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10 Productivity Hacks all South Africans Should Know About

If you care about productivity at all and getting more done in less time like our staff members do, this article is written for you. I’m sure we’ve heard these famous words “there aren’t enough hours in a day”. Well, you live in a body and on planet Earth that spins for 24 hours – try to go on 24 hours without sleep and watch fatigue get the better of you, a very uncomfortable state to be in. So, stop complaining and start managing your time right.

Speaking about time, innovation is inevitable, in fact, it’s the one brand pillar here at Pargo that has unlocked (a new delivery method) allowing access across Africa. In as much as we’ve embraced innovation, we also understand that living in a digital era where information overload is a norm, it can be really difficult to focus and find balance on what to consume and what to leave out, to a point where we consume things that are of no significance to us. The implications of such behavior can actually lead to futile intentions – to never really making an impact.

What’s more dangerous is the self-propelled anxiety you suffer from not being able to deliver. Pargo is big on saving you time and offering you convenience – we asked our staff members about their productivity hacks and shortlisted these best 10 productivity tips that will empower.

1. Take a cold shower

We all love the warm sensation from taking a hot shower however a cold shower has far better health benefits. it is terrifying and will make you scream and dance as you feel the shock hitting through your skin, it happens to be the very same shock that increases your alertness, exactly what you need to get productive. According to Health24, one in four SA worker suffers from depression. A study in 2008 proves how a cold shower can improve your mood. In essence, a cold shower gives a holistic wellbeing effect good for your body and brain, so, you don’t have to start and end your day cold, excuse the pun!

2. Start your day with a bang

In a day, you have a list of tasks to accomplish, the trick is to find your groove, you already know when you’re most productive. Voucher Cloud reveals that we are most productive for a minimum of three hours a day. Your three hours can be in the morning if you’re a morning person or by midday. My boss for example is most productive in the morning while I find myself to be most productive during day time. Build your own momentum, whether starting with your 2-minute tasks or priority tasks, make sure your day is progressive from early on in the morning, turn this to a routine then Bob’s your uncle.

3. Pen down your day’s purpose

Utilizing productivity software’s to organize and measure progress on your goals ensures that you have your task list and deadlines are in check, this works for both your work and personal tasks – thus making your life a lot easier and more manageable. In an interview with Business Insider SA two of South Africa’s giant companies, Vodacom and Discovery chief technology officers swear by Todoist Task Manager. This app has a review rating of 4.3 out of 5, easy to use and set-up, and free with an option to upgrade to a premium version. Check out more productivity apps to help you become more productive here.

4. Monitor your mobile phone usage

Mobile phones and social media are probably the number one time-wasters, and time wasted is money wasted. At work, it’s like stealing your employer’s money as you’re getting paid to deliver. At home, excessive screen-time has changed the way families interact with each other. As a digital society living in the information age, we spend more time than we realize on social media platforms, the Digital Information Network diagram below gives us an overview of how much time an average person spends on social media, which is almost three hours of your day that you could have spent learning a new language, reading a book or leveling up your skills.

Asking you to stay off your you phone and social media completely will be asking for too much, as some people use it for business and to stay in touch with their families, for anything else either than that you need to limit and monitoring your usage as it can be a distraction. Get yourself back in control, you have plenty of applications at your disposal to tell you the amount of time you spend on social networking, creativity, and productivity.

I recommend Flipd compatible with Android and iOS and hope you kiss goodbye to unproductive days and enjoy your path to productivity.

5. Put your foot down

Juggling multiple tasks gets nothing done but makes you vulnerable to unproductivity and unnecessary stress. Avoid impromptu tasks and multi-tasking as this divides your attention, it’s like switching yourself on and off. Focus on the task at hand, finish it and move on to your next. Your manager, colleague or friend can approach you with a small task for you to handle urgently, but saying yes to everything does more damage than good, remember your tasklist? You can share it with them and suggest a realistic time you can get to their impromptu task.

6. Vocational & Self-Development 

Living a successful and fulfilling life requires investing in professional and self-development, this is the best thing you can do for yourself! It breeds improved efficiency, builds confidence and credibility. Attending field conferences, informal learning events, specialized training’s, learning new developments about your industry and attending online short courses, perhaps even reading a book serves you greater happiness and purpose – and happy people produce better results. Delai Lama’s Art of Happiness denotes not only how happiness benefits you as an individual but your family, team, and community at large. Don’t wait for your employer to improve your talents and career, you can start with a Personal Development Analysis with PDA International Africa and take charge of your life.

7. Break the fast

March is National Nutrition Month (NNM) in South Africa, NNW2018 theme was “Breakfast – the best way to start your day”. If breakfast makes a theme for a national gathering of this magnitude, it sure means there’s more to breakfast than meets the eye! Setting the tone to your day by eating a nutritious breakfast is proven to fuel your energy throughout the day yet half of all South Africans skip breakfast, this is according to a comprehensive national survey released by Kelloggs during National Nutrition Week (9-15 October 2018). It sustains you for longer, improving your memory and concentration, what better way to kick-start a morning brimming with enthusiasm! Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) says skipping breakfast will do more harm to your body and health, so, kick-start your metabolism with a breakfast meal to get your yourself energized all day long.

8. Listen to music

Listening to music can be restorative, it releases dopamine, enhancing alertness in learning and attention. Proven to better your mood and relax you, the type of music you listen to affects your thinking differently. Classical and meditation music clears your mind, as it is more instrumental. Yes to music, no to lyrics, Kaya FM agrees on this cognitive notion. Classic music incites original ideas and problem-solving thinking. However, this type of music is not for everyone, granted! You just need to find the rhythm that gets you in the zone. You would know very well that too much of anything is bad for you, so tap in and out of the sound.

9.  Move your body

Can we all agree that exercise is not for everybody, though it should be a daily activity – most people can’t seem to find the time in their day to accommodate exercise? Good news is that moving your body is just as good, a 10-20minute stretch can do wonders to your overall body form, from inside and out. It enhances your mood, boosts your energy and increases blood flow, which is good for your brain. A body is meant to move, every living thing moves, trees move, animals move and even fishes in sea move, remember “exercise is optional, movement is essential”. In essence, the body is your brain – if it’s stagnant, it falls victim to diseases and illnesses thus become unproductive. No time for exercise? (Just move more).

10.  Just do it

Nike couldn’t have said it better! To be productive you need to bring your A game, aim to perform at your optimal and get sh*t done – especially living in an age where competition is rife, and the next best thing out there can replace you in an instant. Why wait and procrastinate when you can just do it now? The thing with waiting, including waiting for a parcel at home is that it creates missed opportunities, Pargo’s Click and Collect delivery has proven to be the most convenient way to have your parcels delivered to you, instead of worrying about the estimated time of arrival of the delivery man.

Hacking your productivity is directly affected by your lifestyle, diet and mind-body balance. A strong body, strong mind, and strong connections are determining factors of how productive one can be, so take a good look at yourself and your surroundings and start making the right choices.