More and more my clients are asking me for help with productivity.
“How can I be more effective?” “I’m so overwhelmed, how can I get more done?”
If you’re already efficient with your time, then it’s not a matter of getting more done. It’s about
If you aren’t efficient with your time, then the trick is managing your time better.
There are so many distractions, so many tasks demanding attention, so many people wanting a
chunk of our time.
It is your job to guard your time jealously. It’s the one thing you can never get back.
So, here are 5 tips to improve your productivity this week, along with tools that you can use.
Clean Up – It sounds basic, doesn’t it? Well there’s lots of research that shows that a cluttered workspace affects your clarity of thought. So, get cleaning. Tidy up your workspace, throw away or file any papers on or around your desk.
Also, have you thought about tiding your virtual desktop? Clutter is clutter. Think about filing things away properly in few folders, that are easy to navigate. The less clutter in your workspace, the better you can focus on the tasks at hand and not become distracted.
You may not realise it, but all that clutter is taking up processing power in your brain, and your big beautiful brain can only process two tasks at a time (multitasking is a lie, but that’s a subject for another post), so aim to eliminate clutter.
Group your To-Do’s – If you had to drive to several locations in one day, you would more than likely plan your journey so you went from one location to the next in some sort of logical order. Well, you should be doing the same things with the tasks you need to accomplish.
Group tasks into some sort of order so that your flow of work is more logical, and allows you to complete related tasks. If you need help with organising your tasks there are several great tools out there such as Evernote, OneNote, Trello, and Mind Maps. All these are great, and may appeal to you in varying degrees depending on your preferences– diagrams over lists, how you like things ordered, etc.
Manage Meetings – Way too many of us attend too many meetings. And who said a meeting had to be an hour long? Guard the amount of time you waste in meetings.
Firstly, you could allocate a meeting day – the one day of the week when you’ll have external meetings, so you know your other days can be focused on production and delivery. You could also make a conscious effort to make as many of those meetings as possible virtual.
There are loads of great tools for this. Skype, which is free to all, allows you to have meetings with up to 25
people on a video call. Zoom is another good option. It’s free for calls of up to 40 minutes and allows many callers, like Skype.
I recently found Free Conference Call, which does what it says on the box. I had used it for audio calls in the past and it works very well. I just recently starting using it for video calls as well.
Minimise Distractions and improve Focus – So many of us want to focus on the tasks we need to get done, but do little to assist ourselves in that pursuit.
Focus is defined as “paying particular attention to something”. With all that goes on in daily life today, it is your
responsibility to minimise or even eliminate distractions. Turn off your phone, don’t check your social media, mute notifications, stop going back and forth for coffee, and focus on accomplishing tasks in allocated time chunks.
Take it one step further by establishing a routine for interaction with people and media. You can take it further and allocate ‘down’ time to check your emails, for instance, first thing in the morning and then again at 3pm, and
at no time in-between.
Finally, make time in your day to be totally quiet and focus your body, mind and spirit. If you pray, take a few minutes to connect with your spirit and centre yourself. If you meditate, a brief meditation will increase your clarity and focus.
Do the most difficult / important task first – This is an important habit of mind to develop. Our brains like the path of least resistance and will lead you to do the things which are routine /easy. You must make the extra effort required to tackle the most important tasks first and ensure they get done. These tasks are the things that help you move closer to achieving your goals.
If you found the advice given in this post useful, don’t keep it to yourself. Please share it. If you’d like to book a 15-minute chat with me, or learn more about how I can help you grow your business,book a 15 minute call with me on my website www.augmentresults.com
Uzo Ijewere is a Business Strategy & Emotional Intelligence Coach. She runs Augment Business Coaching, and helps entrepreneurs align their vision with strategy, grow their businesses, and become more profitable. Her purpose is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners build thriving businesses, and corporates to adopt head and heart strategies in the workplace.