In a recent post, we discussed getting out of your own way and that ‘busyness’ is actually a form of laziness.
Today, we are going to extend that conversation to provide you with five simple tips that you can implement immediately to see your productivity increase exponentially.
Many people might not realize the value in the simple things; things as simple as an organized, quiet space to work, for example or even just using a desk calendar to plan your days.
First things first, clean your space!
Yes, I am yelling at you just like your mom probably used to. But, she is a wise woman and you should listen.
How do you expect to be productive in a messy, distracting workspace, office or home? The clutter is a reminder of other things to do and can often be a distraction. Put you hand up if you decided to wash the dishes instead of your work or perhaps you decided just to get out the house and not deal with any of it!
Your office could also be a reflection of your work ethic. You might be the hardest worker in the building but your office should be organized. Sure, things get messy when you’re busy, but take the time once a week to do a 5-minute tidy.
And by the way, you can de-clutter your mind, too. Distractions can come in the form of stressful thoughts and sometimes it’s helpful to just throw on some music while you’re working and find what helps you be more productive. Classical. Deep House. Whatever your flavour is, try finding instrumental music without distracting lyrics.
The ONE Thing
The ONE Thing is from the #1 best selling book of the same title by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan.
“What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
It’s about focusing on the ONE thing that stands between you and your goals.
Essentially, you have one item on your daily TO DO list. If you accomplish it, great, move on to the next. In the book, they talk about research showing that if people have multiple items on their list, they tend to do the easier/faster tasks first, which aren’t typically the most important.
If you have one important thing to accomplish, then you can focus all of your energy on completing it before you even consider doing something else.
This is a determining factor when it comes to people who are successful and those who aren’t.
Visit their website (Click Here) and check out the document called “Your 411” under the highlighted resources. It’s an excellent tool on that will help you get clear on your priorities.
Once you get the ONE big thing out of the way, the other tasks will flow much easier.
Pre–plan Your Day
If the first thing you do in a day is spend energy planning the day, you’re already behind. We only have so much mental power in a day and using it up in the morning on mundane tasks is a waste.
End each day with planning for tomorrow so that you can walk in and get started on the most important task. That pure, fresh mental power should really be used wisely.
Whether it’s a desk calendar, an agenda or journal, it’s great to divide your tasks by the day or even the week.
Jot down notes to yourself, due dates and other reminders that will help you stay on track.
Pro tip; always put your personal deadline a day or two ahead of your actual deadline. This helps you ensure you’re on time but also leaves room to accommodate any challenges you might run into.
Block Your Time
Schedule your tasks within a specific block of time. For example, set aside one hour to complete a task. It will force you to be far more productive and if it’s a creative task, it’s especially helpful in brainstorming ideas knowing you have a deadline.
If you give yourself the day, you will be much more likely to take twice as long with distractions in between.
If you manage or work with a team, let then know that you are not to be disturbed during your scheduled time blocks. Train your team to do the same for important tasks so that you can all enjoy more productivity.
Your blocked time will become your best co-worker.
Social Media Distractions
Social media is nefarious in stealing our time. How many times have you clicked on something and 15-minutes later you’re looking at a dog video? Sure, it’s cute but it also leaves you in a completely distracted and unproductive state.
If you use Chrome, there is a handy browser extension called Stay Focused that can help. You set the website and the allowed amount of time you choose.
For example, you can set a timer so that Facebook is blocked after 15-minutes of use per day. This allows you enough time to pop on, check for important messages and get out. Another handy extension is the News Feed Eradicator for Facebook. Instead of seeing the feed, all you see is an inspirational quote.
BEFORE YOU GO
If being more productive is important to you, then there is nothing stopping you from implementing these five simple steps immediately. Except you, you’re the only person in your own way.
Whether it’s a clean desk, a pre-planned week or personal deadlines, there are many ways to stay productive and get results.
Share yours with us today.
If you’re curious about getting started with your own Virtual Assistant, click here for a recent blog post explaining how you can actually Grow Your Business by Doing Less.
If you’re ready for help, click here and we’ll get the process started immediately.