- GOOD HABITS ARE CRUCIAL TO PRODUCING GOOD RESULTS. Increasing productivity starts with recognising the habits that waste your time. Identify how you can still get the reward this habit gives you but doesn’t waste your time e.g. the habit of checking your phone regularly in order to escape from the jobs you dislike…why not after 90 minutes spent on a difficult task reward yourself with 10 minutes of phone time – but be sure to time this 10 minutes though!
- RITUALS & ROUTINE ARE VITAL. Two rituals are extremely vital. The first is your morning ritual, most importantly on days when you work – develop a daily routine and avoid junk tasks first thing [emails, social media] or you may find yourself late! The second ritual is what you do before you finish work, you want to review what you completed during the day, plan what you’re going to do the next day, and lay out all that you will need for the next morning. Having these routines will help you develop good habits.
- SELF -DISCIPLINE. It’s about doing what you “should” do and not what you “want” to do. To increase productivity you need to make tough decisions about what you chose to do with the time you are given and sometimes you won’t like these decisions! However this will reap rewards over time making you more productive.
- THE 2 MINUTE RULE. If the job takes less than 2 minutes DO IT now i.e. answering an email, responding to a phone call, dealing with a client/staff query, filing paperwork. It will take you that long to think about it! Also remember the 4 Ds approach to all paperwork & emails i.e. you either DO something with it, DIARISE it [file it for later as will take more than 2 minutes], DELEGATE it [pass it on] or DELETE it! This taking action approach will avoid procrastination and a stressful In Box!
- TIME BOXING. Time box all tasks i.e. allocate a fixed time period to each planned activity such as emails, phone calls, social media, filing etc. and then use this time – and only this time – to complete the task. This will negate issues with losing time when regularly switching between tasks and ensure you just focus on the task in hand.
- PRIORITISE. Scheduling is important – daily, weekly and annually. As Stephen Covey said … make sure the “Big Rocks” get scheduled first! Big Rocks are the critical and most important priorities and must get done in order for you to reach your goals. These may include key deadlines, business development, client management, self-development, holidays, down time. If you don’t schedule your Big Rocks your time will fill with the small stuff and the Big Rocks won’t get done!
- EAT THE FROG. As Mark Twain said “Eat the frog” first thing! Do your most important task first, especially if it’s the one you really don’t want to do and then you will feel like you can take on the world for the rest of the day!
- PAUSE. We are not machines and cannot perform at full capacity 24/7. Every 90 to 120 minutes we need to take a quick break and re-energise i.e. drink water, eat an apple, stretch! Monitor when you are most alert and most dull – during the dull times you will make mistakes and start to procrastinate so take that pause in order to release your super powers to carry on!
- DON’T BE ALICE IN WONDERLAND! Poor Alice didn’t really know where she wanted to go when she came to a fork in the road and met the Cheshire cat. Be effective and not just efficient. Have clear goals, focus on results and not just being busy, everything you do should link to your goal[s]. Spending a morning answering emails and reacting to every phone call may be efficient but is it really effective and will it achieve your goal[s]?
- OUR MEMORY SUCKS! Write things down, have a to-do list, have a schedule, record your goal[s] ….this will avoid time wasting through duplicating work. I guarantee you will not remember everything!
If we can assist you at all with making the most of your time ….contact Orla on 086 3807802 or email firstname.lastname@example.org