10 Life Hacks to Maximize Your Time and Increase Productivity

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Feeling busy? Overwhelmed? Underwater?We all feel the sting of being too busy and desperately wish for a few more hours in each day. These life hacks will help you reclaim your productivity – and your time! Today, busyness is a modern status symbol. But busyness is not synonymous with efficiency! Being super busy, working weekends, and always being on call actually decreases overall productivity. Manage your time more efficiently and find more time for the things you want to do by incorporating these productivity hacks. Learn how some companies are shortening the workweek because It's Been Proven That Productivity Increases with a 3-Day Weekend.

10 Life Hacks to Maximize Your Time and Increase Productivity

Here are 10 life hacks to help you feel productive, accomplished, and less stressed to improve your quality of life overall:

1. Plan Your Meals

If you regularly get home late during the week, try planning your meals. Every Sunday, sit down with a few cookbooks and food blogs to find recipes for the week ahead. Grocery shop once a week, plan for leftovers, and prepare ingredients in advance. This life hack saves time and money, leads to healthier meals, and inspires creativity in the kitchen.

2. Change Your Hair Routine

If you spend a lot of time getting ready in the morning, try showering at night or using dry shampoo. If you live on the yoga mat or just enjoy working out but aren't sure what to do with your hair afterwards, here are 7 Ways to Keep Your Hair Healthy and Happy.

3. Wake Up 15 Minutes Earlier

Setting your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier can give you just enough time to eat a solid breakfast, meditate, take a walk, do a few sun salutations, or just spend a few minutes sipping coffee in peace. Starting the day relaxed and with a positive mindset improves productivity. Spend 15 minutes in the morning setting your intentions with these 5 Morning Mantras for a Better Day.

4. Schedule Time to Check Email

Rather than check emails as they arrive in your inbox, check messages in short, regular intervals to maintain your workflow and improve productivity. For example, set aside 5-10 minutes every hour to review your inbox. Triage your messages quickly (what can be deleted? Sorted? What is priority?). If you constantly drop out of your workflow to read messages, you're bound to lose your momentum! If you feel overwhelmed or distracted at work, Use These 7 Crystals to Improve Productivity in the Workplace.

5. Choose Your Outfits the Night Before

A lot of time-saving hacks involve shifting your decision-making tasks to a time when you can spare a few more minutes. Instead of standing in your closet every morning, paralyzed by options and pressed for time, pick out your outfit the night before. Giving yourself one less thing to worry about in the morning will make you feel much less stressed for time.

6. Turn Off Social Notifications

Opening Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter every time you get a notification is distracting and a total time suck. Turn off notifications on your phone and set aside time to check social platforms each day – not just when you're bored or when a notification pops up. Life updates, political rants, and baby photos will still be there when you return – take a break from social media during the day and see how your productivity improves.

7. Turn Off Autoplay on Netflix

The infamous Netflix binge! You start one episode, and hours later, you've suddenly watched an entire season of a show in one day. If you turn off the autoplay setting on Netflix, then you have to decide at the end of each episode if you want to continue. Avoid the marathon, get up, drink some water, do some laundry – and then return to your show if you wish.

8. Switch Up Your Workout Routine

If you're having trouble fitting a long workout or gym session into your day, bring it home! There are lots of online yoga classes and free YouTube yoga flows. If you're still short on time, try short, high-intensity workouts with bursts of cardio and strength training. Working out at home saves valuable commuting time and lets you maximize even 15-30 minutes of free time.

9. Use Your "Gap Time" Wisely

Have a few minutes between meetings or have a while in traffic? Use your time spent waiting wisely. Learn a language or listen to podcasts. Waiting at the doctor's office? Read a book instead of scrolling aimlessly on your phone through social media. Fill the gaps in your day with creative or educational tasks to have a greater sense of accomplishment and productivity.

10. Ask for Help

Don't reach out for assistance as a last resort. Arrange a carpool or divvy up house chores with roommates. Give yourself permission to say no to work or social requests that feel overwhelming – and thank anyone who lends a hand. Asking for help can feel vulnerable, but taking on too much at once can also put you in a bad position.

Customize Your Own Productivity Rx

Customize your own productivity prescription from the life hack list above. Pick and choose what works for you! Perhaps you will find that, with a few life hacks, you aren't as busy as you thought you were. You will have more time to focus your energy on the things – and people – that light you up.

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Jenn B

State College, Pennsylvania, United States

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