“You were born to win !!! But to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, & expect to win” – Ziglar – Motivator
Productivity Topics: Plan, Headstart, Productivity To-Do & Later Lists, 80/20 Rule, Ditch Dull, Plan, Org, Break, Delegate, OutSource, Coach/Mentor, NO, Quit, Rewards, Goals, Focus, Multi-Task, Distractions, Music, Improvement, Delete Duds, Commuting, Emails, Tools,
No matter how productive you may be, there are always opportunities to increase your level of output. As a very results-oriented person, I’m very passionate about increasing my productivity. I’m always experimenting with different methods, & systems to increase my output. I select the best methods that help me work the fastest – producing the best quality at the same time.
Recommended Strategies & Tips to increase your productivity. I coach my clients on some of these strategies too, and their productivity increases tremendously after that. Each tip has its own set of contexts where it works the best in, so apply them accordingly:
- Plan your Day the Night before: Before you sleep, spend 5 quick minutes to plan the next day. List all the things you want to get done, order them in priority & allocate a timing. This way, you can get right down to action when you wake up the next day.
- Get a Headstart, Wake up early – Start off your day ahead of others. When doing your tasks, start it 5, 10 or more minutes earlier than the time you specify. Because you are an extra step ahead, you will feel especially good about it and be motivated to run fast to keep your lead.
- Use your Productivity periods. All of us have times when we are more productive. Identify these times and schedule the toughest work to be done during then. For the other times, just do more simple work.
- Use a To-Do List. To-Do list lets you (a) Capture all tasks that are streaming in. Firefighting activities will always be coming in regardless, so put them off unless they are both urgent & important. This way, you can concentrate on your task at hand rather than be distracted by other incoming things. (b) TDL gives you immediate clarity on all the things you need to do – to pace yourself accordingly (c) Not run the risk of forgetting anything you need to do. Bogus (no Bonus): Using check boxes in your To-Do list gives you the satisfaction of ticking against the item when you are done with it.
- Practice 80/20 Rule, which refers to the phenomenon where 20% of your actions, will get you 80% of your results. Quit trying to be a perfectionist and focus on the 20% of the things that matter.
- Ditch the Dull, Unimportant Tasks. If the work is a nice-to-do task and isn’t a “need-to-do” task, consider removing it altogether.
- Make your To-Do list a Do-Later list. Throughout the day, there will be many things that demand your attention – usually small tasks that don’t take much time but aren’t very important. X your TDL & do them when you’re done with your Priorities.
- Plan your Tasks. A good plan facilitates your work by quantum leaps. For example, you want to write a 10 page report. Attempting to write it immediately without organizing your thoughts could lead to a jumble of ideas and a lot of eventual rework. Investing some time to develop an Outline and clarify your thinking will lead you to a higher quality output with lesser time & effort spent overall.
- Get Organized. Having everything in an organized fashion makes it easier to do your work. Have a good filing system for your documents (both soft & hard copy) so you can retrieve whatever you want easily.
- Make sure “the Force is with you: Blast all your energy and get the task nailed down, rather than try to tackle the task with little spurts of energy. If you imagine you have a report which takes 3 hours to finish, channeling all your energy to get it done in one sitting is better than the alternative where you do it for 30 minutes every day, each time having to recollect where you left off previously.
- Take a Break. If your brain is completely fried or if you are physically too tired, give yourself a break. No point pushing yourself onward and moving inches forward when you can give yourself a good rest and boost your energy after that. This will end your Productivity Slump.
- Delegate. If the work is something that needs to be done but (a) can be better done by someone else (b) isn’t part of your scope of work or (c) isn’t the best use of your time, delegate it out to the people who are experts. Striving to get the maximum out of the time you have, involves taking out items which aren’t effective uses of your time, such as admin, HR, accounting, etc.
- OutSource. You can easily hire someone from USA or overseas (at a low $$$) Some of work could be Marketing, Testing, Admin. Customer Service. Try Odesk & Elance.
- Get a Coach/Mentor – who will bring awareness to your blind spots, pushes you forward and opens you up to new levels of performance you never thought you could do.
- Learn to say No !!! If you want to get things done, this means standing up for yourself and saying No to other things. Things you don’t want to do, things which aren’t important, & things which are unrelated.
- Quit to Win. Sometimes, if things are nowhere, it’s time to just cut it off before you waste more time on it. There’s no point in finishing something for the sake of finishing– if it’s not worthy.
- Reward Yourself – to motivate you. Besides the sweet feeling of completion, you now have something else to motivate yourself to work faster, smarter. It’s good training for your brain.
- Play the Slots. Set aside a “fixed” Time Slot to work on your tasks. You must work on that task – and only that task – during that time slot, no more, no less. If you’re close to finishing, go into overtime. (the Pro sports do) With time slotting, the non-negotiable cut-off timing motivates you to be more productive. Unless it’s a high priority. Then you can break this rule.
- Set ambitious Goals & Deadlines. These give you something to work toward. They make it a challenge that is a motivator, but is achievable at the same time. Go for it !!!
- Focus = 1 Task at a Time: If you are doing something which requires a high level of brain work, focus on doing it one at a time. Don’t try to multi-task and get nothing done in the process.
- When to Multi-Task: For the lower level, menial work which do not require much brain-work.
- Effective = Efficient: Be effective first, then be efficient. Effectiveness refers to doing the tasks that matter. Efficient means delivering higher output in lesser time. There’s no point in being efficient doing the non-value added tasks.
- Quit Pro-Crastinating: It’s a huge time waster. Think of all the things you could have accomplished if you never procrastinate from this point forward. [Amateur-Crastinators aren’t any better] Review your Priorities. Go for it !!!
- Reduce or eliminate Distractions – which are significant Time wasters. Distractions exist all around us – MSN, Facebook, Twitter, TV, Radio, etc. Don’t use them during your working hours.
- Music Motivator. Find the most enjoyable manner to get things done and you will get more work done than using any other method. I use the Spotify music that I have picked, to keep me in a good mood & keep me energized. Wiz4.biz
- Learn from the Best. Identify the people who are the best in what you are trying to do. Learn from them, understand the best practices they adopt and model their behaviors. This cuts short your learning curve by a big chunk. (and you become an Incredible Hunk. LoL)
- do Continuous Improvement. Set your Goal. Track your performance. If you fall short of your expectations, evaluate how you can improve next time. If you meet your target, see how you can perform even better next time.
- Delete Duds [Limiting Thoughts]. Worrying about some hypothetical scenario that has not occurred yet? Thinking (-) thoughts? Feeling negative feelings? Stop living in a “bubble-is-about-to-burst” mode. Delete these with that button on your keyboard. You don’t need all these things to hold you back. Focus on the (+). How can you make this (+)?
- Cut Commuting time. It’s probably the one thing that wastes time the most. Cut down on your commute by taking shorter routes, car-pooling catching a Cab, Uber or Lyft, working from home (as much as you can), etc. If you pool, don’t be a fool. Duel (er, do something productive, while the other drives.
- Keep your Emails under control. Emails are supposed to make things more effective, not bog you down. Make sure you are managing your emails well (ie, checking them morning, after lunch & before you go home) unless they require more urgency.
- Use Productivity Tools to be more effective: There are tools, both SW & HW, which help us become more productive, so leverage your time with them. Look at Evernote & Sticky Notes as a quick way to dump & access info.
- Great Productivity Tools & other Freeware. Hardware: PDAs (personal organizers), 4G mobile phones (check Emails, stay connected), Tablets & Laptops (to work on the go) and MP3 Players (for listening to news, energizer music, podcasts, etc).
- Use the best Tools for max Productivity. The tools you use are supposed to make you faster, & more effective. Upgrade to the latest versions of SW (Lotus Notes, Outlook, Photoshop, MS Office, etc). Use a computer with an optimal processor speed. Make sure your Internet connection is not slowing you down.
- Read Productivity materials. Good productivity books include David Allen’s Getting Things Done and Timothy Ferriss’ Four Hour Work Week. Productivity blogs you can check out are Life Hacker, Life Hack and Getting Things Done. Just bear in mind not to get too caught up with life hacks and miss the bigger picture of what you are trying to do.
- Create your Life Journal. It’s a life manual where you store your purpose, long & short-term goals, strategies, plans, & much other info on how to live your best life. It gets your priorities in order and keeps you focused.
Comments: Do you know of any other ways to Work Smarter?
from Personal Excellence 11/18 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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