5 Steps to Productivity in 2016: Tip #1

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5 Steps to Productivity in 2016 – and the Apps That Will Help You (Part 1)

While we all love the idea of a fresh start at the beginning of each year, systematic change can be difficult to sustain without the right support. Fortunately, in this technological age, you don’t have to do all the heavy lifting alone. So if you’re ready for a new approach to life and work, we’ve compiled some tips to get you—and your tech—optimized.

We don’t want to overwhelm you, so check back each day this week for a new tip.

Productivity Tip #1: Recognize Your Productivity Black Holes

As hard as we might try, we can’t possibly be productive for every minute of our day. Even if we make our work days longer, that doesn’t equal greater productivity. In a 2014 study by Stanford professor John Pencavel, work output is found to be proportionate to time worked—up to 49 hours. Beyond that, effectiveness drops off quickly.

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For the hours you do have, start examining how your time is actually being spent. RescueTime runs in the background on your computer or mobile devices and helps you understand your daily habits. If you know you have a social media dependency, for example, set up a Pomodoro system like Focus Booster so you can work efficiently for blocks of time. You’ll feel better about your breaks, which can become energizing instead of time-sucking.

Speaking of mobile devices, read our next post for ways to keep your smartphone or tablet from ruling your life.

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