Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Productivity Hacks They Don’t Teach You In School

The purpose of school should be to prepare young people for the world ahead of them, including work. But all too often, their mentors and instructors don’t have experience outside the classroom themselves and so find it challenging to share helpful knowledge. 

It means that we’re looking at a generation of people who have to learn the basics of productivity for themselves. For many, it’s a massive challenge. 

The good news is that there are a series of hacks you can use in your professional or business life that can supercharge the amount that you and your team can get done in a day.

Take a look at the following ideas: 

Get Out Of The “Grey Zone”.

We leave school with an inadequate conception of our cognitive limitations. While physical education showed us that we could only run so fast or jump so high, no limits were placed on our cognitive capacities. Teachers encouraged us to work hard all day at school and then go home and do even more work in the evenings. Our mental lives were a slow burn as we desperately tried to muster the energy to complete yet more tasks, twelve hours a day. 

This approach, however, is a simple denial of the way that our brains work. Most normal, well-adjusted adult humans can’t focus on a specific cognitive task from the moment they wake up until the moment they have their evening meal. The majority end up in what authors call the “grey zone” – a state of mind that is not particularly productive. 

If you’ve ever been at work, yawning in front of an email that has taken you half an hour to write, then you’re probably in the grey zone. You’ve exceeded your capacity for cognitive excellence for the day and now coasting until the metaphorical bell rings, and you can go home.

Start Delegating.

Here’s something else you never get to do in school: delegate. We grow up believing that we need to do everything ourselves and that we must never “plagerise” or use the ideas of another person. 

In the world of business, however, this is flagrantly false. Companies outsource tasks all the time. 

For instance, today, you can enhance your systems with mobile device management without having to go the effort of organizing IT resources yourself. A third-party company will take over the entire process for you, offer additional security, and do a better job than you ever could. 

The same applies to a host of areas, including marketing, accounting, production, product development and reputation management. There’s no need for you to do any of those things yourself, and you’d be silly to try. 

Use Global Talent.

There are a lot of smart people out there: it’s just a question of finding them and hiring them to work at your business. With the internet and job sharing platforms, it is now much easier than ever before to get the people you need. Working in tandem with skilled individuals can enhance your personal productivity enormously, giving you answers to the problems you face fast. 

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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