10 Productivity Hacks That Really Work

I’m not a performance hack person. I’m not a “hack guy,” at all, for that matter. My mind doesn’t truly run on the hack wavelength. When I wish to do something, I do it. There’s no advantage to attempting to “trick” myself into being more efficient.

Now, possibly that would have been various if I were doing something I disliked. If I were required to work on things I didn’t appreciate at all, I may need to utilize a few of the performance hacks I see individuals promoting and utilizing. So for today, I’m going to speak about those. I’m likewise going to offer my suggestions for performance that don’t certify as “hacks” per se.

My Efficiency Approach

For me, I follow an easy procedure that’s never ever let me down.

  1. Make a note of the jobs that require to be finished.
  2. Total the jobs.

This is an amazing technique. It’s easy (simply 2 actions) and it’s sure-fire (following both actions as set out enhances performance each time).

Note: it’s important to follow every action to the letter. This technique doesn’t work if you don’t.

In my experience, nevertheless, this very first technique doesn’t work for everybody. I highly presume they’re simply not following the procedure to a tee, however simply the very same, I’ve turned up with some more particular suggestions for special performance deficits.


My preferred performance tool is the slackline. Yes, that long strip of flat webbing hung in between 2 anchor points that you utilize to stabilize, stroll, leap, and play. There’s something special about what 5 to 10 minutes on the slackline does to your brain. To me, it seems like a reset. It seems like the brain floods with blood and cleans out all the completing desires and circular ideas that keep an individual from remain on job and on target. The experience of being on a slackline is so alien to the majority of people—you’re stabilizing, you’re bouncing, there’s some stress however insufficient to really be steady—that it’s a completely unique input that requires you into the instant minute. Then, when you leave, your brain feels looser and your muscles feel stimulated and pumped, and you take a seat and solve back to work.

Here’s an excellent introduction of slacklining.

Alarm clock

Set the alarm to go off every half an hour or two, and utilize it as inspiration to get up and do a set of pushups, pullups, and/or crouches, simply to keep active throughout the day. If you sit a lot at work (and even if you’re a standup workstation super star), utilizing a fundamental alarm clock to keep moving every hour (a minimum of) ought to keep a few of the unfavorable health results of sitting at bay while enhancing your capability to focus. You understand you shouldn’t be sitting for that long, and the clock is complimentary, so you truly have no reason.

Utilize your mouse with your off hand

This is a really specific niche, mystical suggestion I got from a good friend of mine. He was doing an experiment attempting to establish more fluency with his off hand. Right-handed, he would brush his teeth with his left hand, cook with his left, and do all sorts of fundamental practical motions utilizing his left hand rather of his dominant right-hand man. After utilizing his left hand to manage his mouse on the computer system, he discovered something truly intriguing: he was much more efficient that method and far less sidetracked by extracurricular sites. Although he was a bit more awkward with the left hand, he discovered he wasn’t clicking social networks websites or any of the other computer system activities he’d often utilize to sidetrack himself from the work.

If you have trouble with distracting websites, try using your non-dominant hand to use the mouse or scroll the track pad. Using the “other side” of your brain in this manner might get you out of the neuronal grooves responsible for distracting yourself.

Work outdoors

I don’t mean go get a job on a farm (although that’s great, too). I mean take your work outside. If you work on a laptop, you can definitely do this outside—weather permitting—and the benefits to productivity, not to mention happiness, are huge. When you’re outside:

  • You’re breathing fresh air.
  • You have full spectrum natural light entering your eyes which increases alertness and energy.
  • You’re reducing stress and cortisol, which burn energy and make you lose focus.
  • You’re restoring your attentional capacity—the amount of “focus” you have in your tank. Research shows that spending time in nature is one of the best ways to restore this capacity to pay attention.

Working outside just works. Here’s how to do it.

Take a “sprint vacation”

Sometimes we simmer in non-productive work mode for too long. We sit in front of the computer doing nothing at all, really, convincing ourselves and our nervous systems that we are “working.” It’s miserable and it’s how a lot of people spend their days at work. It’s also very non-productive.

Not everyone can swing this, but I highly recommend taking a “sprint vacation”: getting away for 3-10 days to just hit a project (creative or otherwise) with everything you’ve got as hard as you can. You don’t have to do it in an expensive getaway location, although that can be nice if it’s possible. It can also be tough with young children at home. But even if it’s just renting a modest cabin somewhere in the woods for a few days to go write or code or plan, it can really pay off.


Just like you need to deload from physical training every now and again, just like refraining from lifting any weight at all for a week can make you stronger in the long run and when you return, deloading from work for a day or two or seven can make a huge difference in your productivity.

Just don’t do anything for a few days or longer. Nothing work related. Take walks, go swimming, have dates with your spouse, take your kids somewhere fun, do puzzles. Workout. Just do anything unrelated to work and take a total break from it all.

Energy break

You’re in the midst of work. Things are slowing down. You’re slowing down. Energy lags. You’ve already had coffee, tea, all that. How can you get a bit boost?

Hold your breath and jump in place as long as you can. Other movements work too, like squats or pushups or burpees. But just hold your breath and do a movement rather intensely. Breathe in when you must, and feel the energy flow through you.

These are the productivity “hacks” I, as a guy who recoils from the idea of hacks, find to be most useful and promising. What about you? How do you like to hack productivity?

Don’t Break the Chain

Jerry Seinfeld used this method to become one of the most prolific and successful comedians in history. It’s very simple: every day you do the required amount of desired work or activity, you cross that day off on the calendar. If you keep making progress each day, you get an unbroken chain of Xs across the calendar. Don’t break the chain and you’ll ensure you stay productive.

This is probably one productivity hack I’d actually be willing to attempt. It’s low-tech. It’s simple. It provides instant, tangible, visual feedback.

Kanban Board

Kanban is a work-flow method developed by an engineer at Toyota to improve productivity and organize project progress in the plants. It’s very simple, especially used for general productivity. You get a large board with three columns: To Do, Doing, Done. You write all your “to-dos” on magnetic or sticker squares. As a particular task, project, or goal progresses from “to do” to “doing” and finally “done,” you move it to the correct column.

Here’s a Kanban board you can buy.

Use the Pomodoro technique

With Pomodoro, you do focused work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Download an app like this one that lets you organize your to-do list and reminds you to stop for a breather. Use those breaks wisely:

  • Drink some water
  • Make a cup of tea or coffee
  • Go outdoors
  • Take some deep nasal breaths
  • Run a sprint
  • Swing some kettlebell
  • Stretch or do a two-minute microworkout
  • Browse social media
  • Listen to a song, either a calming one or a pumping-up one
  • “Brain dump” in your journal for a couple of minutes to clear your mind
  • Get a hug
  • Give a hug
  • Pet an animal


About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending 3 decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining ideal health, Mark released Primal Kitchen area, a real-food business that develops Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly cooking area staples.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.