When searching Google online for “productivity article,” you’ll find about 168,000,000 results. Instead of sorting through article after article, read through these easy nine tips to increase your productivity today.
Plan your day
Each day take up to 14 minutes to plan your day. Why 14 minutes? It’s only one percent of your day. That way you can move into real action rather than merely planning.
Define & Prioritize
Decide the definition of what is “important” to you that day. Is it increasing profits for the company? Is it taking your child to the museum during one of the free Tuesdays at San Diego’s Balboa Park? Is it finishing and posting photos of your latest project on Etsy? Define what is important in your day, and prioritize your To Do List based on that and time sensitive activities. Brutally cut items from your list until you can make your To Do List as short as possible while still outlining an optimum day.
Schedule in blocks
Set aside 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120-minute blocks of time to work on specific skills, obligations or projects. If you need time for writing throughout the week, block out time for it. For instance, you may decide to set aside 90 minutes on Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Friday morning. You can schedule in blocks from anything from responding to e-mails to checking your social media accounts to making time to relax.
Habits can be good things that help you get closer to your goals. If you know you are most creative in the afternoon, then brainstorm your company’s next offering then. If you’re always too tired to exercise in the evening, then create a habit of working out in the morning or at lunch. Start to create more habits that work with your days and for your goals.
Taking breaks increases productivity, creativity and focus. While it sounds counter-intuitive, taking a short break may be the boost your mind needs to refocus. California state law provides two 10-minute breaks and one 30-minute lunch break for each eight-hour workday.
Commit to deadlines
As with deadlines for work projects and personal goals, set and stick to deadlines for meetings, lunches, phone calls, etc. By choosing a deadline that is realistic and getting any other people involved to agree to it, you’ll save everyone time. If a meeting has a hard end time of 1:55p.m., then you can bet that the most important issues won’t be brought up at 1:50p.m. By committing to deadlines, you’ll not only save time but also help yourself and those around you better prioritize.
Switch to airplane mode
More than half of work interruptions are due to e-mail, social media networks, text messages and instant messages. Instead of being at everyone else’s beck and call, set your smart phone, tablet, computer and any other electronic devices to silent and without vibrate alerts. Choose to limit electronic distractions and check them only at certain times during the day (e.g., 9a.m., lunch and 4p.m.).
Limit other distractions
In addition to your electronic devices, defend against other distractions. If you have an office door, close it and put a sign stating what time you will be available again, so that you can focus during your scheduled blocks of time. Use noise-cancelling headphones. Work in an empty office. Let others around you know when certain times are off limits and when you’ll be available again.
Stop reading articles like this!
Oh yea, quit reading articles like this! When you do a simple “productivity article” search in Google, about 168,000,000 results come up. You could read articles like this for a lifetime! Instead of reading about productivity, pick one, two or three items from this list, try them out this week (today preferably), and be productive.