I’ve got a time machine. I do. I can be in six places at once, carry the workload of 10 men, and still have time to make dinner, relax, and unwind at the end of the day.
Okay, maybe not. But I got your attention.
Success isn’t defined by the smartest or strongest or toughest person out there. It’s captured by those who push, press, and pour forth when things get overwhelming. Productivity is the name of the game and when you’ve got the skills, you win more. And, we’re in this game of life to win, are we not?
Let’s Shove Your PROductivity to Another Stratosphere
Oh boy. Another list, right? As if you needed one.
Hey, this one’s different (I promise). I won’t sing or dance or do the jig, but I’m not going to thump you over the head with clichéd and overused tips, either.
I’m gonna nudge you. A little hint here, a suggestion there, and I’ll explain why I believe these are crucial for you to accomplish more and drive your success.
You see, success doesn’t happen in a vacuum (of course, I don’t exactly know what goes on inside a vacuum with all that dirt and dust and some change clanging around in there … yuk!).
You either drive your success or failure drives you.
Not achieving your full potential is a failure of sorts, and most of us sit in that camp. It’s time to find another campground.
So, how can you get more done, elevate your professional life, and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself?
First, put those calendars to use.
Forget the cute puppy glossy versions you get for a holiday gift and shove in a closet or drawer. I’m talking digital or desk blotter..or the good old fashioned day timer. They’re there for a reason.
Use ‘em. When people take my Effective Personal Productivity course, I have them write everything on paper calendars. Until (and unless) you can master your schedule on paper, you won’t be able to master the digital ones (and use them to their full effect).
Remember to block out time for yourself. This means projects, resting your eyes and mind, and focusing on things that are critical to your goals. There’s literally no amount of time management that’s worth it if you don’t first schedule personal time. It’s important. Including SLEEP. Schedule it and stick to it, you’ll be so glad you did.
Second, wrestle the tough tasks first.
If you’re like me, you prefer to avoid the pain-in-the-neck jobs as long as possible. Just the thought of them drag on your mind, tighten your chest, and puncture sweat bullets all over your face and neck.
And that’s precisely why you should get them done. Get it out of your mind, away from your fear, and feel great as you move onto the next task or challenge before you.
Or, you can delegate them. Either way you need to address them.
Third, get your to-do list out of your head.
It doesn’t matter how awesome your memory is; when you write all your tasks, assignments, deadlines, appointments, etc. down, you don’t have to store them in your head.
It frees you to focus on what’s right in front of you. The moment you hold all that stuff inside is the moment a few of them try pestering you when it’s least appropriate.
Hey, d’you forget about me? No, you didn’t. But you tried. I know. I’m right here in your head. Don’t ignore me!
If you write everything down, you can improve focus for the things that matter when they matter. Most time management systems will ask you to prioritize your schedule. In the EPP program, you’ll learn something more important, to SCHEDULE your priorities.
Fourth, close out your day.
Before you leave the office (or slip out of your home office) close your day. Every task or assignment that was supposed to be done that day needs to be completed.
“Come on, Cynthia,” I hear you thinking, “is that realistic?”
Why not? Sure, unexpected circumstances arise, but this is about PROductivity. If you didn’t or couldn’t complete the task, be sure it’s delegated, eliminated, or done. If you have a habit of incomplete tasks staring you in the face at 6:30pm, you may be overextending yourself (or failing to be as productive as you could be). This will help you determine which.
Fifth, remember to breathe.
Try it. Breathe. Doesn’t that feel good?
You’re not a robot (I hope). You can’t go on and on without a break. Your body, mind, and spirit need down time. A recharge.
5 minutes or 15. It doesn’t matter how long so long as you take it. Grab it. Embrace it. Every few hours, at least, and you’ll feel more focused, alert, and energized.
Lastly, shut down.
Well, if you are a robot, then don’t do this. What I’m talking about are your distractions. Those noisemakers.
Bing. Ting. Boink. Squibble.
Every text, email, Facebook like, reminder, etc. When you’re working on something, shut those notifications down.
Studies are finding that each unique sound produces anticipation within us, something akin to an addictive reaction. We’ve become addicted to these notifications, which means when your phone or tablet or computer digitally burps or hiccups, your mind immediately goes to: who was that?
Stop. Shut it down while you’re on a specific task.
If you employ at least a few of these hints or suggestions (nudge, nudge … all), I bet you’ll feel so much more productive. And that feels great!
Cynthia Corsetti is an Executive Coach and Speaker. If you’d like to learn more on how her C.A.R.E. to Engage system can help you create an engaged workforce in your organization, you can email her at: [email protected]