5 productivity hacks you'll be thankful for

Here are five productivity hacks that can help cut through the chaos and make the most of your work time this holiday season.

productivity hacks
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Productivity hacks to be thankful for

Time's always at a premium in the IT industry, but with the holidays approaching, it can seem impossible to get anything done. Just in time for the hectic holiday season, CIO.com has gathered five key productivity hacks to help you make the most of your time, based on communication and collaboration solutions company Jabra's recent research on workplace productivity. Here are their top productivity hacks you'll be thankful for.

Capitalize on alone time
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Capitalize on alone time

In today's collaborative workplaces, open-plan offices are all the rage - but they can be hell on your productivity. Workers deal with up to 17 different distractions per day, according to Jabra's research, most of which are caused by other people. According to the report, the 2,500 respondents to the survey revealed the most common distractions are noise levels (46 percent) and interruptions from colleagues (43 percent).

Limit meetings
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Limit meetings

Jabra's research showed that 36 percent of respondents believe meetings diminish their personal productivity levels. For managers and executives, limiting meeting times might actually solve productivity problems, and for workers themselves, taking a hard look at better ways to problem-solve can be helpful at gaining back lost productivity.

Eradicate email
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Eradicate email

Email is certainly more productive than the alternatives (i.e. meetings), but the endless flood of communications can quickly get overwhelming. Twenty-eight percent of respondents say a steady stream of emails hinders their productivity.

To avoid getting lost in a sea of replies, set aside specific chunks of time during the day, a few times each day, to devote to email -- you'll be surprised how much more manageable it becomes.

Temperature check
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Temperature check

Extremes in temperature are more than just an annoyance, they can actually negatively affect your ability to get work done; 33 percent of respondents say the temperature in their office impacted their productivity. So, check out the thermostat at your office space and make sure it's set to a comfortable temperature, usually somewhere between 68 and 72 degrees. You won't be able to write code if your fingers are numb, nor will your daily status meeting be comfortable and engaging if everyone's mopping sweat from their brows.

If you can't change the temperature, keep an extra sweater at your desk, or even plug in a space heater to keep yourself toasty warm.

Get in the zone
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Get in the zone

The digital era has shortened humans' attention spans, but take heart -- the ultradian rhythm that is present in both our sleeping and waking lives indicates that the human brain has the potential to focus for 90 to 120 minutes before it needs a break. Take advantage of both your increased ability to multitask and your brain's potential and break down your workday into 90 minute chunks to make the most of your concentration.