Productivity is a profitable industry, selling budding small businesses and creative solopreneurs promises of raising bottom lines with efficiency products and hacks. It is a journey to wade through all these suggestions and tips because you must test them to see if the methods work. However, by implementing the following well-backed strategies, you reduce time and resource investment in finding the productivity trends that work for your business circumstances.
A tip like this is not directly a productivity trend. However, it is vital to consider this before implementing other techniques. Only some productivity tips or trends will work for you or your business because they are not one-size-fits-all. Finding the sweet spot will take copious trial and error, but each experiment provides helpful insights into any work process.
Many rely on willpower alone to motivate them through tasks they find tedious. Will cannot change the inherent dissatisfaction with specific tasks, but you have the power to make them more refreshing and rewarding. Temptation bundling combines activities you do not want to do with others you do. Here are some examples of how this can manifest in the workplace:
You can brainstorm temptation bundles by writing down activities you like and do not and attempting to find pairings for “wants” and “shoulds.” Eventually, the more fun and engaging activity will become associated with the unappealing task, making you more likely to have better upfront motivation and follow-through.
Administrative work gets in the way of deep work. However, emails must receive answers and meetings that do not feel valuable have to take up an afternoon. That is why workers can choose to nix the traditional to-do list with a version that tackles the best ideas first — a must-do list.
Having one most crucial task allows business owners to feel accomplished by addressing a high-value, high-energy job without worrying about a thousand other microtasks that feel important to achieve on any given day. If you tick off the “must do” and nothing else, it helps productivity by forcing the tasks with the highest ROI to receive immediate attention.
Though this may appear inaccessible to many, AI comes in more forms than Big Tech assets. AI is a productivity trend because data proves how much it reduces human error and implements automation. It can improve overall quality of life by removing the need to perform mentally draining assignments like scheduling meetings or performing data entry. No matter the sector, AI can fit into every nook by relieving workers and raising bottom lines.
Over 50% of workers are not fully present at their job, meaning there are mundane jobs plaguing their days or they are uninspired because the work is not challenging. If AI could carry those burdens and leave humans to participate in more emotionally fulfilling and mentally stimulating projects, productivity would increase alongside contentment and morale.
Many productivity and health habits do not happen because lifestyle adjustments connote unpleasant exertion. Building a workout habit is something most strive to do because they know it is beneficial. Still, there is a lot of mental and physical resistance to the act — finding a gym you like, allocating your budget for a membership, meal planning, learning new workout regimens and more.
The trend here is designing a space that makes productivity easy and appealing. Environment design adjusts physical spaces to reduce the steps it would take to do tasks people associate with high resistance. Some environmental designs are more aesthetic, creating a calming, pleasing atmosphere that reduces friction toward work. Other design choices specifically engineer spaces to increase productivity. Here are some ways to design workspaces to stimulate the mind while keeping your focus:
All these little distractions reduce productivity while encouraging healthier work habits.
The advent of four-day work weeks and the dismissal of hustle culture has motivated more professional mindfulness and rest. Perhaps workforces would not have to work so long if they were well-rested and could use 100% of their abilities during main office hours. That is why sleep hygiene education is a productivity trend.
Despite influencers touting trends like the 5-to-9 before 9-to-5, such tips set unrealistic expectations for productivity before even hitting the workplace. Informing employees and yourself about how to get the most out of a good night’s sleep is essential for performance. It will start with a cultural mindset shift on what constitutes enough sleep and how nobody should praise anyone for sacrificing it for work.
Only some life hacks or productivity trends are practical, especially when they can be time-consuming to discover and attempt. Like habits, they take time to incorporate seamlessly and see results, but modern techniques have plenty of range to fit most personality styles and work personae.
Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.