Are you ready to give your productivity levels a much-needed boost?
Do you want a collection of super-simple solutions that you can put into action, right now?
If you want to be more productive, you don’t necessarily have to work harder, faster, or longer.
Sometimes, the easiest way to boost your productivity levels is to take an outside-of-the-box approach.
This can come in the form of quick breaks, creating a useful tool or method, or streamlining your work approach.
And do you know what the best part is about this unconventional approach?
You can apply it over and over again throughout your day for a much-needed pick-me up!
In this post, I offer sixteen amazingly simple ways for you to give your productivity a boost.
You can choose one, two, or more of these tips.
Ready? Let’s move on to the tips!
Work on a task while standing.
Do you normally sit while working? You’re not alone. A lot of tasks in today’s world are performed in the seated position.
All the more reason to shake things up and get that blood flowing in your body!
If you normally sit while working, try standing up. You’ll notice a difference in how you approach and focus on your work. You can use a standing desk or a desk riser to make working on the computer.
If you normally stand while working, see if you can take a seated break here and there to give your legs, feet, and back a rest.
And, if you need to sit while you work, try moving your chair to a different location in your home or office. Sometimes a change of venue can have a big impact on the way you work.
Listen to upbeat, energetic music.
There’s nothing that can lift your spirits than the sounds of your favorite upbeat and energetic music.
Listening to some of your favorite music can be extremely motivating, especially if you’re working on a dull or rote task, such as stuffing envelopes, doing household chores, or washing the car.
Turn on the radio, sign-in to an online music player, or open up your favorite music app.
You can listen to your favorite artist’s albums, playlist, or songs. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, try listening to different types of genres to expand your musical horizons.
Switch to full-screen mode.
This is one of my favorite low-key productivity hacks. It all has to do with focusing on the task at hand.
The premise is simple: whenever you’re working on the computer, such as in an email app, word processor, or other computer program, switch over to the full-screen mode of the application.
All of those surrounding bells and whistles on the screen will temporarily disappear, be it sidebars, pop-up boxes, drop-down menus, and the like.
It’s worth noting that some computer programs call this full-screen mode or focus mode. Do a little bit of research to see if any of the apps you use on a frequent basis have this easy-to-use option.
Watch an inspirational talk or lecture.
Feeling a little less than motivated in the work department? Jazz up your day with a short inspirational talk or lecture.
This is a great way to get in the right mindset when it comes to your work. You can choose from your favorite topic or topics, be it productivity, self-help, health, biographies, history, art, current events, science, technology, and more.
The subject matter of the talk or lecture can be directly related to your work at hand, or it could be something a bit more abstract or removed.
All you have to do is an online search for inspirational talks or lectures. Select one that looks interesting, and watch it.
When you’ve finished watching the video, raise your head high, smile, and tackle that work!
Prioritize tasks using the Eisenhower Box.
Do you know which of your tasks are truly urgent and important? If you’re always saying each of your daily tasks has equal weight…you’ll want to take a moment to regroup.
Part of being productive is the ability to prioritize any given number or combination of tasks as they are presented to you.
It’s impossible to do everything at once, hence the need for being choosy when it comes to which tasks you’ll work on, and when.
You can use a handy tool like the Eisenhower Box to help you make better decisions when it comes to all sorts of professional and personal tasks.
Open one internet browser tab and window at time.
Internet browsers make it incredibly easy to search for and locate information.
Unfortunately, these browsers also make it incredibly easy to open multiple browser windows and tabs at any one time.
Quick question: how many browser windows and tabs do you keep open in your internet browser at any given point in time? If it’s more than a handful, you’ll probably want to cut back.
You can easily eliminate distractions in your work by only using one internet browser and window at a time.
If you need to save or refer to browser tabs, consider learning how to use your internet browser’s bookmark function.
You’ll be able to search for all the information you’ll need, without unnecessarily distracting yourself while you work.
Choose one task to work on.
This tip is extremely simple, but you’d be amazed at how many people ignore this basic advice. Consider this your call to stop multitasking.
If you have to complete a task at work or at home, choose just one task to work on. Not two tasks, not three, and not four. Just one.
You can set a timer for as long as you need to complete the task, be it fifteen minutes to an hour.
Then, all you have to do for the next several minutes is…you guessed it…work on your task!
The idea here is cut out all those distractions, interruptions, and other noise, and simply focus on your work.
Read inspirational quotes.
Inspirational quotes are like shots of adrenaline packed into short sentences. They have the power to inspire, delight, motivate, and shake you out of your rut and into a larger world.
If you’re feeling a bit uninspired, pull out and read your favorite collection of inspirational quotes or go surfing for quotes online.
Don’t yet have a collection of favorite quotes? Try starting one! You can find quotes all over the place, be they from famous people, or from your neighbor down the street.
And don’t forget to expand your mind. Read quotes from different sources, areas, and moments in time. Quotes can help inspire you to get things done, boost your courage, and help you reach your goals.
Air out your home or office.
Is that stale, stuffy, lifeless air giving you a headache or make you feel like it’s nap time? Sometimes, a breath of fresh air is exactly what you need to boost your productivity levels.
If you haven’t done so in some time, try freshening up the air supply where you live and/or work with some direct outdoor air.
If possible, open up the windows to get some air circulating in the room or rooms in which you’re working.
If that’s not possible, try turning on a fan, air conditioner, and/or temporarily hold open some doors to get that air circulating again.
Clear off your desk.
Could that desk of yours use a good old-fashioned decluttering and/or cleaning? Having too much stuff on top your desk, work related or not, can be a big distraction.
Remove anything on top of your desk that is unrelated to your immediate work. If there’s tool much stuff sitting on top of your desk from the start, find a clear workstation or counter, or set up a temporary surface on which to work, such as a small folding or card table, so you can sort through things.
Check out my post here on how to clean up and maintain a neat and tidy desk.
Temporarily switch off your cell phone.
Are those texts, emails, and social media alerts driving you up the wall? You may need to take some evasive action by temporarily switching off your cell phone.
That’s right, you should switch your cell phone completely off. And by off, I mean, completely, and totally off.
Your phone should not be asleep, on standby, or in airplane mode. Physically depress the power button or swipe on your screen to shut the device off.
If you’d like, you can let other people know you’ll be temporarily unavailable via phone for a certain period of time.
Call a friend for a pep talk.
Feeling a little unmotivated? How about getting some support from a loved one?
Sometimes you just need a little bit of a friendly push from a familiar face.
You can do a video chat or hold a regular phone call with a friend or family member.
Don’t be shy: tell them exactly what you’re working on and ask for some friendly encouragement to finish the job.
Once you’ve perked up a bit, be sure to offer to return the favor the next time they’re feeling a bit sluggish in the productivity department.
Create a template.
Do you know how you can save a ton of time while performing a series of recurring tasks? That’s right, by using a template!
A template can be thought of as a “set it, and forget it” type of tool. Once you take some time to create a template, why, you’ll have use of it forever.
Take a few minutes to construct a simple template for a recurring series of tasks at home, work, or school. No longer will you have to brainstorm or piece together all the tasks you have to perform in sequence…the work has already been done!
Ask for help.
As the old saying goes, many hands make light work. We all can benefit from some help every now and then.
If you’re suddenly overwhelmed with a task or series of tasks, and it looks like there’s no end in sight, you may want to ask for some assistance.
Contact a colleague, friend, or family member to see if they can lend you a hand in your hour of need.
Go outdoors for a walk.
How about stretching your mind and body by going outdoors for a brief walk? You’ll get air to your brain, lungs, and muscles.
Try visiting a local park, garden, forest, conservatory, or nature preserve. Even a short amount of time in the outdoors can help you relax and refocus.
After your trip, you’ll feel energized and ready to tackle to your work when you return.
Make a production line.
If you want to work as efficiently as possible at home or at the office, you’ll definitely want to look into creating a production line.
A production line is simply an organized collection of materials that help you perform specific functions at a specific location.
You can make a production line for pretty much anything: from frosting cookies, to stuffing envelopes, to folding laundry.
You can learn how to create your own homemade production line by clicking here.
A version of this post appeared on the blog in 2016.
How about you? Which of these simple tips are you going to try out today or this week? What would you accomplish today if you took these simple approaches? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
Do you want help better managing your time and energy? I offer time management coaching and organizing mindset coaching. Click here to learn more.
Want to better manage your time? The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management, is a hands-on workbook that provides practical solutions to common, everyday time management problems. Click here to learn more.