We’re all looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce stress. During the last few years of launching my business, I’ve learned that the best productivity hacks are ones that you don’t need to think about.
I decided to take a page from Tim Ferris’s playbook (literally) and focus on the minimum effective dose of life hacks to boost productivity. In fact, you won’t even need to do anything special for these tactics to work beyond initial setup.
Here’s a look at 8 life hacks that will provide an incremental increase in productivity.
1. Throw out your bed sheets
Literally, throw out your bed sheets. Keep just a comforter and the fitted bed sheet. Why? You’ll spend less time doing laundry and making your bed every morning. And yes, you should make your bed every day. If you’re hesitant, just do a test run tonight. In all likelihood, you won’t even notice the difference.
2. Set recurring daily alarms
Pick a time you want to wake up every day and stick to it. Set an alarm for that time, excluding weekends if you want. Do the same thing for any recurring meetings. This will help you focus on work and let your alarm remind you when it’s time to head to a meeting. Consider setting the alarm five minutes earlier than the meeting so you have time to prep and get there.
3. Set “Do Not Disturb” on your phone
Don’t let the dozens of apps and services on your phone control your life with constant distractions. “Do Not Disturb” works on both iOS and Android. Open your settings and turn on “Do Not Disturb” during the day. While this is turned on, your phone won’t vibrate, ring or cause any other types of distraction.
4. Turn off nearly all device notifications
Most notifications you receive on your phone are not worth a millisecond of your time. Turn those darn things off; except SMS messages (you may want to keep those on).
Most importantly, put all email notifications on a “Do Not Disturb” setting. Email is the ultimate productivity killer. Open email once in the morning and, at most, a couple of times throughout the day.
5. Sign up for Unroll.me
This app is incredibly handy. Instantly see a list of all your subscription emails. Unsubscribe easily from whatever you don’t want. This will drastically declutter your inbox within 24 hours of sign up.
Unroll.me will help you unsubscribe from all of those unwanted email lists you’ve accumulated over the years. Set it up for personal and business accounts. Since sign-up I’ve unsubscribed from 237 newsletters on my personal email account alone with the click of a button.
6. Automate your email with Mixmax
Mixmax is a productivity suite for Gmail and Google Inbox. It is designed to supercharge your email experience with email scheduling, reminders if a recipient hasn’t responded, and more. Unless something is time sensitive, send the email at least 12 hours in the future. This will help stop the ping-ponging of email exchanges.
7. Use Toby for your most visited tabs
Toby is a chrome extension that lets you manage and organize tabs and easily find content. If you have a group of sites you open regularly, group them in a Toby list.
8. Visualize your life
Gyroscope aims to be the new OS for the human body; a consolidation point for all the data in your life. Gyroscope is an online platform that enables individuals to maintain a personal dashboard for health analytics. The app tracks your fitness activity, sleep habits, body fat percentage, online activity and more. Oh, and did I mention it has an incredibly beautiful UI?
These productivity hacks won’t singlehandedly change your life; however, they will make an incremental difference and relieve stress. I encourage you to give them a try.
This article has been edited.