper, and write it down.
For more than 30 years, Academy of Learning® Career College’s main focal point has always been and continues to be the student. It provides methods of learning that will fulfil students’ needs, as well as the requirements of today’s competitive job market. AOLCC has helped learners successfully complete over one million training courses.
Learn more at myaolcc.com