We all want to increase our productivity, whether we are employees or entrepreneurs. The fact is, most of us weren’t taught how to do this effectively growing up, either from our parents or the public-school system. The key to unlocking your potential lies in the ability to maximize your time, think clearly, focus, and prioritize. Here are the top four ways to increase your productivity at work…
- Keep the Main thing the Main Thing
Sounds easy, right? WRONG. We are constantly being pulled in several different directions. At work, it’s likely that you have multiple projects going on at one time. Things creep into our notes and onto our agendas. We start to get distracted by things that aren’t adding value to our core mission. Try doing this… take a quick audit of your tasks. Ask yourself this question about each task that you see: “Does this add to my main thing, or is this a distraction?” Adjust accordingly.
- Maximize your Mornings
The more successful people I talk to, the more this point continues to present itself; successful people take advantage of their mornings. Wake up early, say around 5:30am, and get a 30-minute workout in. Follow that up with a good breakfast while listening to music or an audio book to stimulate your mind. Next, spend 45 minutes planning your day. Figure out the top five things you need to accomplish and list them in order of magnitude/importance. By knocking out the hardest task first you are setting yourself up for a productive day! As they say, it’s all downhill from there!
- Put It on Paper
The human brain is the most powerful mechanism ever created. However, it is not foolproof. We are constantly consuming information all day and much of it is information that we will never need to recall. Pro Tip: WRITE DOWN THE IMPORTANT STUFF. Richard Branson, in his autobiography, lists his notepad as his most prized possession. Branson has a habit in which he takes notes on every single person he meets with each day, whether over the phone or in person. Why? Because the less he has to remember, the better. By putting it on paper, it is there when he needs to recall every detail that was discussed.
- Minimize Multitasking
In our fast-pace society, multi-tasking has become normal. However, that doesn’t mean it is effective or efficient, especially at the office. Remember that daily agenda you’re about to start making every morning? (see point #2) When you focus all of your attention on each task, one at a time, you will find that you are completing tasks much quicker and more effectively. One of the most common form of distractions at work is email. We are constantly being interrupted by email throughout our day. Here is a tip: set your email settings to only allow emails to come through 2-3 times per day and schedule 15-minute email breaks to respond to them in bulk. That way, you can focus on your tasks without the “ding” of email alerts, until it is time to respond to all of them.
I hope that you found this article helpful! If you have some productivity tips that have worked for you, please leave a comment! We’d love to learn from your success!