Latest News: Technology |  Celebrity |  Movies |  Apple |  Cars |  Business |  Sports |  TV Shows |  Geek


Filed under: News


7 Productivity Hacks That Successful People Use Every Day

Jan 8 2014, 11:21am CST | by

10 Updates
7 Productivity Hacks That Successful People Use Every Day
Photo Credit: Forbes


Full Story

7 Productivity Hacks That Successful People Use Every Day

If you feel like you’re consistently finding there’s more ‘work’ than there is ‘day’, you’re not alone.

Too many of us get caught up in putting out fires, wasting time on tasks that don’t really matter, and using our time ineffectively and haphazardly. But when you start to think about yourself as a steward of the 8 precious work hours you have during the day, your work habits can’t help but become more streamlined and purposeful.

Following are 7 hacks that can save you an hour or more each and every day, when applied consistently. Keep in mind that not all of these hacks will work for every business or industry.  For instance, if you’re a paramedic contracting with the local health authority, I wouldn’t recommend letting all phone calls go to voicemail!

Note: Any savvy mathematicians in the crowd will notice that, upon implementing each of the 7 hacks below, you’ll save up to 13.5 hours per day. But before you get excited thinking these hacks will allow you to not show up at the office at all, keep in mind that the amount of time y
ou’ll save per hack will vary depending on how much time you currently spend on each task. Sorry./>

1.      Set specific times to check email

One of the biggest time-sucks known to modern man is checking and responding to email. If you don’t believe me, try monitoring your email usage for an entire day and you’ll see exactly how much time is spent in this regard.

In fact, some research even suggests that email takes up 28% of the average workers’ day; this translates into the second-most time-consuming activity we take part in during the day.

Resist the nearly overwhelming urge to answer every ‘ping’ that comes from your smartphone or computer, and instead limit yourself to checking and responding to emails at set times during the day. The number of times you’ll check will depend on the type of business you run, however Tim Ferris of the 4 Hour Work Week suggests checking it twice per day:

He writes on his blog, “the fastest method I’ve found for controlling the e-mail impulse is to set up an autoresponder that indicates you will be checking e-mail twice per day or less.” By letting your customers, clients and colleagues know exactly when you’ll be on email, you are essentially training them how to communicate with you – on your terms.

I’ve found that Inbox Pause for Gmail has been enormously helpful in reducing my mental overhead when it comes to email.

Estimated Time Saved: 2.24 hours per day, assuming 28% of an 8-hour work day.

2.      Let your calls go to voicemail

Unless you’re expecting a life or death call, don’t feel obligated to pick up every time the phone rings. If you’re a sole proprietor, this can be a little more difficult; you probably don’t want to let important sales calls go to voicemail.

But if possible, take a quick peek at the caller ID, and only take calls that must be answered immediately. In time you may find you can let up to 90% of your calls safely go to voicemail, returning them at the end of the day (just be sure you actually do return them!). For an excellent overview of why phone calls are often a waste of time and cause lost productivity, see “Sorry, No Calls.”

Not only will ‘batching’ your phone calls save you time, but it will mean you’re more focused and intentional when you do talk to clients or colleagues. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’ve purposefully set aside time to connect with them, and that the time you do spend on the phone with them is uninterrupted and productive.

Estimated Time Saved: 1-2 hours per day./>/>

3.      Have a daily plan in place

If you’ve ever come home at the end of the day with that sinking feeling of ‘I didn’t get anything done today’, this hack is for you.

It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of responding to situations, people, and crises. But rather than letting others dictate the course of your day, have a plan in place for proactively tackling projects and tasks.

By setting a specific amount of time for each task – for instance, 1 hour to get that budget report done – you’re more likely to be hyper-focused and to not allow yourself to get distracted.

This doesn’t mean you completely ignore those around you; it does mean, however, that you build time into your day to deal with unexpected situations that may arise.

Estimated Time Saved: 1-2 hours per day.

4.      Monitor your social media usage

We know that social media, while an absolute necessity for business owners, can really eat into the workday. Most of us would probably be embarrassed to admit how much time we spend checking Facebook and Twitter!

As part of your daily plan, build in time to check, monitor and respond to social media. Be sure to build in time for writing blog posts, checking blog comments, as well as monitoring and responding to comments and queries on social networking sites.

Online time-tracking tools like Rescue Time and Toggl can give you an accurate picture of how much time you’re spending on various tasks, and can help you keep your time spent on social media under control.

Estimated Time Saved: 1-2 hours per day.

5.      Keep meetings to a minimum

With the average meeting lasting approximately 45 minutes, and the majority of us spending nearly half our days in meetings, limiting the frequency and length of meetings is critical.

Many meetings can be avoided and replaced by a group email or a quick phone call, so don’t be afraid to suggest alternatives to traditional, in-person meetings.

If a meeting is unavoidable, as far as it’s in your control, make sure they’re highly organized, that members are kept on-task, and that an agenda is kept to. Give a set starting and ending time, and be sure everyone involved knows what time the meeting is to be officially over.

Estimated Time Saved: Up to 3 hours per day. Assuming half of an 8-hour work day is spent in meetings, up to 3 hours can be saved by replacing in-person meetings with group emails or phone calls./>/>

6.      Say no to ‘busy work’

There’s a growing acknowledgement among business professionals that ‘busy’ doesn’t equal ‘productive’. Don’t let yourself get caught up tending to small, insignificant tasks that don’t contribute to the bottom line.

While tasks like organizing your desk, color-coding your files, or fiddling with fonts may seem important in the moment, they can be huge time-wasters. While there is a time and place for most tasks (even seemingly insignificant ones), be sure you’re not just doing them to stay busy.

Having a daily plan in place should help you stay on task, but asking yourself periodically throughout the day, “Is this helping grow my business?” can give you a bit of extra motivation and clarity.

7.      Use efficiency-maximizing tools

Software tools are a great way to speed up common tasks that otherwise take up bandwidth. Roboform, Boomerang for Gmail, and Dropbox are just three of my most-recommended productivity tools. For the entire list, see my article, “10 Tools to Make You More Efficient.”

Estimated Time Saved: Up to 1 hour per day.


Hopefully you’ve used your allotted ‘reading favorite blogs’ time to read this article; otherwise, it’s time to stop reading and build it into your plan for tomorrow! For more business & entrepreneur insights, see these resources.

What productivity hacks from this list are you already using with success? What other hacks are missing from this list that you find particularly helpful? Share in the comments below!

Image courtesy of 1shots

Source: Forbes


iPad Air Giveaway. Win a free iPad Air.

You Might Also Like


Sponsored Update

Update: 10

4 Firms In Iskandar Malaysia Get Facilitation Fund Totalling RM16.2 Million

Source: Malaysia Today

(Bernama) – Four companies have received the facilitation fund amounting to RM16.2 million from TERAJU@Iskandar Malaysia in an information sharing programme on business opportunities and assistance for the small and... REA ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today 1 week ago, 7:42am CDT


Update: 9

Selangor’s Watergate about to explode

Source: Malaysia Today

Anwar brought Wan Azmi to meet Khalid to try to resolve this matter. Anwar supports the RM2.5 billion claim but Khalid is stubbornly sticking to the figure of RM250 million.... ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 23 2014, 4:12am CDT

More From the Web

Update: 8

GLCs told to provide RM7 billion to develop Bumiputera firms

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Putrajaya has directed government-linked companies (GLC) to generate RM7 billion in business opportunities for Bumiputera firms this year, Prime Minister Prime Minist ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 17 2014, 2:05am CDT

Update: 7

Rafizi shows proof of Putrajaya’s hand in contentious carpet-trader loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli today revealed documents to prove Putrajaya interfered in the RM32 million Bank Rakyat loan to ‎controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan. Rafizi (pic)... READ ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 16 2014, 2:16am CDT

Update: 6

PAS MP claims Bank Rakyat loaned carpet-trader RM215m, interest free

Source: Malaysia Today

(Malay Mail Online) – Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan (pic) was given a whopping RM215 million interest-free loan from state-owned Bank Rakyat, a PAS lawmaker alleged today, despite ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jul 14 2014, 5:52am CDT

Update: 5

MRCB, Nusa Gapurna and PKNS settle suit over RM3 billion PJ Sentral project

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB), Nusa Gapurna Development Sdn Bhd (NGD) and PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd have reached an out-of-court settlement over the ownersh ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 21 2014, 2:53am CDT

Update: 4

Story behind Syed Mokhtar’s ‘RM2.25 billion tax-exempt’ Bernas deal revealed, says PKR MP

Source: Malaysia Today

(The Malaysian Insider) – An innocuous written reply in Parliament has provided a peek into the cosy relationship between the Najib administration and Malaysia’s best-known businessma ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 15 2014, 12:56pm CDT

Update: 3

Constitutional monarchy still murky concept

Source: Malaysia Today

After the RM4.5 billion land sale, the Sultan of Johor secured a 15% stake in MOL Access Portal (MOL) for RM396 million and took a 20% stake in Berjaya Times... READ MOR ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 14 2014, 12:37am CDT

Update: 2

Sultan of Johor’s RM4.5 bil backlash?

Source: Malaysia Today

Has Sultan Ibrahim of Johor’s succession of big money deals over the last six months caused the tide of public opinion to turn against Johor’s royal palace? KiniBiz ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 8:49am CDT

Update: 1

Putrajaya denies carpet dealer given interest-free loan

Source: Malaysia Today

Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider Putrajaya today refuted allegations that Bank Rakyat had allowed carpet dealer Deepak Jaikishan to repay a RM32 million loan without interest following interv ...
Source: Malaysia Today   Full article at: Malaysia Today Jun 11 2014, 5:44am CDT

Shopping Deals


<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.




blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Brian Williams announces Daughter&#039;s Role in Peter Pan Live
Brian Williams announces Daughter's Role in Peter Pan Live
This is very cute. News anchor Brian Williams announces that his daughter Allison Williams is playing Peter Pan in the NBC Christmas production Peter Pan Live. Watch the news segment below.
iPhone 6 Launch is now Rumored for October 14
iPhone 6 Launch is now Rumored for October 14
New rumor says that Apple will launch iPhone 6 not in September but in October. Why would they do that?
iPad Air 2 Giveaway
iPad Air 2 Giveaway
I4U News is celebrating summer with an iPad Air Giveaway. Claim your chances now to win a free iPad Air 2 - a $499 value. Enter the I4U News iPad Air 2 Giveaway now below.
Alicia Keys announces Pregnancy on Instagram
Alicia Keys announces Pregnancy on Instagram
Performer Alicia Keys revealed on Instagram that she is pregnant again.

About the Geek Mind

The “geek mind” is concerned with more than just the latest iPhone rumors, or which company will win the gaming console wars. I4U is concerned with more than just the latest photo shoot or other celebrity gossip.

The “geek mind” is concerned with life, in all its different forms and facets. The geek mind wants to know about societal and financial issues, both abroad and at home. If a Fortune 500 decides to raise their minimum wage, or any high priority news, the geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants to know the top teams in the National Football League, or who’s likely to win the NBA Finals this coming year. The geek mind wants to know who the hottest new models are, or whether the newest blockbuster movie is worth seeing. The geek mind wants to know. The geek mind wants—needs—knowledge.

Read more about The Geek Mind.