Let’s face it, while remote work has its perks, it can also be super distracting. Pets, kids, laundry, and a fridge full of snackies can make staying focused an impossible feat.
Even if you’re no longer part of #teamWFH, office culture has its downsides, too. Trying to squeeze in a bit of productive work in between watercooler talk, seemingly endless meetings, and your chatty co-worker? Forget about it.
So, how does one actually get sh*t done these days? 🤔
TBH, we’ve been wondering the same thing, so we reached out to some DTC insiders (including team members from our very own DTC Newsletter) to get their top productivity tips for crushing the workday!
(You’re gonna wanna bookmark this one.)
1️⃣ Know what time of day you’re most productive, and don’t waste it
This is the key difference between time management and energy management.
For most people, their “highest energy” time is first thing in the morning – which is why many productivity experts suggest doing the hardest on your list thing first. ☕
💬 “I like to do the task that's causing the most amount of stress first. Getting it out of the way first thing in the morning not only has you starting the day feeling accomplished but also makes the rest of the day seem less daunting.”
– Rebecca Knight , Content Team Manager @ DTC Newsletter
However, according to the science of chronobiology, we actually don’t all operate on the same circadian rhythm. This means that some people actually have higher energy later in the day, or even into the late hours of the night! (You crazy night owls, you.)
So, understand when you’re most productive, and try to do your most difficult work then.
2️⃣ Identify what’s most important to get done
Another key to productivity is determining what items are the highest priority to get done so that you don’t waste your day on small, meaningless tasks.
While there are tons of fancy prioritization and task management tools out there, many of our DTC friends prefer a good ol’ fashion to-do list. 📝
💬 “A list. Pen and paper. Give yourself the satisfaction of being able to cross/check things off. Setting out a few tasks that are MUST DO help to ensure that my time is being used wisely but also that there's no end of day struggle to play catch-up on the tasks that slipped my mind.”
– Rebecca Knight , Content Team Manager @ DTC Newsletter
Need help with prioritizing when everything seems important? Jeremy Horowitz, Head of Growth at Daasity, is a fan of The Eisenhower Decision Matrix:
3️⃣ Be a scheduling fanatic
💬 “Your calendar reflects your priorities, and if you don’t fill your calendar with your priorities, someone else will fill it with theirs.”
– Jeremy Horowitz , Head of Growth @ Daasity
Seems obvious, but taking time to plan out your workday is absolutely ~crucial~ to your productivity. If you don’t have a schedule to follow, you’re more likely to get sucked into unimportant tasks, extra meetings, or binge-watching the best trick shots on YouTube.
This can be as simple as blocking time for specific tasks on your calendar. The more detailed you can get, the better (even down to 15-minute increments).
And don’t forget the concept of energy management: when are you most productive? Try to schedule your hardest/most mentally-taxing tasks for that time.
💬 “I think of my to-do list items in terms of ‘how much energy would this task require?’ and schedule my day accordingly.”
– Rochi Zalani , Freelance Writer
4️⃣ Chunk your time
If you find yourself becoming easily distracted and unable to complete big tasks, disciplined “time chunking,” can be incredibly effective.
💬 “‘Chunking’ my time into blocks of deep work (à la Cal Newport) makes me so much more productive. I’ll set aside 3-4 hours to focus on ONE thing, and that’s all I do. No phone, no Slack, no email. It’s amazing how much I can get done.”
– Kelsey Hess , Contributing Writer @ DTC Newsletter
Another popular timing hack is the Pomodoro Technique. ⏰ This involves working straight for a set amount of time with no interruptions; taking a break to go for a walk, do pushups, or meditate; and repeating – usually in 25/5 or 45/15 minute increments.
5️⃣ Use anti-distraction tech
Can’t stay off Twitter during the day? Slack notifications got your brain playing ping-pong? 🤯
Try installing technology on your computer that removes distractions and notifications.
💬 “I use the minimal theme for Twitter, and it's quite useful. I also use HEY email which has notifications off by default, so that helps minimize distractions.”
– David, Founder/Designer @ Rainier Watch
Other distracting-fighting tools and tech:
- Snooze all notifications. Just do it.
- Strict Workflow for Pomodoro technique.
- StayFocusd to limit time on certain websites.
- TimeWarp sets up browser wormholes to remind you to be productive.
- Asana, Trello, Monday, or Todoist for task management
- Listen to Brain.fm binaural beats / focus music
6️⃣ Automate when you can
One often-overlooked element of productivity is identifying what work you don’t actually have to do manually and finding a way to automate it. 💡
💬 “I set up a bunch of automations in Asana that have simplified and shortened our email brief process. [I] created a form where I input the brief info, it then automatically assigns it to our copywriter, then passes to the designer once the copy is ready. I used to do all of that manually.”
– Troy Petrunoff , Retention Marketing Manager @ Every Man Jack
Automations can literally save you hours of work each week!
7️⃣ Block out strict “you time” every day
Workaholics, listen up: don’t underestimate the power of feeling happy and healthy on your productivity.
Set boundaries with work, and block out time to engage in activities that recharge your battery each day, whether that’s exercise, cooking, hanging out with family and friends, or bingeing Netflix (no judgment).
💬 “My alarm goes off at 6:30 and I take my dog for a jog [or walk] every morning. I come back, tidy up the house, listen to an audiobook, play fetch outside, do a workout, or watch a show. I find I am happier and much more productive during the day if I take some time in the morning to myself.”
– Raven Dixon , Head of Education & Growth @ DTC Newsletter
8️⃣ When all else fails…channel your inner Beyoncé
Don’t knock it before you try it. 💃🏽
💬 “Sometimes I have a SLOG of emails to get through and I could list a million things I’d rather be doing. Then I pretend that I’m somebody who’s a boss b*tch, let’s say Beyoncé, and I’m like, ‘how would Beyoncé answer these emails? She’d do this like a BOSS. Beyonce would sit her a$$ down for the next hour and write these email responses because TIME IS MONEY.’ And then I blast music and write the emails.”
– Louisa White , Sales Director @ DTC Newsletter
Now that’s how you get 👏 sh*t 👏 done. 👏
👉 What did you think of this list? Any other productivity tips we missed? Want more content like this? Hit reply and let us know!