Personal productivity is something that can ALWAYS be improved. It’s always changing too, as our goals and ideas change.
Be your most productive self using the top personal productivity tips below:
- Be realistic and say ‘NO’! I know this tip is on everybody’s list of ideas for improving personal productivity. But that’s because it’s a good one. Are you sometimes too eager to impress and over-promise? When we have too much on, everything suffers. A key foundation of trust is to only make promises that you can keep. Often an early ‘no’ is the wisest word, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
- Exercise first thing! So many studies show how that first half hour of your day, spent limbering up, improves your productivity. Get energized! ‘Sharpen your saw’ of well-being and get in a good mood. Better decisions, positive feelings, and increased resilience are the outcomes here.
- Time limit meetings! Just because calendars and organizers are divided up into hour-long slots, doesn’t mean you have to reserve one hour for each meeting. Truth is, the objectives of most interactions can be met in 15 to 30 minutes tops.
- Drink more water! Dehydration is a drain on productivity. We thrive on water. Stretch your body, move your limbs with a trip to for a regular drink. It’s the best headache prevention advice around.
- Take regular short breaks! It’s called the Pomodoro technique; work for 25, then take a 5 minute break. I personally like to see the sky and breath lungfuls of air. It’s how our minds work best. It keeps us on a high plateau of performance, rather than a down-slope, littered with errors, and easy assumptions. Check out their site for more ideas: PomodoroTechnique.
- Take a news blackout! Newscasts are like high-school essays. They tell you what they are going to tell you. Then they tell you. Then they tell you what they just told you. It’s 24-7, depressing, and distracting. Focus your attention within your ‘Circle of Influence’ and don’t invite concerns in. Avoid wasting time on your ‘Circle of Concern’ ala Steven Covey.
- Stroke your dog! Test after psychological test prove the restorative powers of pets. Yes, simply stroking and interacting with your dog or cat or horse, alleviates the insidious effects of stress.
- Travelling time doesn’t have to be dead time! Your daily commute can be productive time if you say, schedule calls you can safely do while driving, or listen to industry podcasts or book summaries you’ve downloaded. I have been a subscriber of Audiotech Business Book Summaries for decades, and really love them. Let me know your ideas for utilizing those seemingly endless hours.
- Kick out that old ‘Perfectionist’ head trash! Of course each discrete piece of work could be better. But there is a big price to be paid in undone stuff, by working and reworking minor improvements. Do your best in reasonable planned time, then STOP. Perfectionism is a luxury we can’t afford. Keep it in check.
- Turn Off Alerts! It’s just not possible to maintain your focus, when your phone is repeatedly vibrating and beeping at you for attention or your computer pings when a new email arrives. Just silence those notifications. Because nothing is as important as doing the job in front of you, and doing it right.
- Save the best till last! Put the things you look forward to doing least, on your checklist and early in the day. You’ll do them better, because you’re fresh and fully charged. And when you come to do the nicer stuff later, it gives you a recreational boost, just when you need it. It’s an effective antidote to your old enemy… procrastination. This is the main topic of Brian Tracey’s book, ‘Eat That Frog.’
Here at PBC, we would love to hear your ideas for getting more done, and better, in limited time. For a free consultation on your personal productivity, or any other business issue, call PBC today.
This originally appeared in my February 2016 Newsletter.