Struggling to get things done is something we all go through. When your productivity is taking a hit, your finances inevitably do too.The more productive you are, the more money you’re likely to make and the more organized you are, the more organized your finances will be.
The following productivity hacks are some simple ways to better your work life and keep yourself organized!
Keep your inbox clean
A cluttered mess of e-mails can be overwhelming. Keeping your inbox clean, organized, and ultimately, empty is a great way to stay on top of your correspondence. Here’s a few ways I like to keep my e-mail free of clutter:
- Unsubscribe from promotional and/or marketing emails. These usually just get in the way, or suck you into spending money that you really don’t need to be.
- Delete any emails before the last in a long, conversational email change. The previous email should be quoted when someone replied, so you don’t need to keep it!
- Create folders! This is probably my favourite method for staying organized. I like to create folders/labels to manage e-mails for different jobs, aspects of my job, and other things like bills and/or receipts. Use colour coding to add some extra readability to your inbox.
Do your least favourite task first
This is a hack I learned early, and thankfully so. Doing the “worst first” is a good way to motivate yourself to work through your to-do list. I made this a habit a few years ago when I read the book Eat That Frog, which insisted you should “eat your ugliest/biggest frog first” which just means to tackle the largest and most unpleasant item on your to do list right away.
Use the 2 minute rule!
This tip is simple: if a task will take you less than 2 minutes to do, just get it done now rather than later. It is actually embarrassing how many things I’ve procrastinated for no reason except that I could, only to leave myself with a crazy workload at the end of day.
Something like a simple e-mail response, a quick edit to something I’m writing, or even booking a meeting, take 2 minutes or less and doing them as soon as I think of them makes my life so much easier! Avoid piling up a to-do list of tiny tasks and instead just get them done ASAP. My productivity levels remain high when I do this as I’m not bogged down by my most menial work!
Most jobs will have some or many tasks that are mundane, and if you can do them in batches, you will save yourself oodles of time. This is akin to simply doing a load of laundry instead of watching each item of clothing individually as you wear it throughout the week.
Need to upload a lot of documents to a cloud? Wait until you have a batch and do them all together. Need to coordinate some items for an event? Wait until you can block of a bit of time in your schedule and do everything in one go.
Batching boosts your productivity by having you focus on one activity rather than continuously interrupting your flow by switching gears. Not only is it more efficient, it’s much less exhausting and stressful than doing different things one at a time.
Know your energy cycle
Last but not least, it is so important to know your energy cycle. I am a morning person. I generally function at my maximum between 8am-11am. So, I always try to schedule my most daunting (or least favourite) tasks during these hours.
I always schedule my most mundane tasks that require the least amount of brainpower for the end of my workday. Things like clearing out my inbox and organizing my agenda are left to do at the end of the day when my productivity is dwindling.
There’s no point in in slugging your way through a to-do list that would take you less time at your peak productivity when you’re sluggish and ready for some relaxation. Try your best to take a couple work weeks of tracking your productivity so you can develop a work schedule that benefits your energy cycle.
Breaks are especially important for productivity
This is something you must remember. Once you’ve thought through your energy cycle, ensure you schedule time for breaks. You can’t work properly without a few moments to take a deep breath, eat a snack, and boost your mood!
Avoiding burn out is essential
And these productivity hacks will help you do so. By keeping your work life clear in your mind, and setting yourself up for success in a way that is personal to you, you are bound to care for yourself and your work in the best way possible.
Try these productivity hacks and see the positive way your work, personal life, and finances respond!