5 simple hacks to make you more productive

Scrolling through socials knowing only too well you’ve a mountain of work to get to? Overwhelmed by all the things that need doing, but here you are putting it off none the less? We’re productivity experts here at CLS and getting shit done is our specialty. Check out these hot tips from Brianna on how you can improve your productivity and life!

Productivity is a challenge for anyone. As you likely know, the reality is that whether or not we can find the motivation to be productive work needs to be done. So, when I’m not feeling productive, do I just throw all my work to the side and hope no one notices? Nope. Do I wish I could? Yep. Do I try to implement some productivity hacks that I have picked up over the years instead? Double yep. 

While these ‘hacks’ come from my own personal experience, I know they will be helpful for others too. My advice is while you read this think of how you can implement them in your own work day. Or, go one up and consider how you can adapt them to create your own.

Hack #1 Break it down

I always and, I mean ALWAYS, find a way to break down whatever task I’m working on into smaller achievable chunks. Even the smallest of tasks can be broken down further. “Why bother?”, you might ask. Well, when I perceive the amount of work to be smaller, it is easier for my brain to kick into gear and start to tackle the task as a whole.

If I don’t break down my work, I tend to get overwhelmed and not know where to start – both of these feelings are awful for productivity. Instead, I trick my brain into thinking the work is easier. As an added bonus, when I complete one smaller part of the bigger task, I get a lovely feeling of accomplishment which fuels me to keep going.

Hack #2 Make a list

Clarity is a necessity when trying to be productive. I find that lists are the perrrrfect way to organise both my tasks and my thoughts. Hack #1 and #2 go hand in hand. I break down my work by making lists. Then, once I’ve completed the item on the list, I tick it off. 

I always put a little square next to the items on my list as I find checking a box super satisfying. Anybody else? Just me? Okay… Lists are also an easy way to lay out the order in which you’d like to complete your work, thus the structure helps keep you on track and focused on the big priorities. I also find that writing things down on a list makes me more accountable, as it encourages me to eventually mark it off. 

Hack #3 Make it fun

There are a few ways I try to make my work more fun. Sometimes I make a game out of whatever I’m doing by trying to race myself. Or, I bet that I can get X number of things done in the next 30 minutes etc etc. The games you play to stay productive may take some time to perfect, as you don’t want them to actually end up distracting you. 

Another way I make things fun (this is a personal fave), is by colour coding! I love it!! The more colours I can work onto the page the better. It not only helps me to organise my information, but also allows me to get a bit excited about my work. I like to use different colours for headings, underlining, emphasising, you name it, I’ve got a colour for it.

Hack #4 set the scene

Now this one isn’t actually a hack I use so much anymore but I know a lot of people who do. Curating the space around you as your ideal focus environment will really help you to be productive. During my HSC years, I used to only work at the library, this was because my home was not associated with study in my brain. Placing myself in a more learning appropriate environment helped me to get my work done. 

You don’t necessarily go to that extreme, but if you find it impossible to focus at home it’s a brilliant option. Otherwise, curate your own little area in your home to change your brain’s association. Decluttering a space and placing your work materials there instead will work wonders for your productivity. Adding in something you like, such as a candle or artwork can help too, as it breaks up the space a little more. 

Hack #5 reward yourself and take breaks

Breaking news, working yourself to the point of exhaustion is not ‘good productivity’. In fact, the opposite is true. Rewarding yourself for getting work done by taking a short refreshing break will not only give your brain a rest, but also allow you to put out better work. Now when I say take a break I don’t mean “do 15 minutes of work then take a 2-hour break” okay. I mean “get one of the items off your list then get up and have a drink, some fresh air or a stretch for 5-10 minutes”. 

This is especially important when working on computers or any kind of screen. Taking breaks is important for our eyes and posture. Knowing that once I’ve completed what I’m working on I get to have a break, which means that I often get that task done more efficiently than if I hadn’t planned to have a break. I stop lolly-gagging about and crunch out the work because the sooner it’s done, the sooner I get to have a break. Rewarding yourself with a little treat, or by watching some YouTube or whatever it may be, is just another way to feel more positive about being productive.


All in all, we still will have those days when being productive feels impossible.But putting hacks like these into place will make it a little easier to push through those days. My parting note is that it is very important to not get caught up in toxic forms of productivity. Working yourself to the bone is not effective long term and is more likely to make you end up hating what you’re doing. It is okay to take time off or decrease your workload for a while (if your situation allows). Burning out never gets anybody anywhere, so listen to your body and rest when you need it.

What is you #1 productivity hack? Comment below to let us know!