Image Courtesy: 15five.com
Productivity means a lot to me. For me its the reason for my work satisfaction, the reason for my business growth. Productivity becomes a fruit giving tree if you understand when to do what.
These are the few of many things that I follow personally and in this NEW YEAR, I hope you are also a beneficiary to these measures of productivity.
Time Blocking your to-do list for the day helps you focus on one thing at a time. Also as a business owner or manager, we do have repetitive tasks for the week or month or year – Just make a recurring Time Block.
Declutter that Desk
Clutter is extremely stressful. A messy desk can make you feel overwhelmed and anxious, so clear those papers, throw out those old paper coffee cups, and feel that heart rate go down
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day–it’s no ruse put on by Dunkin’ Donuts. A morning meal gives you the fuel you need to be present and productive at work, so don’t skip it.
The Two-Minute Rule
The general productivity consensus is that if a task takes less than two minutes to complete, you should finish it immediately. Whether that means responding to an email or confirming a doctor’s appointment, get those small (but often weighty-feeling) tasks done with, rather than let them collect and snowball.
Sign In on Sunday (Just for a Minute)
Sunday is definitely a day for relaxing, but if you’re often overwhelmed come Monday morning, logging in briefly Sunday evening may help you alleviate some of that Monday mania. You don’t need to make calls or even answer emails–simply assess what your Monday game plan will be, and you’ll sleep a little more soundly.
Have 25-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 25 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.
Exercise in the Morning
It’s been shown that exercising in the morning can greatly improve your productivity. Exercise energizes rather than exhausts you, contrary to what the couch potatoes might tell you. (Not that I’m judging. I can be very spud-tacular myself at times.)
Exercising also promotes good health (quick, alert the press!), and some studies have shown that exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours following your workout. Less stress, more efficiency–it’s definitely worth setting that alarm 30 minutes earlier.
Control your calendar.
While working in an environment where everyone can view your Google or Outlook calendar can be convenient, it can also set you up for problems if you don’t take control of your time. Others may view empty spaces as opportunities to schedule meetings, even if you intended to use the time for other tasks.
Instead of leaving your calendar in the hands of others, block out the time you need to handle critical tasks. That way you won’t be derailed by an unexpected meeting request.
Schedule email time.
Email notifications are another notorious concentration-breaker, so giving in to every alert is guaranteed to make a heads-down task a challenge. Don’t let email take over your day. Instead, schedule time at the beginning and at the end of the day specifically for email. Then, unless something especially critical is coming in, feel free to ignore it the rest of the time.
Know when to delegate and outsource.
Most business owners want to keep everything in their hands, but this can leave you overloaded. Learn which tasks truly require your input and which can be handled by properly skilled professionals. Once you split up the work, delegate or outsource quickly so people can get started on their to-do lists.
Unsubscribe and unfollow.
If a newsletter or Twitter feed isn’t providing you with value anymore, then unsubscribe or unfollow immediately. This will clean up your inbox and feed, letting you find helpful information quickly and lessening the time you must dedicate to inbox maintenance.
Repeat the process weekly or monthly for optimal effect.
Have a “no” strategy.
Saying yes to every task leaves you overwhelmed, but saying no can be its own source of stress. To make saying no easier, create a strategy in advance, including email templates or scripts, to simplify the conversation. This will decrease the amount of time you spend in the discussion while ensuring your point gets across effectively.
If you are repeatedly creating the same documents, you’re wasting time. Instead, create or download templates for your most commonly used formats and content types. Then you can simply start with a template instead of reinventing the wheel.
I’m sure many of you have heard of this productivity hack, but how exactly does it supercharge your productivity?
The magic happens after repeated usage. Once this hack becomes habit, your ability to focus during the duration of the timer is 10x better. That’s why this tactic is so powerful, it uses conditioning to put you in the zone instantly.
And since concentration is half of the productivity battle (the other half being actually starting to work), this tool is an incredibly powerful hack to add to your arsenal.
You can find everything you need to know about the technique here
Batch similar tasks
Batching tasks works because you’re maintaining the same frame of mind for all the tasks involved.
An example is cooking, batch other tasks like cleaning dishes or wiping the counters down with it. Another example is by batching your “social tasks” together, like emails, text messages, and voice-mails together.
Always batch similar tasks together when planning your day, it’ll definitely make your work process flow more smoothly.
Keep a pen and pad (don’t rely on memory, write everything down instead)
Memories are notoriously unreliable.
If you try and remember everything you need to do, you’re going to end up with a lot of unfinished tasks. Don’t take the risk, write down everything you need to remember.
Keeping a pen and pad works just fine, but feel free to use an app on your smartphone to do this. It’s really your preference.
Take at least 1 day off in your business a week
Your business is your baby and needs a lot of attention to grow up strong and healthy, but one night a week consider getting a babysitter and not thinking about it. This will allow you to relax your mind and avoid burn out.
Share with us your personal productivity hack in the comment section below. Also, do tell me if anything of the above has helped you this year!