5 Unconventional Ways to Become More Productive

Alyssa Gregory

If you’re anything like me, you probably wish you had an extra hour or two on most days. I know I would not complain with a bucketful of extra time each week. There is always a lot to be done and, despite my best efforts, I find that 24 hours is not always enough.

Of course, time is time, and it cannot be changed. We will never get more than the allotted 24 hours in a day. But while we can’t add an hour at whim, we can change the way we use the time we have.

Here are a few non-traditional ways to change things up and use the time you have to be more productive.

Say No to Email

Many of us have agreed that email can be one of the biggest time killers in the history of the world. So, it makes sense that limiting your use or changing how you use email to prevent email overload can be an effective way to use your time more productively.

Get Up in the Wee Hours

I’m pretty sure this tactic will be met by its fair share of criticism, but it’s my favorite productivity technique. I have been known to go to bed early and wake up pre-dawn to get some focused, uninterrupted work time in.
I will admit, this is dangerous if you don’t set limits on the frequency because it can quickly lead to burnout. But for me, sometimes this is the only way to get the time I need. Plus, nailing your biggest priorities before the rest of your world wakes up makes the day a breeze.

Give Up on Goals

I’m not sure this one would ever be realistic for a Type-A personality like me, but according to Leo Babauta of Zen Habits, the best goal is no goal. The idea is that by simply doing, you’re only focusing on what you’re passionate about and giving those actions your full attention. If it works for you, this could be the ultimate, unconventional solution to targeted productivity.

Ditch Your Schedule

I have recommended using a schedule to plan time for your most important priorities in order to boost productivity. But what if you did the opposite? You may be able to get more done by removing time constraints and learning how to go with the flow.

Just Stop Doing

Most of us keep taking on more and more, so it quickly follows that we need more time to get it all done. Yet, we will never be able to create more time. So we’re constantly looking for ways to use time differently so we can accommodate more. It’s a vicious cycle. It makes sense that to become more productive, we should start cutting back, saying no, and delegating whenever possible.

Your Turn

I’ve already admitted to becoming nocturnal in order to improve my productivity. Your turn to share your secrets. What unconventional techniques have you used to become more productive?

Image credit: dinny