It seems like maximum productivity is the ultimate in unreachable goals for many. No matter how much you get done, it always seems you could do more. Hacks, tips, and tricks for being more productive abound. Some are great, and some are only sustainable for a short time.

From dropping off the grid completely to only sleeping in 30 minute increments, there is much advice all over the spectrum. These tips should help you gain more productivity throughout the day without making any crazy changes.

Work in Time Blocks

This one has been the game changer for me personally. Set a timer, and work undistracted for that amount of time. Pure focus on nothing else but the task at hand, knowing when the time goes off you are free for a short amount of time to do something else.

Some find that and hour, 90 minutes, or even two hours works best. I find that 20 minutes is my sweet spot, with a 5 minute “break” between each 20 minute time block. After 20 minutes my focus begins to wane, and this is the time it takes me most typically to fully complete the normal tasks I have on my plate daily.

The key is not to randomly pick a time block, but rather to choose one based on how long it takes you personally to get “in the zone,” and then how long you are able to stay there. For me, 20 minutes is ideal. Then in my 5 minutes off I can grab a drink, surf the net, send a quick text, or check email. Be sure to set a timer for your break as well.

Disappear

Okay, so this is sort of like dropping off the grid, but not long term. If you have a day that you have some really pressing matters to take care of, consider relocating somewhere that you will not be easily found by distractions. A local library or hospital cafeteria may offer Wi-Fi and privacy with fewer distractions than a coffee shop.

Let only those who must know where you are in on your secret. This would be your boss, basically. If they can wait, let them wait. Turn off your phone, disable notifications, and get your work done. You can utilize the time block method to check messages during your “break block” if you feel you need to.

Delegate/Outsource

Only keep those tasks for yourself which you are the absolute best at. Pass of anything and everything else that you possibly can, so that you can focus on what you are best at and actually do your best at it. This will take some soul searching and consideration, meaning it will not happen overnight, but once in place productivity will soar.

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