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9 Easy-to-Follow Productivity Hacks

02 September 2021

A work-from-home set-up is not everybody’s cup of tea. 

Some like dressing up, meeting people on a daily basis, and working with others on a common workspace. But the biggest struggle would probably have to be staying focused on your task at hand with your bed within eyesight and Facebook or Instagram within just one click. Having no extra eyes to watch over you makes it harder to be disciplined and finish everything you have to do on time. Not to mention making time for your dog asking for cuddles or your roommate asking for a support system in the middle of the day. 

You’ve probably Googled productivity hacks a million times this past year, and most probably why you are reading this article. We’ve all been there. We just want to get work done but motivation doesn’t come easy, sometimes even when the electric bill reaches your mail. 

But if you really want a better quality of life, set aside the excuses and commit to a more disciplined workflow. You’ll find yourself less stressed and more energized to face life one day at a time. Start easy with our productivity hacks below. 

Drink milk at night before bed

1. Sleep and wake up at a designated time. 

Train your body clock to shut down at a certain time by being in bed at the same time every single night. The National Sleep Association recommends turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before sleeping and instead of scrolling on Instagram or Tiktok, read a book to put you to sleep. Drinking a glass of cherry juice or warm milk is also believed to aid in sleeping faster because of their tryptophan content that releases serotonin and activates melatonin. It also helps if you put your phone in a separate room and set it to only ring when particular people contact you. 

A good night’s sleep will help you stay alert and focused throughout the day. 

2. Use an alarm clock or a watch not connected to your phone. 

This may seem old school but it might just do the trick of you not reaching for your phone the minute you wake up. Have an alarm clock by your bedside table or wear a watch (yes, even at home) so you could check the time without opening your phone. Starting the day by washing your face and drinking a glass of water will be a game-changer of your day instead of getting buried in the addicting loop of social media. 

Magnetic Dry Erase Board

3. Use a standing desk instead of a regular one. 

Kana Bamboo Standing Desk

To improve work efficiency, a standing desk will help you be more alert throughout the day. You may also convert your whole workstation without using additional floor space by using a standing desk converter. Flexispot has an array of height adjustable standing desks that are all durable and sturdy. Even at their highest points, they could still carry weights up to almost 300 pounds. The height is easily adjustable and could be customized to fit your size.

AlcoveRiser Bamboo Standing Desk Converters

4. Turn off notifications from distracting apps or better yet, use apps that block off sites that disturb you. 

If you’re waiting for an important message, you may set your app to only enable message notifications from that particular contact. If turning off your notifications isn’t enough, use apps like ColdTurkey that block off sites like YouTube or Reddit, or the StayFocusd app that limits your time on Facebook or Twitter. If it still doesn’t work, you could always uninstall an app and just reinstall it when you need it again. 

5. Count up to five seconds and start what you have to do before you get to 5. 

A good old trick to get things done is to stop thinking and just go do it. Count up to five and start even before getting to 5. For example, you, like many of us, find it difficult to get up in bed. Stop thinking, count up to five seconds and at 4, immediately stand and you’re up at 5. 

6. Adapt the Tabata method or the Pomodoro technique. 

Have you ever tried a Tabata HIIT workout? It’s when you do eight rounds of a specific strenuous exercise move for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. It’s the same concept with the Pomodoro technique---working hard for 25 minutes before you take a timed rest. Follow these principles while working or studying. Do 20 minutes of undisturbed work and rest for five minutes before you head to your next task. 

Woman cleaning dust from bookshelf

7. Take exercise or cleaning breaks instead of checking social media. 

Stay active during your breaks by doing mindful activities instead of getting caught in a loop of social media posts. Maybe you want to practice your push-up game so do 20 of it when you get distracted, drink water, then return to the task that you were doing. You may also use the break time to declutter your desk or sweep the floor---anything to keep your mind off from work but also not to rush to something addictive that may lead to hours of unproductivity. 

8. Write the reason every time you get distracted. 

Practising awareness while you work includes knowing when you get distracted. Each time your mind wanders off, write down the reason or the thought that came into mind on a post-it sticker. Stick or pin it to a corkboard in your workstation so you’d have a picture of what to avoid the next time. 

9. Listen to piano music. 

For deep focus and concentration, listen to classical music. It sharpens focus and improves your performance even in high-pressure environments.