15 tips and hacks to stay productive, focussed and creative

tips and hacks


Staying productive, creative and focussed can be challenging when swamped with myriad channels of information and a busy schedule.

Here are some of my top tips and hacks for getting productive, creative, inspired and focussed.

1. Get out!
A change of scene and working environment alters your stimulus and focus, allow your brain to think in a different way. Step away from your desk, take your laptop somewhere else and feel the difference.

2. Step away from the email
If you need to stay focused and on task, leave the email alone for a while. See if you can check it just once or twice a day, and definitely don’t get distracted by it when you need to get on with a task.

3. Step away from the phone
Let your voicemail pick up for you for an hour, or however long you need to do the work. I use Skype Spinvox, which texts me a message left for me on my business number.

4. Store your favourite tweets from your timeline and lists, and let them go to Evernote for retrieval when you need them for research or information. I use IFTT.com, and use this recipe to make that happen!

5. Go offline to brainstorm them photograph your notes. Sometimes a pen and paper and a cup of coffee is still the best way to go, so try going wild with your mind maps and lists, then photographing them for later ( I use Evernote for this).
geek chic and business

6. Focus at Will is a brilliant web based app that plays music designed to make your brain work better. Neuroscience and all that. I love it.

7. If you can’t face writing, dictate it. I use Drafts for iPad, and also Dragon Dictation to record blog posts, notes and drafts.

8. Write emails and send them at a time you want them to be read. I use Boomerang for Gmail for both scheduled emails and reminders to follow up an email, all form my inbox.

9. Plan your work schedule around your productive times and how you naturally work; I like to coach in the morning for my one to ones when I am energised and fresh, and tend to write better in the afternoons.

10. Canned responses in Gmail are a great way to respond to batches of emails, or similar requests.


11. Use a combination of social media tools to make your content sharing easier. I use Tweetadder for regularly randomised content, Buffer for new content that I want to add easily with no particular schedule, and Sendible or Hootsuite for scheduling updates throughout the week. Of course live interactions are so important too, but at least I can know that my main backbone of social is taken care of.

12. Activate your tried and tested creative zone and working mindset; once you know what kickstarts you, do it!

12. Call someone who inspires you – particularly so if you are self employed or working alone. Just buzz a friend of associate who you know always makes you think. Let them know they can do the same for you, and have a mini brainstorm together. My stars for this are Bangs, Emma Sexton and Sarah Betty. I also love Google + Communities for discussion, debate and inspiration.

13. Gather some fresh stimulus; pay Pinterest a visit. Or, even better, browse something offline to get your mind away from distractions.

14. Make RSS feeds you love come to your inbox, then file them in a google doc or Evernote using IFTT. I had my favourite site feeds sent straight to Evernote, and time sensitive tech items sent straight to my email which is then automatically put in a Google Doc when I file it in a given folder.

15. Drink plenty of water. It’s an oldie, it’s a goodie, but we still need reminding! Brain cells need water to function!

I just got productive with Dex Diva!

What tips do you use for working productively? Please share in the comments below, I would love to hear!

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Thanks so much for reading!






Psst! If you liked this post, you may also love:

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Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
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