Best Productivity Hacks of 2015

With the end of the year fast approaching, we reached out to some of our wonderful Ninjas and Think Productive colleagues to find out their favourite productivity hacks of 2015. Here’s what they said…


Graham Allcott (TP CEO) – The ‘Standing Desk’

“I’ve really got into standing desks this year. My home office desk is an adjustable sit-stand – I love it.”

We’re sure you’ve all heard by now that sitting is the new smoking. Standing desks reportedly come with a number of health and productivity benefits, as well as promoting good posture – if used correctly, that is!

Elena Kerrigan (TP COO) – Dictate tasks to Siri, to be emailed into Nozbe as new tasks

“I do this when I’m out of the office and not in work mode but a niggling task pops into my head.  It might be when I’m playing with my one-year-old, or just before I go to bed, or when I’m walking home from work.  Even though I love working for TP, I keep a very strict separation between work and play (I didn’t check my emails once during my maternity leave!) and I find compartmentalising my life like this essentially helps me sleep better at night.

Without wanting to sound overly dramatic, I honestly see work emails and working outside of my normal working hours as mind pollutants.  When I’ve let these things creep into my life in the past, it’s increased my stressed levels and caused me sleepless nights, so I avoid them at all costs. 

Of course we all occasionally need to work late when we have a deadline, but this is the exception rather than the rule for me.  I have a pretty active mind and it’s constantly throwing actions at me, so to shoo them away during my downtime, I ask Siri to capture that task, and then it’s forgotten about.  It really does work.  I don’t give it any more thought until I see it in my Nozbe on Monday morning. (And it has the added benefit of making my little one laugh, as she loves seeing me talk into my mobile – rather than type into it, which of course tends to shut her out a bit).”

Cara Delaney (TP UK Head of Client Delivery) – Use your Power Hour to work on something you’ve been avoiding 

For me this is early morning, preferably between about 8am- 9am when I am most able to focus my proactive attention on the task in hand.”

 Knowing which hours of the day you work best in is invaluable information for improving productivity. Learn to schedule your most dreaded/difficult tasks – or frogs – with your most proactive pockets of attention!

Fokke Kooistra (Productivity Ninja, TP Benelux) – Change places!

 “Change places a lot. Create sweet spots for certain activities”

 Staying in the same spot for hours on end can tire your mind out as much as it does your body. Get up, stretch, and coincide a fresh task with a fresh workspace. If you don’t have this luxury in your office space, try to keep your desk a place for work, and take all of your breaks away from it.

Tracy Parks (Director, TP USA) – Add flights and boarding passes to your iPhone with a passport app

 If you travel frequently, this might be one for you! Apps like Boarding Pass allow you to check-in to your flight, as well as view and manage your itinerary. An alternative app, Wallet,  lets you add “passes” for everything from the balance on your coffee card to your seat number at a concert.

Matt Cowdroy (Productivity Ninja, TP Australia) – “Use dictation on the Mac”

For Mac users, the “dictation” feature allows you to speak text instead of typing it. It’s an especially useful feature for quickly capturing tasks, or getting a lot of information onto the computer screen when you don’t have the time (or a free pair of hands) to sit down and type it all out.

What’s your favourite productivity hack of the year? Tweet us @thinkproductive.

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