6 Tips to Achieve Maximum Productivity
As I get ready for my second family visitor in less than a week I have had no choice but to make sure that I am being as productive as humanly possible within my available work hours. Thankfully, I am disciplined and relatively good at avoiding distractions!
When I launched Jenerosity Marketing, many friends and colleagues warned me that working out of a home office had its drawbacks.
Most notably, the draw (pun intended) of the TV, Facebook and my pillow.
But, as I have worked to build up a Client base and am getting deep into the heart of putting programs together, it has become critical that I really make the most of my work day.
And I’ve gotten pretty good at it (if I may say so myself!).
As a result, I thought it might be helpful to share some of my tips on how to be more productive:
- Avoid distractions – Literally! Don’t turn on the TV set… Don’t open Twitter or YouTube in your web browser… And if you work from home, make your bed as soon as you leave it. If these things aren’t there to tempt you, you can’t be tempted. If you are in an office environment, you can still get distracted by social media platforms and even pets that are brought into the office. If necessary, wear headphones and listen to classical music. Focus@will is a great service for ensuring optimal concentration levels.
- Schedule your day by time zone – This might sound ridiculous but I always break my day up into time zones. This is especially helpful if you are in sales or business development. Being based in LA, I typically make my calls to the west coast first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. I will proceed to call contacts on the east coast and in the mid-west from 11am until 3pm. And I eat lunch late, once most of my calls are completed. From there, I will set aside a couple of uninterrupted hours to work on projects or decks or to read my trades.
- Stay organized – It might sound absurd, but the more organized you are, the less time you will waste looking for that document that you could SWEAR you filed away last week. Create folders in your desktop and in your email account. File away documents and correspondence in the appropriate locations as soon as possible. Make sure to name everything clearly and concisely so that you know exactly what it is. It might take a little more time up-front, but the time saved later when you need to retrieve it could be tremendous.
- Take digital notes – On a call the other day, one of my Clients laughed at me when I told her that I take notes on my computer during every conversation in which I engage. A CRM is an amazing tool for keeping all information pertaining to a certain Client, project or partner in one place. It keeps me from having to flip back through pages of random chicken scrawl and keeps me honest if I can’t remember a particular detail. When my Salesforce goes down upon occasion, you can bet I am not a happy woman!
- Group similar tasks – You will sometimes hear people say that they only answer emails during a certain period of time. While it may sound inefficient, this actually makes a great deal of sense as it keeps you from getting distracted when you need to truly focus on a creative or analytical task. If you have to think critically about a problem or situation, it is going to be very hard to do so when you repeatedly have to stop to respond to an individual email. It’s kind of like driving to the grocery store and the adjacent drug store at two different times during the same day. Would you ever even consider this? I know I wouldn’t…
- Take breaks – Also counter-intuitive is the idea that frequent breaks (and sometimes even a nap) help you to be more productive. In fact, many famous people swear that their napping schedule was the reason for their high productivity. Napping and meditation allow your brain to rest after a bout of serious thought. Sometimes, if I am feeling particularly distracted, I will stop and do some jumping jacks. Anything that will jog the brain and get you clear again is worth stopping work for, even it is for only ten or twenty minutes.
So, did we miss anything?
What are some ways that you are ensuring maximum productivity in your work day? As always, please let us know in the Comments below…