What are some uncommon ways to work smarter instead of harder? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.
The following is a list of hacks you can use to be more efficient and productive, working in a smarter and healthier way:
1) Find your biological primetime.
This is the time when your mind is naturally most focused. Find it out, and schedule some uninterrupted work time accordingly.
2) Schedule one to two hours just for yourself.
Having a scheduled block of uninterrupted work time will allow you to fully focus on your tasks.
3) Stop multitasking.
Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance, draining your energy faster.
4) Divide big tasks into small tasks.
This will not only make the task more concrete and actionable, but it also makes it seem smaller and easier to start.
5) Tackle the worst task first.
This will give you a sense of relief and energize you for the rest of your tasks.
6) Do everything that takes less than two minutes right away.
Pretty straightforward. Just do it.
7) Block distracting websites.
Block all those sites you know you're easily distracted by while working. You can use apps such as .
8) Use the Pomodoro Technique.
Time-management techniques help prevent burnouts, and you will increase efficiency. Work on just one task for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break and repeat. Take a longer break after three sessions.
9) Eat brain food.
Blueberries, nuts and seeds, leafy green vegetables, avocados, fish, and dark chocolate are great for boosting your brainpower.
10) Use room scents.
Certain scents positively influence your mood and mindset. Citrus stimulates alertness and revitalizes the senses. Rosemary is perfect for fighting physical exhaustion in the morning; cinnamon improves focus and concentration; peppermint boosts energy and promotes clear thinking.
11) Drink coffee strategically.
Drink coffee between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., when your natural cortisol level drops.
12) Watch your working hours.
Working more than 50 hours per week will produce no greater results than working less.
13) Set a deadline for each task.
Having a deadline and limiting the time frame for each task will allow you to focus and get things done faster. (It's called Parkinson's Law.)
If 70 percent of something can be done by someone else, delegate it.
15) Automate daily and weekly tasks.
If you have recurring tasks, find a way to automate them. is a great service for automating small tasks.
16) Use waiting time for small tasks.
Gaps are great for answering emails, reaching out to somebody, or reading the news.
17) Track your time.
Knowing where your time goes will help you act on it and save more time in the future. is great for this.
18) Do similar tasks together.
It helps you optimize your time instead of wasting it by switching between those tasks throughout your day.
19) Do email response batching.
Schedule times when you are going to check and answer emails. In between, just delete spam and check whether something is urgent.
Use dictation; it's four times faster than writing.
21) Improve your typing speed.
Having great typing skills helps you be more efficient when writing.
22) Learn speed reading.
You'll be able to read more and faster, saving time.
23) Set the office thermostat to 70°-72°F (21°-22°C).
Any temperature above 73°F (23°C) or below 68°F (20°C) decreases your productivity by 10 percent.
24) Use a standing desk.
Don't sit the whole day. Standing transmits a sense of urgency and allows you to be focused on the completion of your task.
25) Have a plant on your desk.
Having plants nearby increases productivity and indoor air quality.
26) Clean your desk when you're leaving the office.
Chaos and clutter distract you and limit your ability to focus and to process information.
27) Take a power nap.
Naps boost cognition, memory, performance, reaction times, and alertness. Ten- to 20-minute naps are best to boost focus and productivity.
28) Procrastinate or surf the Web for 10 minutes.
This will make you feel refreshed and ultimately boost your productivity.
You can find a more comprehensive list here:
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