Productivity is one thing that we all need to take into consideration, especially around the end of the year.  November and December are often unproductive months because people take time off and you’re looking forward to the next family get together – but it’s important not to let things slip too long!

The New Year is right around the corner!

These are some of our favorite productivity hacks from this best of article, published on Inc.com!

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Turn Off Alerts

It’s terribly tough to get into your Zen zone when your phone is buzzing every few minutes. Depending on how chatty your phone is, you may get notifications for everything from emails to retweets. It’s essential you shut these notifications off! Trust me, you’ll see efficiency skyrocket once you tell your phone to shut its blabbering mouth.

Ignore the News

As I lengthily discussed in an earlier article about productivity, the news can be a tremendous time sink. The idea that we need to keep up to date on the news is largely outdated. Most of what passes as news today is prettily packaged garbage–it’s trivial, depressing, and unreliable. If something major happens, you’ll find out one way or another. Instead, focus your attention on what’s useful and actionable in your life.

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Have 30-Minute Meetings

As Jeff Haden notes in an Inc.com article, “whoever invented the one-hour default in calendar software wasted millions of people-hours.” The truth is that most meetings never need more than 30 minutes to accomplish their missions. Many really only need 15 minutes. Don’t be a calendar-default deadbeat. Next you’ll tell me you kept your phone’s default ringtone, too.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

This one is a pretty standard productivity tip, but it makes the rounds for a reason–when you’re too eager to please, you often end up getting in over your head. Remember, it’s not simply a matter of being agreeable–when you take on too much, all your work suffers. You may end up missing deadlines, and despite good intentions, you could end up disappointing others when you are unable to meet the extraordinary expectations you’ve created for yourself. Sometimes you just have to say no, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

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Make the Most of Lost Hours

Depending on your commute, you may spend hours driving to and from work in your car. Those hours don’t have to be wasted–consider scheduling calls in the morning that you can take during your drive to work. Subscribe to popular industry podcasts and listen to them on the way home. Stuck waiting at the boarding gate before a flight? Catch up on industry news and articles. Make the most of those previously wasted hours.

Keep reading which made the list of the Best Productivity Hacks of the Year here!