Nothing drains your productivity like feeling overwhelmed. Everyone at one time or other feels overwhelmed. It is easy for distractions to get the best of us.
These five tips are fail-safe ways to improve your productivity:
1. Like goes with like
Batch like activities together. For example, make phone calls in a block of time. If you have appointments outside the office, schedule them on the same day instead of different days. The goal of batching enables you to use like resources to complete your task with minimal distractions.
2. Five minutes can change the world
You can accomplish an amazing amount in five minutes. Water the plants in your office. Return the books you finished reading to the shelf. Put junk mail into the bin to be shredded or recycled. RSVP to an invitation. File the bills you paid on the 1st and the 15th. You get a good hit of dopamine, the feel good hormone, when you accomplish a goal. It motivates you to repeat it.
3. Smart phones may not be a smart idea
Give smart phones a break and your colleagues, too. Can you imagine how much more productive a meeting would be if everyone in the room was paying attention to who was speaking and what was being said? Successful People Never Bring Smart Phones into a Meeting, an article that explains why it is a lack of respect and prevents full attention. Like Pavlov’s dog, responding to an electronic message is a conditioned response. How smart is that?
4. Pomodoro—the silver bullet for focus
Having trouble getting a job done? Break it into focused periods of 25 minutes with a 5 minute break. You can do anything for 25 minutes. Use the 5 minute break to stretch, walk around, drink water, or walk outside. Learn more about The Pomodoro Technique Make a game of it. See how it works for you.
5. Decide to prep in advance
To set your day up for productivity, decide the night before on clothes, lunch and route. If you have dry cleaning to drop off, for example, plan your route so you can make a quick stop. For client appointments, meetings and events put together the materials you need 24 – 48 hours in advance. This eliminates last minute panic. It gives you confidence to represent your company professionally.
The bottom line. Your productivity determines your results. To improve your productivity and your results, it is not necessary to make a dent in the universe with massive action. Clearly decide on what you intend to accomplish. Eliminate distractions. Stay focused. Take one step at the time. Use these five simple tips and celebrate your results.
© 2014 Ann Elliott
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