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12 Productivity Hacks For Feeling Less Stressed

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Here's a few tips and tricks on being super productive and decreasing your stress levels. Hopefully one or two of these reasonate with you and change your work flow for the better.

- The easiest way to feel less stressed is by getting up early each day. If you start getting things done by 5:00am or 6:00am, you'll be amazed by how much more open your day feels. You'll have more time for running errands, relaxing, doing things that you enjoy, spending times with loved one, or time in the gym. As long as you go to bed between 10:00pm and 11:30pm, you won't feel tired throughout the day. An extra couple hours or productivity goes a LONG way.

- Turn off ALL notifications on your phone besides iMessages/text messages. Chances are, you won't be able to do much meaningful work on a mobile device and each time your phone buzzes with a new email, you get incredibly distracted. Same thing goes for Instagram and Facebook. Check social networks and email on your own time.

- Try and only check email two or three times a day if you can. If you have Outlook, Gmail or open at all times, you're going to get pulled out of whatever you're doing each time someone drops you a note. 99% of the time, they can wait.

- The first thing you should do each work day is what you are looking forward to LEAST. Otherwise, it will hang over your head until it's done.

- Avoid meetings and conference calls as often as you can, as they're usually just big time sucks and you have to plan your entire day around its start time. Most everything discussed can usually be done over email.

- Most people sending you a text message are loved ones or close friends and should be given a priority. The easiest way to have conversations with them is to install the iMessages app on your desktop, assuming you have both a Mac and an iPhone. It's much easier and faster to type messages with a real keyboard than it is to pull a touch screen phone out of your pocket every time it vibrates.

- Make sure your tablet has no access to work related files, documents, or emails, and only use it when it's time to relax. Desktop or laptop computer is for work, the tablet is for play. It helps separate work/home life nicely if you love spending time on the internet when out of the office.

- Keep a clean office, home, and car. The less cluttered and dirty your life is, the more relaxed, productive, and happy you'll feel.

- If you have flexibility with your schedule or a longer lunch break, try hitting the gym in the middle of the day instead of before or after work. It will allow for more relaxation in the morning and evening and give you an awesome boost of energy for the second half of your work day.

- If you work on a computer all day, you might as well invest in a fast one. A computer cramping up and slowing down is only going to frustrate you.

- When making reservations or appointments, always use the corresponding app instead of calling around. As examples, ZocDoc is great for medical appointments, HomeJoy is great for house cleaning appointments, and OpenTable is great for restaurant reservations. You'll save time and have a clearer picture of what's available where and for how much.

- If you're feeling in a funk and not getting much work done, go and do something else that needs to be done in the day. Whether that's picking up dry cleaning or calling your parents, you can be productive with non-work activities and (most of the time) when you return to work, you'll be back in the zone.