3 hacks to level up your productivity

Whether we are working from home or in the office, we can always use a little nudge to become more productive. After all, we’re doing our part in making sure that Megaworld’s operations keep running smoothly and efficiently, especially during this time.

But remember, being truly productive is different from just “being busy.” Author James Clear said that “productivity is getting important things done consistently.” So think of productivity as being busy doing the right things.

Inside World has put together three productivity hacks, techniques that you can try out to give you the boost you need to get important work done day after day.

Keep in mind that these techniques are not meant to rigidly structure your schedule—we still need to be flexible, whether it’s for necessary meetings, or when our boss wants to discuss vital matters. They do, however, put us in the right mindset to prioritize our goals and make wise decisions about our time in order to deliver high-quality output.

HACK #1: The ‘Pomodoro’ technique
Created by Francesco Cirillo, the “Pomodoro technique” has nothing to do with that tomato-based pasta dish and everything to do with time management. The word “pomodoro” is Italian for “tomato,” inspired by the tomato-shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo used as a student, and the inspiration behind this technique.

Ideal if:
• Your to-do list tends to be long and varied with tasks that each require undivided attention
• You are often tempted by distractions like social media, fiddling with your phone, or even other tasks
• You tend to work best under pressure and time sensitivity
• You tend to have a short attention span and/or have a desk job

To get started:
1) Choose the task you’d like to get done and write it down.
2) Set your phone timer for 25 minutes.
3) Work on that task, called your “pomodoro,” with no distractions until the alarm rings.
4) Put a check mark on the task you finished.
5) Take a 5-minute break.
6) Choose your next task and repeat steps 1 through 5.
7) After four “pomodoros,” take a longer break. Your brain will use this time to assimilate new information and rejuvenate it before the next round of “pomodoros”
8) Repeat until the work day ends.

Here’s an infographic on how this technique works.

HACK #2: The ‘Getting Things Done’ (GTD) technique
David Allen, a productivity consultant, coach and public speaker, conceptualized the five-step GTD technique to focus on two key elements: control and perspective. It is meant to reduce the feeling of being overwhelmed, bolster confidence, and generate creative energy.

Ideal if:
• You struggle with organization (think overflowing inbox or papers all over your desk)
• You tend to feel overwhelmed by how many things you have to do
• You value and work well with high levels of structure

Here’s an infographic on how this technique works.

HACK #3: ‘Eat the biggest frog first’
Author Brian Tracy coined the phrase “eating your frog,” inspired by the quote of Mark Twain: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the BIGGEST one first.”

Ideal if:
• You tend to do small, low-value tasks that keep you “busy” throughout the week
• You feel like you don’t get anything substantial done despite having a jam-packed day
• You find yourself cramming to meet a big deadline or complete a major project

This productivity hack advises us to do our most important, highest-priority task first thing in the morning, when we have the most energy, and before emails start piling up or meetings keep us away from our to-do list. Interestingly, this is the task we most procrastinate on.

We can usually divide our to-do list into four categories:
1) Things you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.
2) Things you want to do and actually need to do.
3) Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.
4) Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.

The frog is the biggest thing you don’t want to do, but actually need to do.

Completing your “biggest frog” gives you both momentum and a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning.

Remember: being productive is not a talent—it’s a skill we can all build through healthy habits. And these habits start with practice and repetition. Start with any of these three hacks and let us know how they work for you!


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