Career|Career & Education

Work Hacks? Here Are 9 to Implement This Year

Are you stuck working from home this year? Looking for the some great work hacks? Well, look no further. Read here for the 9 best work hacks to implement this year.

1.   Leverage The Pomodoro Technique

I used to skip breaks and even lunch on occasion, sometimes working an entire day without leaving my desk. I also have some attention disorders that lead me to be incredibly easy to distract. This technique for taking smaller breaks more frequently helps to manage fatigue, distraction and overworking.

Split your workday into half-hour chunks, and for every 25 minutes of work take a quick 5-minute breather. Stretch your legs, get some water, whatever helps. After four smaller “pomodoros”, take a longer break of 20 minutes.

2.   Stop Notifications

Notifications used to be the bane of my workday. Every single time that little “ding” went off, or a saw a system notification pop up in the corner, I had to check it. It always made me feel like I was just barely treading water, distracted me from my current task or project, and made my workday much more stressful.

Silence your notifications, particularly on your email and your smartphone, and set any messaging apps to “do not disturb”. Not only will this cut down your sense of urgency about everything, and will help you focus.

3.   Prioritize The Important Stuff And Do It Early

Make a to-do list for your day, before leaving for the previous day. This helps you set your priorities based on what you feel you need to do, rather than what’s waiting for you in the morning. It’s also a way to cut out some prep work from the beginning of your day.

4.   Increase Focus With Priority Coding

When you’re creating your priority list, use an easy-to-remember coding system to let you know where the task is located on your task energy spectrum. Use symbols, colors, whatever works best for your thought processes.

5.   Eat Well

I know it sounds silly, but it’s really important for an effective workday for you to eat well. This includes eating breakfast and lunch. Protein is best in the am to get your mind ready, even a simple hard-boiled egg is an order of magnitude better than nothing. Try to do a weekly lunch prep if you’re as equally terrible at daily prep as I am.

6.   Bracket Your Email Time

Rather than leaving your inbox accessible and distracting you every 90 seconds, set yourself scheduled email answering hours. Set aside 30 minutes or so, three times during your workday to read and reply to emails.

7.   Small Goals Add Up

Particularly for larger projects, create a series of smaller milestones that you can reach periodically. These checkpoints are great opportunities to take a breather, evaluate your progress, and gear up to continue. This is a great technique to fight burnout.

8.   Dedicate Time For Self-Care

Seriously dedicate. Make time and block it off in your schedule or calendar, whether it’s a walk, dinner out, or a veg night alone or with a friend. This is incredibly important for your mental health. Scheduling the time disallows you from using the excuse of “there really isn’t time”.