Life is fast moving and complicated. There’s a lot you can do to simplify your life and still get more accomplished. There’s a seemingly endless supply of “hacks” online. There are hacks for work, your love life, exercise, and everything else under the sun. I’ve found getting through all of the hacks requires a hack of its own!

So in this ever changing world, how can you keep things simple and focus on a few powerful strategies:

  1. Make a short list. The fewer things you try to accomplish, the more you’ll get done. I have to say, I have been guilty of the boom and bust mentality. The ‘I’ll get everything done today’ mentality that makes a task seem daunting. 

What I’ve found has really helped with this is to make a list of the 2-3 most important things I want to get done at work. Before I drive home, I make a list of the 2-3 most important things I want to get done at home. I then make a new list for the weekend.

  • The act of making the list makes me prioritise so I can accomplish the most important tasks. I then feel a sense of achievement I wouldn’t normally feel.
  1. Focus on one task at a time. Switching back and forth between two or more tasks is inefficient. Learn to focus on one task until it’s complete before moving on to something else. Try this for a week and notice the difference it makes.
  2. Try to limit your emails to five sentences. If an email is five sentences, no one will complain that your email is too short or too long. You can maintain relationships without spending a lot of time typing a senseless emails. If it’s any longer than that, consider picking up the phone as the situation calls for it.
  3. Go to bed early. Any extra time you’re awake at night probably isn’t productive. It’s probably spent watching TV while nodding off in your favorite chair. Get to bed early and get up early. You’ll get more done.
  4. Sort your mail as soon as you get home. Each day, grab the mail and stand over the recycling. Throw out the junk and sort the rest. Put it all away in the appropriate place. Pay the bills and file it accordingly 
  • Avoid the frustration of lost bills and clutter. Save your time and energy for more important tasks than going through a huge stack of junk mail every time you need to find a bill or other important paper.
  1. Work offline. It seems that more and more work must be completed on the computer, but there are pitfalls to working online – the internet. The internet is both the best and worst thing ever invented. It provides tremendous resources, but it’s also the perfect way to waste a lot of time.
  • Would you rather complete your admin or invoicing or watch a video of kittens riding on the back of a goat? See how easy it is to get distracted?
  • If you’re at home, pull the Ethernet cable or turn off the Wi-Fi.
  • One famous writer once stated that the only way he could get any work done was to glue the Ethernet cable into the port and then cut off the cable. He couldn’t control himself if he had access to the internet.

Try out these six “hacks” and see how they impact your life. What other “hacks” could you add? Consider where you seem to waste the most time. This is a prime area for developing a “hack” of your own. Keep your life simple and it will be easier to get through the day with a feeling of accomplishment.

Deborah Cripps

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