Four Hyper Productivity Hacks In A Reactive Environment


Emilia D’Anzica, Managing Partner of Growth Molecules, helps companies grow revenue with customer success diagnostics & solutions to churn.

There are hundreds of books written, classes taught and coaching sessions offered to help people be more productive, yet this remains a challenge that many business leaders continue to face daily. In my career and experience as an executive, I’ve found a few sweet spots that I think can help you spur hyper productivity on your teams that need to function in a highly reactive environment.

When people have a workday full of tasks that require immediate attention or are primarily driven by others, it can lead to an overwhelming sense that you’ll never catch up. Finding ways to feel more in control of the workday and gaining the bandwidth to accomplish what matters most ultimately leads to happier, more successful teams.

Often the genesis of a lack of productivity can be found in daily habits. The good news is that we all have the power to make simple changes that, over time, lead to significant progress. In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear discusses how we create new habits with small, incremental everyday changes that lead to much more significant, positive change over time. He says, “Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement.”

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When the work day is fully booked, there’s the tendency to take on many tasks at once thinking we’ll accomplish more. There’s a common belief that multitasking is more efficient, but recent studies have shown that multitasking actually increases the time it takes to complete a task.

When we bounce from one task to the next, we become less efficient and more likely to make mistakes. This is especially true for more complex tasks that require higher focus and brainpower. Think of the brainpower that it takes to wash dishes versus analyzing complex data in a spreadsheet. We can wash dishes and have a conversation at the same time reasonably well; however, entering data into a spreadsheet while having a conversation would make you less efficient at both tasks.

Here are a few tips for greater productivity:

1. Habit Inventory

To create new productivity habits, it can be helpful to first look at where you have habits that are creating a lack of productivity. James Clear suggests tracking your daily habits to review where you have succeeded and where you can improve. I suggest tracking your habits as a way to motivate yourself to take small steps each day, setting yourself up for success versus being hard on yourself for not getting it perfect each day.

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2. Accountability

Collaboration with others is a very powerful strategy to accomplish a goal. According to The American Society of Training and Development, 95% of people are more likely to meet a goal when held accountable by another person checking in. It’s motivating to report your progress to someone else and incredibly empowering to know someone will celebrate your success with you. As Tim Ferriss writes in The 4-Hour Workweek, “Focus on being productive instead of busy.”

3. Reward System

A simple yet fun productivity hack is to build in rewards for accomplishing tasks. A reward can be something like taking a walk, having a cup of coffee or doing another task on your list that’s easy and fun. We are often highly motivated by rewards; they can be really simple and don’t require much planning or forethought. One of my favorite rewards is going for a run in nature.

4. Time Boxing

One of my favorite time management tools is the Pomodoro Technique, a method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. It’s a time-boxing method where you select a task to work on, focus on it without interruption for 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break. This can be repeated four times before taking a more extended break. Knowing that you have a specific amount of time to complete a task creates a greater sense of urgency—you’ll want to set a timer. Try it, and you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in a short amount of time.

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Final Thoughts On Getting the Most Out Of Today

With intention, focus and accountability, I believe your goals can be achieved. When you put your time and energy into what matters most by taking small steps with purpose, it can lead to exponential results and personal growth. Taking the time to do an honest review of what is leading to a lack of productivity coupled with a willingness to change will lead to significantly increased productivity and a more fulfilling workday. The sense of accomplishment will become addictive.


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