What are the best productivity hacks you have implemented that actually work? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Aside from my beloved morning cup, I stay away from coffee. If I am feeling like I need it through the day to wake me up, what my body is really saying is that I need more sleep.
I go out of my way to make sure I am getting enough sleep. I go to bed early, I have no screens (such as TV) in my bedroom, and on weekends I reserve time for naps.
If what I am aiming for is productivity - or even the creativity required to be more productive - I look at my day and remove all the meetings that are not essential, where my role is either not clear or not necessary. I cannot do work if I am always in a meeting.
At my desk I switch from one task to another. I intersperse meetings with calls with document development so I can remain interested and focused and fresh.
Alternately, and depending on the task, I block three hours of solid time so I can focus all my attention on a single thing. This is particularly true when I am writing.
I take breaks. Small breaks to stretch and walk around, long breaks to go out for a walk or out to lunch. Breaks clear my head.
After work I engage my brain in other ways that are not work related so whatever parts of my brain are busy at work can get some rest.
I make sure I get enough exercise. We were meant to move, not sit at a desk scrunched over a computer.
I unplug and remove myself from work over the weekend, resist the temptation of using Sunday afternoons to "catch up."
I make a point to take vacations so I can focus on a completely different world from the one work offers me.
Let me tell you what all my points have in common: rest.
The biggest lesson I have learned about productivity is that constantly pushing myself to do more does not lead to more: it leads to burnout.
Never underestimate the power of a well rested you.
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