ClickUp Blog Productivity Hacks

22 Productivity Hacks to Get Work Done (+ Expert Tips & Tricks)

We’ve all been there: The day starts out well, but then suddenly it’s 5 PM and we’ve only managed to do a fraction of the work we wanted to do. 

How?! 

I get it—staying productive isn’t always easy, especially when we’re constantly facing distractions and our willpower is constantly tested. 👀 🙏

Good thing there’s a hack for everything these days! Take a look at these 22 productivity hacks that will help you get more done in less time, without sacrificing your focus or energy.

What is productivity?

It simply means how efficient you are in converting your inputs into outputs. 🤝

Bruce Almighty Jim Carey typing fast and drinking coffee
Bruce Almighty via GIPHY

Productivity helps you measure how efficiently you can produce outputs (like your product or service) from many inputs (like money, time, or labor).

It isn’t just about getting more work done; it’s about getting more out of our time. It’s about achieving our goals and doing what we need to do without wasting time on things that don’t matter—which we’re all guilty of at times.

Take a look at some of the most common productivity killers—do any of them apply to you? 

  • Too many tools or not enough of them 😅
  • Lack of boundaries 🙈
  • Poor self-accountability 🙅‍♀️
  • Poor planning and time management 🤦‍♂️
  • Sleep debt 😵‍💫
  • Distractions 📲 🙉
  • Burnout 🥵
  • Zoom gloom 💻 ⛈

It can be tough to stay productive when distractions are constantly pulling us in different directions. Between checking our phones, emails, social media accounts, and the endless list of “to-dos,” it’s easy to lose focus on what’s important.

So while we can’t always have full control of our workdays, we can start establishing smart work habits mixed with effective productivity hacks to keep us from getting derailed from getting our important and urgent tasks done and hitting our goals!

Why does ClickUp care so much about productivity?

With an app for almost everything these days, you can create a stack of apps that meet your needs for work easier than ever before. The question is: how can you stay organized when you’re constantly switching between several tools and spending too much time switching back and forth? 

Sounds kinda counterproductive, doesn’t it? 😅

We get that there’s a lot that goes into managing work—from ideation, collaboration, delegation, executing, tracking progress, and everything in between. That said, there’s absolutely no need to make it harder than needs to be. 

This is exactly why ClickUp was built—to save you time by removing frustrations, inefficiencies, and disconnects in project management by bringing all your work, connecting your most-used productivity apps together, and offering hundreds of customizable features to fit your workflow.

ClickUp’s Founder, Zeb Evans, said it best here: 

While I absolutely love productivity software, in general, it’s a broken industry. There are too many tools to keep track of, too many functions in entirely separate ecosystems, and too many platforms across different departments. 

The result is less efficient, and less productive, employees, teams, and businesses. 

To optimize productivity in a way that also maximizes efficiency, solutions should be streamlined so all of the necessary tools for all teams live in a single platform that keeps track of everything: projects, tasks, schedules, chat, docs, and more. Ideally, one platform that can deliver truly efficient productivity for everyone. 

That’s exactly why we created ClickUp; we saw the need for one platform that helps employees stay productive and keeps companies running efficiently.

Zeb Evans ClickUp
Zeb EvansFounder and CEO at ClickUp

22 Best productivity hacks to get you through your workdays 👊

Getting things done seems like an uphill marathon race these days—it burns slow and requires tremendous effort due to all the distractions, endless (so it seems) Zoom meetings, increased incoming emails, and so on. 

Little Fires Everywhere via GIPHY

If you can relate to the GIF above (like I can) then it’s time to explore these productivity hacks to help you get things under control and boost your productivity battery!

Mindset Hacks: Get’cha head in the game 🧠 ⚡️

You know that feeling when you’re in the zone? When you’re so focused on what you’re doing that time seems to fly by and before you know it, you’ve accomplished a lot? That’s the goal we’re striving for here. 🎯

The problem is, for some of us, it’s difficult to concentrate and power through every type of task. It can be especially challenging when there are a million things going on at once and deadlines are looming. 

Here are a few tips for hacking your mindset to help you maximize your brainpower and get things done effectively! 

❌  Blocker #1: Are you having trouble staying creative and focused on your high-priority tasks?

✅ Solution: Dedicate power working hours and be present

  • Batch high-focus and low-focus tasks
  • Avoid multitasking to optimize brainpower, attention, and focus
  • Turn on the Do Not Disturb or Focus mode on your phone and laptop to pause notifications

❌  Blocker #2: Feeling like your thoughts are tangled in your mind or unable to think clearly (or at all 😅)?

Solution: Meditation and get some quality sleep

  • Clear your head before going into work-mode
  • Allow time for yourself before the workday begins (self-reflection/alone time to center yourself)
  • Get quality sleep and get in tune with your circadian rhythm

❌  Blocker #3: Are you having difficulty focusing on the task at hand or doing the task you least enjoy?

Solution: Change your environment from time to time

  • Go outside, a different workspace, etc.

The first battle of getting in full productive mode is getting your mindset in the right space—try these hacks to get your head in the game. And I get it, for others, getting in the right headspace can be challenging especially when you have ADHD symptoms (like I do).

If that’s relatable to you, check out these tips to help you optimize ClickUp and make it work for you! 

Physical Hacks: Keeping your body in action 🕺

You know that old saying, “move it or lose it?” Well, when it comes to brain power, that’s actually true! 

Recent studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can actually lead to a decrease in cognitive performance because what we do with our bodies has a direct impact on how well our brains function.

So if you’re like most of us who work in an office, you’ve probably found yourself sitting at your desk for long periods of time with little to no movement besides your fingers typing and hand reaching for your fourth cup of coffee, then it’s time to establish a new habit and get your movement breaks in!

You have to get up and move your body if you want to optimize your brainpower. After all, your brain craves body movement because it’s one of the ways it gets oxygen and promotes the production of brain cells for better cognitive performance, aka your productivity and efficiency.

📌 TL;DR: If you want to be your most productive self, you need to move your body.  💃

Here are movement hacks to keep your mind and body working in unison to get sh*t done:

❌  Blocker #1: Are you lacking motivation and energy to get your workday started?

✅ Solution: Exercise first thing in the morning 

  • Move your body in the morning before work to spikes brain activity, prepares you for mental stresses and complex situations for the rest of the day, and increase retention of new information
  • For those who aren’t morning people, carve out time to work out in the middle of the day to refuel your brain for the afternoon

❌  Blocker #2: Lacking the enthusiasm and willpower to complete non-exciting tasks?

✅ Solution: Get a short movement break in to regroup your thoughts and get into a productive mood

  • Go for a quick walk outside, take a stretch break, (or a quick desk dance break?) 👀

❌  Blocker #3: Feeling mentally fatigued due to excessive sitting?

✅ Solution: Change it up and get a standing desk 

  • Try using a height-adjustable office desk to break up long periods of sitting, and to remind you to move your legs for better blood and oxygen circulation which powers up our brain!

Get in with the trend and invest in a standing desk like our officemate Dwight over here:

The Office Dwight standing desk
The Office via GIPHY

With our increasing work responsibilities, we often forget to set up our bodies for optimal work efficiency and performance. Exercise is an effective method for boosting cognitive function and tapping into your productive mode by moving your body. 💃

Organization Hacks: Feng Shui-ing your workspace ✨🧹

How many times have you started working on something and then got sidetracked because of the mess on your desk? How many times have you been unable to find what you need because your digital workspace is scattered and unorganized? 

If you’re like most people, the answer is, “a lot.” 😅

The truth is, if your workspace is cluttered and disorganized, it’s going to be difficult to focus and get anything done.

It’s time to reorganize your workspace—check out these hacks!

❌  Blocker #1: Having trouble prioritizing tasks? 

✅ Solution: Use the Eisenhower matrix to organize your task by priority

Eisenhower Matrix
via ClickUp

❌  Blocker #2: Are you easily distracted by things around you?

✅ Solution: Clean up physical workspace 

  • Keep your desk and office area free of clutter like trash, miscellaneous items, and basically anything that doesn’t have anything to do with the work you’re doing

❌  Blocker #3: Do you waste time constantly searching for your tasks, documents, etc.?

Solution: Declutter and organize your digital workspace 

  • Create folders, group files, tasks, etc. based on project type and categories for quick searches
  • Use a consistent and relevant naming convention for your folders, tasks, documents, etc.
  • Do a digital audit every week and move unnecessary files into the trash bin 🗑  

The importance of performing a weekly audit of the digital workspace and office space cannot be overstated; don’t let things pile up. Organizing both areas from time to time will help you avoid future distractions, and frustrations, and clear out unnecessary items that may interfere with your flow and concentration. 😌👌

Workflow and Process Hacks: Creating a system that works for you 🔁

When it comes to being productive, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s okay!

Establishing a routine and creating a system can help you tap into your most productive self mode. 

Take a look at the hacks below to see what you can start implementing in your work life:

❌  Blocker #1: Do you become overwhelmed and frantic as soon as you open your laptop in the morning?

✅ Solution: Plan the following workday before bedtime 📕 > 😴

A productivity hack that improved my work and reduced stress is planning my task before sleeping. 

Before I go to bed, I note down the tasks to do the next day. So when I wake up in the morning, I don’t have to worry or look to do anything new–I already have ‘work’ to do.

It is always a new thing or a surprise that disrupts plans and productivity. You should ignore the updates and focus on your work. You catch up on all the notifications in the evening and plan the next day accordingly. This way, you sleep well knowing what you will do the next day, and the morning feels welcoming. With strategy made the previous night, you left the execution for the morning.

Adam Connelly Spacelift.io
Adam ConnellySoftware Engineer at spacelift.ioInfrastructure as Code solution for DevOps engineers 

❌  Blocker #2: Feel mentally drained by midday and have trouble completing the rest of your tasks?

✅ Solution: Eat the frog 🐸 🍴👀 

  • This method suggests that you should get your most important and biggest tasks done first thing in the morning to maximize your brain power, and as Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”

⭐️ Bonus: Getting big ticketed tasks done early= ⬆Dopamine levels =⬆alertness, focus, creativity, concentration, and activates long-term memory 🙌

❌  Blocker #3: Overwhelmed by the number of apps you have to handle every day?

✅ Solution: Consolidate your work apps and get an all-in-one productivity solution—like ClickUp 💡

  • Reduce toggling time between apps and bring all your work into one place—a centralized hub. You can also take advantage of app integrations to connect all your most-used apps together for a seamless workflow. This will open up more time for important and deep work and clear your way to productivity land👌

❌  Blocker #4: Feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of a project and don’t know where to start?

✅ Solution: Break down tasks into subtasks 

Here’s Daria Maltseva, Head of Product at KeyUA, for more insight into how subtasks can help you get on the productive track:

Instead of giving different tasks individually to your employees, you can try creating a single goal and dividing subtasks among the team members.

This method is more likely to work better as each of them has a specific thing to do, they’ll give their best and better time to complete the tasks. Plus, it won’t feel like a burden when working collaboratively as a team.

Darya Maltseva KeyUA
Daria MaltsevaHead of Product at KeyUA

Time Management Hacks: Making the clock work for YOU ⏰

❌  Blocker #1: Do you feel as if your attention span is constantly short, or as if you spend too much time focused on one task?

✅ Solution: Use the Pomodoro Technique 🍅

  • Work in intervals of 25 minutes to maximize attention and focus
  • The Pomodoro technique is a time management technique that works great for those who have a hard time focusing on one task at a time, procrastinators, and for self-claimed perfectionists who take too much time revising or thinking about a task

❌  Blocker #2: Are you constantly fighting against time? 

✅ Solution: Start time blocking 👊⏰ 

  • This is an effective time management hack that forces you to block out time for specific tasks and focus solely on that task instead of multitasking
  • Block out nonnegotiable and uninterrupted time on your schedule to limit distractions, avoid looking at other tasks, and get your mind into your “productive flow state”

❌  Blocker #3: Are Zoom meetings taking up your productive time and leaving you with ‘Zoom gloom’?

✅ Solution:  Block out ‘focus time’ on your calendar 🤓⚡️🗓

Take it from Nick Churcher from Scribe:

It’s easy to fall into endless zoom meetings when in remote and hybrid working environments.

The barrier to scheduling a zoom meeting is so low that your calendar quickly fills up with meetings that could easily be carried out asynchronously. Frequently switching between heads down, individual work, and meetings can be highly disruptive to your productivity.

To combat this, block out ‘focus time’ on your calendar to ensure you have sufficient time in the day to get done what you need.

Nick Churcher Scribe
Nick ChurcherHead of Growth at Scribe

Productivity hacks and ClickTips from your friends at ClickUp 🙋‍♂️🧑‍💻 💁‍♀️

❌ Blocker #1: Having a difficult time connecting your tasks to your goals, or feeling stuck, unproductive, and uninspired due to a lack of goal structure?

✅ Solution: Get a goal tracking app and start setting weekly goals 🏆

  • Setting weekly goals with measurable targets will help keep you on track by giving you a structured approach 
  • When you can clearly see what your goals are, you’ll be able to align your tasks and schedule your workdays accordingly

📌 Pro Tip: Use ClickUp Goals to stay on track, hit your goals with clear timelines, measure your progress, and more!

ClickUp Goals feature
Setting targets and tracking your goals in ClickUp

❌  Blocker #2: Is your productivity power being blocked by inconsistent processes and wasted time due to rebuilding tasks over and over again? 

✅ Solution:  Start using task templates to save time and get your tasks moving quicker! 📝⚡️

  • Use the task templates in ClickUp to create reusable templates for you and your team. Easily create, save, and edit task templates for bug reports, landing pages, blog posts, and virtually any type of project
Task Templates in ClickUp
Creating and saving a new task template in ClickUp

❌  Blocker #3: Are repetitive and manual tasks taking over your workdays and taking up space in your mind, rent-free? 

✅ Solution: Automate routine work and get your productive flow on with the automation feature in ClickUp! 🔄

  • ClickUp Automations do the busy work and create consistent processes so you and your team can devote your productive time and energy to other creative and important tasks
ClickUp Automations
Set triggers and conditions to fire specific actions in ClickUp using the automation feature

❌  Blocker #4: Do you need a clear way to see your urgent tasks and show your team how time-sensitive each task is? 

✅ Solution: Label your tasks according to importance or urgency with priority flags in ClickUp! 🚩

Task Priority flags in ClickUp
Assigning priority flags to each task to let everyone know what needs to be done ASAP

❌  Blocker #5: Are you keeping too many tabs open (aka tab hoarding) to the point where you have to click on every tab to find the one you’re looking for?

(It’s ok, we’re all guilty of this at some point 😅)

✅ Solution: Stop tab fever and use ClickUp Task Tray

Line up and keep your important tasks in your Task Tray to easily jump to and from tasks in ClickUp. This hack will help you stay focused, organized (and sane) when working on multiple tasks within ClickUp. You could even use it as a “Do it now or do it later” system. Can you tell us more about that, Holly?

If I can do it in five minutes or less—I do it and clear the notification.

If it requires a longer set of time or is a bigger project, I put the task in my Task Tray and close it out when all the action items in the tasks have been completed!

Holly Peck ClickUp
Holly PeckSr. Coaching Manager at ClickUp
ClickUp Task Tray
Minimize a task from any view to keep your important tasks in a visible line-up and to avoid toggling through multiple browser tabs

❌  Blocker #6: Are you finding yourself constantly switching to and from pages the same pages in ClickUp? 

✅ Solution: Remove unnecessary clicks and get to the right pages more quickly with Favorites menu bar in ClickUp! 🖱 👨‍💻⚡️

This feature lets you quickly hop to your most used and popular Workspace locations to help you save time and mental energy. 

Easily create your favorite lineup that is unique to your workflow and preferences and find your favorites in your Sidebar or pinned to the top of your Workspace.

ClickUp Favorites feature
Create your own Favorites sidebar and quickly hop through exactly what you need

Our ClickUp crew loves this feature. 💜 Check out how some of us use it:

I keep the Calendar pinned from the Quick Actions button so that I can quickly view my calendar from anywhere in the platform without having to leave the current page I’m on and go to the Home screen where the calendar lives.

Jonothon Popphan
Jonathon PopphanAssociate Training Specialist at ClickUp

If you’re using pinned favorite views, change their name to an emoji or abbreviation—it allows more favorite views to be visible.

About 90% of my day-to-day ClickUp navigation is through the favorite bar.

Jeremy Galante
Jeremy GalanteSr. SEO Manager at ClickUp
Jeremy’s favorite bar in ClickUp

Work smarter & get more done ✅ ⚡️

There’s always more work to be done than there is time in the day to do it.

We all know that feeling of being overwhelmed by the number of tasks on our plate and the looming sense of dread that comes with them, and it’s easy to get sidetracked (or unmotivated), especially when we’re trying to focus on a task that we don’t find particularly interesting or inspiring. 

It’s a great thing there’s a hack for everything these days!

Try these productivity tips out and use the features in ClickUp to help you work smarter, beat procrastination, train your brain to increase your attention span, and tap into your productive mode—on demand! 🙌

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