With over 180 million hits on productivity tips you’d think you have heard it all by now. Maybe or maybe not.  Beyond just the surface level productivity hacks you’ve seen before is doing something about the root cause of what getting in the way of maximizing your productivity. Sure, an app might help you save a little time, but it’s not going to have a meaningful, lasting impact.  Addressing the root causes will increase your mental and emotional engagement, producing more physical results.  

Understanding why productivity hacks work is also important. When you understand what is happening, you can better focus your attention on making the most of the what you’ve learned, and you are more likely to believe it can make a difference. Each of the five productivity tips below comes with a brief explanation of why it works, as well.

Five Unexpected Productivity Tips

Energy Leadership: When it comes to productivity, how you see the situation and yourself in relation to it can have a huge impact on your productivity level. If you feel you have no control of the situation – I just have to power through and get it done – how productive will you be? What causes your procrastination? Energy Leadership, a concepted created by Bruce Schneider, that helps us understand how we see the world and other alternative ways of looking at the same situations. There’s an emotional intelligence component to it. The Energy Leadership Index Assessment tell you want your default tendencies are so that you can work on increasing your awareness in all situations and respond differently, in a more productive way.

Get it off your chest: A you “sucking it up?” Stop. A huge hit to productivity is anything that is draining your emotional energy. Problems at home. Problems with the boss. Problems with coworkers. Money problems. Whether you need to talk with a friend, a counselor or just write a letter you will never send, do it. There is no reason to use your body as a pressure cooker and your brain as a regulator to contain your feelings of stress, anger, or worry. But before blowing up at someone, take the time to just let it out in an appropriate, perhaps even anonymous way. In addition to getting rid of an immediate productivity block you may also come up with a solution or more even keeled way to handle whatever problem you are facing.  

Get it out of your mind: A lot of people, myself included, like to keep tasks, to do lists, and much more in our mind. This is a distraction for you mind as it gets in the way of your ability to focus on the task at hand. To make matters worse, as you get engaged in what you’re are working on you are more likely to forget what else you were going to do, making you complete unproductive for those tasks. No matter how good you think your memory is or important the task is that you “can’t possibly forget” take the minute or two it takes to write down whatever is on your mind. This will free your mind to focus on what you’re are working on.

Understand your values: Values reflect your priorities. We waste an incredible amount of time figuring out what’s important to us or work on tasks that are less valuable. When you are clear on your values – what is truly important to you, you can quickly sort out what needs to get done and what doesn’t need to get done. It can also help greatly with prioritization when one task is not dependent on another. Because you know that you are working on a task that is important to you, your level of engagement will increase, even when it’s just a step toward your goals.

 

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About the Author

Larry Boyer, CBE, ACC helps people and businesses prepare for the changing and evolving economy of the 21st Century. As a recognized leader in advanced analytics, finance & economics, future technologies and personal development he speaks, writes and consults on these topics and their impacts on businesses and people. His book The Robot In the Next Cubicle: What You Need to Know to Adapt and Succeed in the Automation Age is available for preorder.