Now that you understand how to use "productive chunks" you're ready to take your productivity to the next level!
Mnemonics to the rescue: A short guide to easy productivity hacks
D.E.T.E.R. distractions and bad habits by always using these 5 simple tricks. Use them to boost your productivity and gain hours of fun time with friends, the free time needed to plan your first business, or cuddling time with your Corgi. You create the time, you choose how to use it!
Using your Do Not Disturb mode is your new secret weapon. Most smartphones have this feature pre-installed. Turning it on stops your phone from ringing, vibrating, and lighting up. Macs also have this feature by default. Need to get some work done? Activate this mode and crank out an hour of pure work. Control your phone; don't let it control you! Pro tip: set your phone to automatically enter this mode around bedtime.
Using earplugs will change your life. Crying baby on an airplane? Earplugs. Noisy coworkers yammering away all day long? Earplugs. Have a problem in life? Earplugs! Pro tip: buying in bulk is much cheaper.
Using a timer is a great way to divide up your tasks and stay on track. My personal recipe for success? 50 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of rest. Don't think you can get away with a 10 minute break? You can now that you're getting your work done in less time! Pro tip: using voice assistants (like Siri) is quick and easy.
Using your energy wisely is a critical but often overlooked component of increasing productivity. First, work hardest during the parts of the day where you're naturally more productive. I'm a morning person, so I cram most of my productive chunks in before lunch. Second, work in the place you feel most productive. Third, if you know something is going to wreck your chunk, then reschedule it. It's often better to save it for a time with less intrusions. If you're going to do it, do it right! Pro tip: if you can, do your productive chunks in the same place each time.
Using your reminders app will help you remember what has to be finished and when. Check and make sure you have one installed. If you don't, download a free one. Pro tip: use 1 list for repeating items (like "update financial records" every Friday afternoon) and a different list for one-time tasks (like "respond to Cathy's quote").
An example of my productive chunk
I can learn new vocabulary better in the morning, so I always schedule my Chinese review early. This is one way I use my energy wisely. At 7:45am, my phone reminded me that I have 15 minutes before I should begin. I grabbed a glass of water and headed to my desk. I lazily checked my email and Facebook for a few minutes. I put in my earplugs, set my timer for 50 minutes, and put my phone on Do Not Disturb mode. I did only one thing for 50 minutes: focus on Chinese vocabulary.
At 8:50, I took out my earplugs, stood up to stretch my legs, refilled my glass of water, and relaxed for the next 10 minutes.
Give it a try! Choose a good time and a good place, pop in some earplugs, set your timer, and turn on Do Not Disturb mode. Try it a few times and see if it helps. Share your experience in the comments below!