, Business Tips, Meetings, Productivity, Professional Development

Five Productivity Hacks to Make Your Day a Little Easier

Five Productivity Hacks to Make Your Day a Little Easier

“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst” – William Penn

Time is one thing we all have the same amount of – 168 hours a week – no more, no less. How is it that some people seem to have a never-ending supply of time, while others are constantly wondering where all their time went?

To help you improve your time management skills, here are five productivity hacks to working smarter and faster.

‘Pomodoro’ Technique

With this technique, you work in short sprints. This makes sure you are consistently productive, but you take regular breaks that feed your motivation and keeps the creativity streaming. The only thing you will need is a timer (also known as a Pomodoro.)

Here’s how it works:

Choose a task to be accomplished.

  1. Set the Pomodoro or timer to 25 minutes.
  2. Work on the task until the Pomodoro ends.
  3. Take a short break – about 5 minutes should do the trick.
  4. After 4 25-minute sessions, take a longer break. This trains your brain to focus on tasks for short periods, while helping you stay on top of deadlines or constantly-refilling inboxes.

Speaking of inboxes…

Schedule Email Time

Don’t let emails take over your day. Email notifications are notorious concentration-breakers. Instead of living in your inbox, schedule time specifically for email at the beginning and at the end of the day. Then, unless something especially critical comes in, try to ignore your inbox the rest of the time.

While on the subject of emails, think of all the time spent caught in an email thread while trying to find a common time to meet with others.  Why not let technology help?


Doodle is an online scheduling tool that can quickly and easily help you find a date and time to meet with a group.

To begin, suggest dates and times to meet that work for you, then Doodle creates a polling calendar that is sent to the other participants for feedback. As each participant selects the dates and times from the polling calendar that he or she is free, Doodle aggregates the responses and provides the option that works best for everyone.

Doodle syncs with Google, Outlook, or iCal calendar making it easier to respond quickly to scheduling requests.

Now that you have your meeting time set, why not ditch the conference room and get moving with a “walk and talk meeting?”

Walk and Talk Meetings

When people settle into a chair, they are likely to get comfortable in the space. If things need to progress quickly, embrace a walk and talk meeting format, foregoing chairs completely.

Bonus: research indicates that five minutes of walking in nature can produce an

immediate benefit of reducing stress. The most notable is the reduction of levels of cortisol – a stress hormone. An even more important effect is that nature restores your ability to focus. Get in those steps, get to the point in your meetings, and move on with your day.

And finally…

Meeting-Free Day

Schedule a day with no meetings so you know you have at least one day a week where you can truly dive into focused work and be productive without interruptions.

By utilizing one or more of these strategies, hopefully you will be able to maximize your daily work, be more productive, and grow your business.

What tips and tricks do you use to stay on track? Please share!