I think there's a fine line between being busy, but productive and being too busy and not productive. I personally love being busy and seldom get bored. In fact, I'm probably most productive when I am busy. Yet, my work output loses quality when I'm swamped, which stresses me out. Inefficiency = never fun. Here are a few helpful productivity hacks that I've learned to embrace over the years. They work for me and I hope they work for you, too!
HER HACK #1:
PLAN IN ADVANCE
Every Sunday, plan out your week in advance. From your meals, workouts to your weekly and daily to-do lists. This will help you tackle the urgent things first and will optimize your work flow. Be sure to prioritize the most important tasks on your to-do list and tackle those first, or during the times that you feel you're most focused. Prioritization is key here. Color code, add stickers, phone a friend etc...do what you need to do to figure out what's most important and needs to get done.
HER HACK #2:
TURN YOUR PHONE OFF
....or put it on airplane mode. I've been that person that deactivates my Facebook or Twitter account if I need to control my willpower. Social media is entertaining, informative, inspiring and distracting all at the same time. If you get easily distracted, log out of your social media accounts you're most distracted by. Force yourself to be present and complete the tasks at hand.
HER HACK #3:
Don't forget to plan time for yourself. Your brain needs rest. On a day-to-day basis, be sure to leave the office and your desk for a quick walk, eat lunch away from your desk (I'm really bad at this) and get some fresh air. Stand up and walk around every hour. Remember that your weekends are your time to reenergize. I think it's important to be "always available", especially if you're early on in your career, but you need to set limits and boundaries, too (for your sanity). Oh, and take vacations and savor every minute of them.
HER HACK #4:
Exercise. Even if it's just 20 minutes a day, working out helps boost productivity through alertness. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which makes you more alert and because exercise gives you more energy it helps make me feel more awake! Walking counts (speed it up a little and pump those arms though!).
HER HACK #5:
Our society is fast pace and we're constantly trying to multitask. By splitting your attention, it means that you’re partially engaged in multiple activities but rarely fully engaged in any one fully. Try focusing on one thing at a time so you’re more productive and get things done in a quicker time frame. Get it done and then on to the next task.
HER HACK #6:
LEARN TO SAY NO
Learn to say no to extra workloads, events, dinners and social commitments when you’re too busy. If you say yes, your stress levels will be through the roof. Your friends will understand. Say yes to tasks that will help you destress.