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Hack Your Productivity

“There’s a hack for that.”

At least that’s how it seems to us: hack your love life, hack your diet, life hacks, even hacking your mortgage (!).

If our world is about anything today, it’s about getting things done.

But if you’re like us you have one hundred trillion bazillion things to do. All before lunch. So forget about getting things done well; just get ‘em done!

Enter the productivity hack, a strategy that allows you to get done that which must get done when it must get done. It’s Mother’s (and Father’s) Little Helper of this century’s teen years.

Seriously, though. You have work. Work must be done. Tasks completed. Things to cross off your to-do list. Below are some terrific tools and strategies to help you hack your workflow.

1.  Forget the multitasking shuffle, let’s do the Time Block!

Multitasking doesn’t work. Embrace that fact and be done with it. Instead, focus – really focus – on the tasks at hand and do so with a strategy known as time blocking. Dwayne

Time blocking works because you – as this author recommends – list the things you need to do and then actually schedule them into time slots throughout your day and do them at the appointed time. The secret to this is not allowing yourself to get distracted. No surfing the Web or checking for new email. No taking phone calls (unless it’s a client call, of course!). Do the task during its allotted time and then move on to the next task (after taking a break to stand up and walk around).

2.  The important comes first.

Remember Steven Covey and his groundbreaking book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People? He recommended focusing on doing those things that are important but not critical time wise. A productivity example for us here would be placing first on your time-block schedule to work for an hour on that big report your boss expects in three weeks. Its deadline isn’t pressing but your boss will be pretty peeved if it’s late, so working on it needs to take priority.

3.  Hack your productivity with some nifty productivity apps.

Many companies today are creating apps that work to improve workflow. Some of them are just plain nifty and apt to become a workflow ninja’s best friend.

As a marketer – especially if you employ inbound marketing tactics – you no doubt create a lot of content, much of it written. That said, two apps have really caught our eye:

  • FocusWriter keeps your distractions to a minimum so that you can focus on writing that blog post. It even has a built-in timer so that you can follow your time-blocking schedule with ease.
  • Grammarly helps you catch grammar and syntax mistakes as you type. You also can download an entire piece of content into the app to check for grammar boo-boos.

Hacks and Apps are Fine: But You Need to Exercise Your Willpower

When it comes to working to improve workflow, all the apps and hacks won’t work unless you a) use them and b) don’t “cheat.”

For example, any app or program you turn on to block the Internet can be turned off. Time blocking only really works if you actually stay focused. So, the real key to productivity? You.  More to the point: your willpower.

But willpower is finite. Use it throughout the day and by the end of the afternoon you’ll notice it waning. (That email from your best friend is calling to you louder and louder, isn’t it?) Willpower gets stronger the more you exercise (use) it and also as you take better care of yourself. So it’s best to exercise your body regularly, get enough sleep, eat well (stay away from sugar and processed foods), and so on.

Speaking of inbound marketing, HubSpot’s inbound platform has introduced its HubSpot Projects, a productivity app which manages “all the work you do in HubSpot, inside of HubSpot. Allowing you to work where your work is.”

We’ve already started using Projects here at Ingenex Digital Marketing. Coupled with our use of BaseCamp3, we feel our in-house productivity has increased exponentially.

If you’d like more information on how to put HubSpot Project to best use in your marketing department, drop us a line.

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