The morning provides a calm that is often hard to find at any other time of day. Phones aren’t ringing, emails are only starting to trickle, and not gush in, as they do later in the day. This is your time to get ahead. Use this time to exercise, read or study, and to get a jumpstart on your most important task of the day.
2. Start with Important Work
Our most meaningful and impacting projects are often the hardest and require the most time and attention. That’s why they often end up getting pushed lower and lower on our to-do list throughout the day. Take a new approach and start your day by focusing on your most important work first. You may find it hard to get going, but once you do you’ll be working on tasks that have meaning and provide a real impact to your business and career. Plus, once you get through your most important item you’ll feel liberated and can move on to the less important work that so often clogs the day.
3. No Interruptions
Robin Sharma points to research data that says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Every distraction reduces your productivity and derails your focus and energy from the task at hand. Value your work and value your time by saying NO to interruptions. Close your door, create a “Do Not Disturb” sign if you need one, and block your calendar with work times so your assistant or co-workers know not to bother you. There are so many interruptions around us each day. Find what they are in your life and start removing them.
4. Avoid Meetings
Daily and weekly meetings can be critical to keep the flow and rhythm in a business. But meetings where several people need to spend 20, 30 minutes to an hour or more need to be avoided like the plague. Not only do these meetings often result with few actionable ideas, the topics they cover can usually be dealt with over a 5 minute phone call. In fact,Seth Godin goes as far as saying he won’t attend meetings (at least in the typical sense) but prefers conversations where a decision can be reached. If not, meetings simply become events. Think about how much money is “invested” into a meeting when you have 4-5 employees sitting around a table for 30 minutes or an hour.
5. Disconnect the Internet
Stop swearing at me! Seriously, I know you NEED the internet. In a CNN survey many respondents said they would take the Internet over Sex any day. I digress. While the Internet does increase your productivity and allows for access to information in unimaginable ways, it continues to lower the productivity of many workers. How often do you get a notification of a new email? Engaged in research and come upon a Youtube video that you just “needed to watch”? Had to update your Facebook or Twitter status because you just found the cutest cat picture ever? You get the point, right? Unplugging yourself by taking your work offline provides a level of focus that you just can’t achieve online with all the potential distractions it presents.
Start by implementing one of these tactics today. You’ll start seeing positive results and will quickly move to implementing more of them.
To a more productive you!
How do you increase your productivity? We’re curious to hear your tips!