3 Simple Productivity Hacks that Work

Editor’s Note: Please welcome the newest addition to our writing team. Allison Frieden is a digital content marketer with over a decade of experience, and an excellent writer. 

When it comes to being a more productive member of your team, people are always looking for the next big thing to try. From lists touting the top hacks for successful people to how to better work from home, there’s something for everyone. 

We all want to be successful. 

Nobody wants to be on the chopping block. 

However, leaving the specific niche of your industry or life status aside, what works for being productive doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s a reason why going back to basics works. Simple, tried, and true will always outshine the latest shiny productivity object. 

Over the years, there have been so many articles talking about ways to make work more fruitful. Rather than share a laundry list of productivity hacks, I’ll share three simple ways to enhance your work world. 

To-Do Lists
Keep one handy at all times. Whether it’s a physical notebook and pen on your desk or a favorite app like Trello or Basecamp, to-do lists are a necessary evil. 

Be sure to have your to-do list in a format that’s going to work well for your mindset. What works well for one person will likely not work the best for your work style. 

If you misplace paper often, don’t have a physical list hanging around. In this case, digital lists are the way to go. One of the benefits of going the non-physical route is that they’re often easily shareable with other members of your team and accessible from any connected device. 

Being able to follow your list from anywhere is a definite bonus to digital to-do lists.

Calendar Reminders
Some of you may view this as going a step too far but calendar reminders keep you honest. If deadlines are hidden in a weekly agenda or buried in emails, chances are they’ll stay that way. 

Again, you can do this through writing on paper calendars hanging up in your cubicle or go the digital route.

I’m partial to digital calendar reminders for a few reasons: 

  • Pop-Up Notifications: You’ll have to physically click “exit” or “close” to get notifications off your screen. While having a pop up can be annoying, it’s effective at getting your attention. 
  • Accessibility: If it’s digital, it’s accessible from wherever you are. If it’s not easy to get to, digital calendar reminders would be as useful as the reminder you wrote down on your cubicle wall calendar. And if you’re at home or traveling, that’s pretty useless for productivity.
  • Transparency: Having your tasks on your work calendar will give your team more visibility into what you’re working on and what you’re setting as a clear priority.

Divide Time Evenly
It’s easy to allow your schedule to fill up with meetings. 

Don’t allow your schedule to become swiss cheese – filled with pockets of time that aren’t enough to do much of anything.

One of the best productivity tips I’ve ever heard of comes from Privy’s CMO, Dave Gerhardt. In this video, he explains how he schedules his day to ensure productivity. Basically, he blocks off the first half of his day everyday so he can get actual work done. If you’ve got a meeting with him, chances are it’s always booked in the afternoon.

Figure out what version of this works best for you and try to stick to it. If you’re a lower level employee, you might find your schedule at the will of others. But the higher up you are in an organization, the more power you’ll have to help shape this for your time.

Convenience is key when trying to be more productive. The more barriers between you and accomplishing your task, the less likely you are to be productive. 

Allison Frieden is a Boston-based digital content marketer with over a decade of experience. She specializes in content creation, project management, client relations, social media, journalism engagement and inbound marketing tactics. Her deep B2B tech experience includes knowledge in IoT, data integration, connected services, and cyber risk management.

Through her strong copy via storytelling and search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, she has helped businesses with their communication strategies and brand awareness. Allison is certified in HubSpot Inbound Marketing, HubSpot Content Marketing, Drift Conversational Marketing, and Google Analytics.

To learn more about Allison and the services she offers, check out her website: www.allisonfrieden.com.

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