10 Productivity Hacks To Kick-Start Your Day - InformationWeek

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2/11/2016
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Kelly Sheridan
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10 Productivity Hacks To Kick-Start Your Day

Clear your desktop, light a lemon-scented candle, and get ready for a more productive day with these tips.
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(Image: Askold Romanov/iStockPhoto)

(Image: Askold Romanov/iStockPhoto)

Some days, focus comes naturally. You can sit at your desk, abandon your smartphone, and work straight through the morning without the temptation of social media or office chatter.

Unfortunately, not all days run quite so smoothly. Sometimes we're dealing with overflowing inboxes, incessantly ringing phones, and the inevitable distraction of the Internet. We could probably agree these days happen more often than we'd like them to.

While you can't eliminate the chaos from a busy day, you can make it easier to manage. There are several digital and non-digital means of prepping your mind for a productive day -- even when it seems the universe is working against you.

Some productive pros rely on digital tools to get things done. Virtual assistants, messaging apps, note-taking wizards, and email services are all indispensable for modern professionals who need to work on the go.

[10 surprising perks at tech companies: Do you have any of these?]

While electronic devices have undoubtedly changed the way we work, there are a few productivity hacks that don't involve downloading an app or saving a URL. Simple habits can make a tremendous difference in how effectively you work each day.

The important thing to keep in mind is that everyone works differently. A trick that helps your colleague demolish her to-do list may not necessarily work for you. By trying different strategies, you'll eventually find the perfect blend of productivity tricks to become daily habits.

Here, we dig into a few productivity hacks that could positively affect your workdays. From delayed email checks to mid-day exercise, these are simple but effective ways to boost focus and help you get more done.

What are some of the things you do to boost your productivity each day? Would you give any of these suggestions a try? We'd like to hear your ideas.

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Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 10:06:49 AM
Re: Clear your Desktop and Desk
I still struggle with this on my digital desktop. Recently, however, I made a change to my physical desktop. Before two weeks ago, I had a piece of glass on my desk with lots of family pictures underneath it. I decided to try removing it so the wood grain on the desk is visible. What a difference. Having the clean desk really helped my focus and attention as the day wears on. Clutter is very distracting.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/22/2016 | 1:36:11 AM
Set realistic goals.
It is always important to set realistic goals to achieve success. Therefore I agree with the fact that it's always better to have few achievable goals.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 10:10:39 PM
Push back emails
Well you have a very valid point. However what if you missed an important task. Can be a customer complaint email.
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 10:09:35 PM
Re: Rethink Meetings:
What do you recommend if meeting are dragged for more than 30 minutes? Especially when you have meetings with your boss?
shamika
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shamika,
User Rank: Ninja
2/21/2016 | 10:08:37 PM
Rethink Meetings:
This is a time killer. Sometimes the day is full of meetings which will not add any value in terms of the work or your core job.
kstaron
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kstaron,
User Rank: Ninja
2/19/2016 | 3:17:03 PM
15 minutes
I like to do most work without music but if i'm creating something I like to have something insturmental on (if there are lyrics I can't be able to understand them) to help set the mood for whatever I'm creating. And it's absolutey essential for those mind-numbing tasks like cleaning or reorganizing the files.

Just getting to the small little two minute jobs has made a huge difference in my productivity. On days I'm determined to just get those little things done I get done so much quicker because after you set that phone number down, you have to find it again, remember why you needed to call and so on so instead of 2 minutes it takes 5.

One thing that didn't make it on this list but is on my own list. Get up (or get to work) 15 minutes early than you need to. It's amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes when there is no one there to distract you.
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
2/15/2016 | 3:31:07 PM
Clear your Desktop and Desk
Truer words were never said

>>  Clear out your digital desktop so you can actually see the background -- 

The same principle applies to your non-digital desktop. An organized workspace marks a clear path to productivity, though experts suggest a splash of color may also do some good -- green, in particular.

Desks can be busy when in the middle of working on something, but all in all, a messy desk reflects a messy mind. Getting and saying organized is the best path to productivity

Before graphical interfaces, it was just your desk. Then it was the file system, then it was the desktop. Now it's also youf smartphone and tablet which need to be organized

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