10 Productivity Tips that Work

Want to change your personal life or your business in 30 to 60 days? I believe one way is to get off that hamster wheel of being so busy. People will ask, “How are you doing?” and we reply, “I’m busy.” That really get to me so I came up with some productivity tips that will allow you to get things accomplished so that you can prioritize the things that are important to you: family, friends and relationships. I have used all of these tips myself and they work. As a life coach, I coach people I work with to do the same thing.

Number 1: Focus on one thing 

The reality is that multitasking doesn’t work, but we like to think it does. So many of us, myself included, have worn “multitasking” as a badge of honor. We think we’re really good at multitasking, but it doesn’t work. Your brain is not expected to be able to concentrate when you’re doing many things at once. Multitasking doesn’t work so focus on one thing. If you want more information on this concept, there is a book that I love called “The One Thing” by Gary W, Keller and Jay Papasan. Ask yourself, “What is the one thing that I could do that is going to make everything else easier or unnecessary?” Focus on one thing that will move the needle closer to what you need to be doing.

Number 2: Do the most dreaded task first

It’s human nature to dread the things that do not give us pleasure. We want to put those things off because we don’t want to do it. They are probably not so bad, in reality. So don’t do anything in your work day before you tackle that dreaded task first. As Michael Hyatt says, “Slay your dragons before breakfast” and everything after that will be easy.

As Michael Hyatt says, “Slay your dragons before breakfast” and everything after that will be easy.Click To Tweet

Number 3: Plan ahead  

No, I’m not telling you to stay up until midnight to plan for tomorrow. I am saying grab a little Post-It note or a piece of paper and begin jotting things down that you want to do the next day. It takes 5 or 10 minutes, but it is very effective to stay on task.

Number 4: Turn off distractions 

If you are getting distracted, turn off social media, texting, email, silence your phone or close your office door. Maybe you need to move to a quieter location or wear headphone to let other people know that you are busy and need to turn off the distractions to be more productive.

Number 5: Take a break

The Law of Diminishing Returns will kick in if you’ve been working on something for hours and hours.  If your productivity is decreasing, take a break. Get up and stretch, take a walk around the block, get a glass of water, visit with somebody in your office or make a phone call. You need to take a break because you don’t want that Law of Diminishing Returns to kick in.

Number 6: Get up early 

I am not saying you have to get up early to start working. I am saying to get up early to get clarity, to have some quiet time or to unwind. I love early mornings because there’s nobody awake in my house and it’s quiet so I can prepare  for the day. Maybe you can wake up early and do some stretches or go for a run. Of course, always begin with a nutritious breakfast. 

Number 7:  Delegate tasks 

Are there tasks that somebody else can do for you? Get yourself a virtual assistant if you work from home or get someone to clean your house so you’re not doing laundry and dishes in the middle of the day. If you need somebody to edit your blogs, outsource that to allow you to focus on the things that you really need to do to help you be more productive.

Number 8: The Two-Minute Rule 

Do those things that you don’t want to do and they seem like they’re going to take hours. In reality, they probably don’t take long at all, but you just don’t like doing that activity. The Two-Minute Rule is if something can be done in two minutes or less, then do it immediately. Maybe you need to put the books back on your shelf because your office is a mess, then do it. If papers are strewn across your desk, then do it and file them away now. You will be able then to check that task off your list. 

Number 9:  Get your environment right

If you are working from home at your kitchen table, put away the groceries and put away the dishes. You need to get an environment where it’s comfortable and you are getting a good vibe. If you are working from home, have a designated work area. If you are in an office with cubicles, make sure that you have an environment where you can concentrate and do your work. 

Number 10: Have a plan 

If you are working,  don’t just do things from off the top of your head. Don’t just make it up as you go along. I know people who do that. You need a plan.You can schedule time on your smartphone or tablet with time blocks so you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing. I have a white board where I write all the activities that I need to do to be productive. You can share your calendar or screenshot your white board and share it digitally to let somebody hold you accountable to what you’re doing.

I guarantee you that these 10 things will work. They work for me and they will work for you. Word of caution: This does not happen overnight. Organization and productivity take time and practice. It takes practice to manage your time and to improve productivity so give yourself some grace, but continue to do it daily. In 30 to 60 days you will see a big difference to your business or your personal life. Remember when we are productive in the areas that we need to be productive in, it opens up a huge amount of time for our top priority: our family, friends and relationships.



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