A critical observation is that greater productivity does not always require additional hours of work or a more rapid pace. In my mind, the key is instead to focus on efficiency and effectiveness of the technique. Following are some essential tips we offer to our own patients as a means to boost personal and professional productivity.
1. Develop Your Schedule A Day In Advance
Lots of folks begin a workday by spinning their wheels deciding what to do first, checking out websites and having little chats with coworkers. Instead, I recommend sketching out your day’s plan the night before. While this does not take the place of your formal calendaring system, it works to keep you focused on vital tasks from the start of the day and helps you navigate possible roadblocks.
2. Stay Realistic, Yet Optimistic About What Can Be Accomplished
Lots of people have an inflated concept of how much they actually can accomplish in a single day. This causes us to make promises to supervisors, loved ones and others that we likely cannot keep. The stress and strain this causes when it becomes obvious that tasks are not going to get done is significant. It is my suggestion that folks commit to doing less, but always strive to deliver more than was promised. The productivity gains and overall success can be tremendous if you deal with the issue correctly.
3. Grouping Key Tasks
There can be no denying how much time each day is swallowed up by checking email, browsing online and talking on the phone. It makes good sense, therefore, to group certain types of tasks and assigns them to specific parts of the day. As an example, it can be effective to designate just two times per day for checking and returning emails. In the end, focus and productivity will be greatly enhanced.
4. Remembering Rewards
Studies indicate that giving yourself rewards for tasks well done is a great way to increase productivity and reliability. Even for small tasks, telling yourself that it was a job well done can make a big difference. For large goals that are achieved, consider a bigger reward such as a fancy lunch out or a new item of clothing. The reward itself isn’t the focus, but rather the acknowledgment of your success.
5. Putting It In Writing
Lots of projects or jobs tend to be postponed simply because they feel too large or too intimidating. As a way to defeat this trend, get a pad of paper and sketch out the steps involved in completing such a task. If a particular step remains unclear, simply write that you need to learn how to do it. Getting the stages of a project on paper can help clear the cobwebs and propel you onward to actually starting and finishing the larger job.
6. Establish Objectives
It pays to develop concrete objectives for a range of time spans, including the week, the month and the year. Most find that this method works best of the goals are detailed and have firm deadlines. Utilizing the present tense when reducing your objectives to writing will reinforce the notion that you are an active participant in reaching them.
7. Formulate Processes
If there are certain tasks or objectives that must be accomplished on a regular basis, think about establishing a process for doing just that. Break the jobs down into their component steps and describe how each one is completed. Not only does a clear path toward achievement emerge, but it becomes less likely that key details will fall by the wayside.