Hard work is old school. Smart work is where most productive friends to see how they get it right. Make the shift from hard to smart with our top 10 productivity tips.
1. Stop multi-tasking
Maybe you havent read the news yet, so wel tell you multi-tasking is six feet under. Its been given the last rights, buried and mourned. The idea that you can focus on more than one thing at a time and be even remotely efficient has been exposed for the BS myth it is. If you want to be productive then the first thing you want to do is FOCUS on one thing at a time.
2. Make Lists
Keeping track of the things you want to accomplish is way less painful when you make lists for daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Plus its so satisfying when you cross things off!
3. Get out of your InBox
How many hours do you waste every week with those quick email checks that end up as hour-long black holes of correspondence? Set specific times each day for checking emails, and give yourself a limit to how long youl spend each time. Every email should fall into one of three categories:
a. delete immediately
b. quick response (under 5 minutes)
c. deal with later.
*Category C should make up a tiny fraction of your emails. Deal with them at the end of your work day and get them out of your InBox before the days end.
4. Take breaks
Schedule specific breaks for yourself and stick to them. Giving yourself 10 minutes every 1.5 hours to stretch, go outside or do anything that is NOT work will give you a little brain-n-body boost.
5. Quit the chit-chat
Social hour is social hour, whether its virtual or at the local bar. Skype, Messenger, Twitter, Facebook or anything that rings, bleeps, pops, buzzes or tweets should be turned off if you want even a modicum of productive time.
What are the most important things you need to get done today, this week, this month? Do them first, when your energy is fresh. Fussing with details that dont take much brain power wastes time when youre feeling chipper. Leave those little things for times when you only have little bits of energy or focus.
7. Rise-n-Shine (early!)
When you start your day early you give yourself more time to get things done. But theres more! Once you get going (as in: out of bed), you tend to have more energy than if you slept in. (But hey, if youre aiming for (groggy and unmotivated then by all means, stay in bed til noon!)
8. Clear the Slate (or desk)
Make sure your work space is clear of unnecessary clutter and this includes your computer desk top. A cluttered space is no friend to an organized and focused mind.
9. Schedule it
Appointments, work time, fun time. Not that we want you to marry your day planner or anything, but making a basic daily, weekly and monthly schedule that balances work and play helps keep your whole life in balance.
10. File it away
When a task or project is complete, put it where it belongs. Get it out of sight and out of mind so you can focus on the next task at hand (see #8 if you dont believe us).