Mobile app developer, entrepreneur and technology expert Hammad Akbar shares his top productivity hacks.
Whether you’re a career driven employee, business owner, start-up founder, CEO or entrepreneur, productivity is something we can all struggle with from time to time.
When it comes to producing top quality work, we want to be on top form – ready to jump into whatever gets thrown our way.
But it’s not always that easy.
The working day is full of loads of nice little distractions. Things like mobile phones, long meetings, delayed trains and YouTube. Things that can often put a stopper on productivity.
But don’t panic. Not all hope is lost.
I’ve put together a short but comprehensive list of suggestions and recommendations to help you streamline productivity to work.
So, quickly. Read these 10 points, and then get cracking!
Turn off alerts
Whilst our phones can be a great tool for business and socialising, there’s nothing worse for productivity then an iPhone that won’t shut up.
So, before your second screen can take you away from your work, make sure you turn off your alerts.
Putting a stop to those Facebook messages and Twitter notifications will not only leave you with more battery life, but it will make your work life much easier.
Do the hard stuff first
There’s nothing worse than finishing a working day only to find you’ve missed a really important or difficult piece of work. So why not get the tricky stuff out of the way.
Getting those less-desirable tasks done first thing can really help with your work flow.
You’re more switched on in the morning and more likely to complete difficult tasks in time.
No more working late for you.
Use a stopwatch
One minute you’re in the flow, getting stuff done, next thing, you’re getting called into a longwinded afternoon meeting.
Sure, we can’t avoid interactions, meetings and phone calls – we wouldn’t want to – but when it comes to work breaks, try to be as realistic as possible.
If a meeting is supposed to be 30 mins – then stick to it!
Don’t guess it, or let it go on for another 15 minutes – get your stopwatch out and time it. It’ll make your meeting more productive and your work more stable.
Go into ‘airplane mode’
Well, that’s an understatement actually. It’s an essential tool for any modern business. But sometimes the World Wide Web can be a hindrance rather than a help.
Our internet browsers can distract even the most efficient worker if the right thing pops up. So it’s a good idea every now and then to completely avoid it.
If you get the chance, take yourself off the grid for a few hours.
If you have a really important piece of work to complete, why not deactivate the internet connection on your computer and phone.
No more distractions.
Limit your meetings
But, sometimes they can really get in the way of progress.
Sure the odd catch up on a Monday morning can be a great help, but before you know it meetings can completely take up your work time.
If you can, try to limit meetings when you can, and keep them as short as possible.
Try introducing a ‘Meeting-Free’ day in the week – they can really streamline the office.
Have a break
But if you’re one of those people who tends to work through lunch, it’s always important to remember to take a break – however short.
Getting away from your desk or screen even if it’s for 10-15 minutes can work wonders for productivity.
Use the two minute rule
There’s nothing worse than having to stop work on your current project to deal with another.
To increase your productivity, why not try the two-minute rule
If a task can be completed in under 2 minutes, such as an email or amendment, then do it! But if it takes longer, put it to one side and come back to it later.
Check in on a Sunday
Now I’m not talking about working right the way through the weekend, but logging on to your emails on a Sunday evening can be a massive help when it comes to your work load.
5 minutes logged on can help you to see what your week has in store and can help you to write up a more actionable to-do-list.
Whether it comes to clients, employees or even friends, it’s far too easy in a working environment to say yes to things. But, every now and than it is ok to say no, you know.
If you’re absolutely stacked and a co-worker asks you to check something, or a friend is pressuring you to get down the pub, don’t be afraid to say no.
Taking on too much work and agreeing to tight deadlines can affect everyone’s work. So be vigilant.
Just don’t say no all the time yeah?
Don’t read the news
With newspapers, the radio, Twitter, Facebook, Google and word of mouth, news can take up a lot of your working day.
What can start as a quick skim of a BBC article can quickly turn into a 10 minute office debate. So, be on your guard, and cut out those pesky click-bait headlines.
If it’s really important news, someone’ll be in touch.
So there you have it. My top 10 productivity tips. Did I miss anything? How do you work best? How do you stay productive? Be sure to let me know in the comments.