Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for someone else, productivity is key to satisfaction AND career advancement.
Today’s world is Fast and Full!
Communication, planning and execution can happen at the speed of light thanks to powerful cyber tools. But the other side of this virtual coin is that, not only can we handle a lot more a lot quicker, there’s also way more stuff to deal with daily. And if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, just have a look at your inbox – or would that be 2 or 3 inboxes? … see what I mean?
I wasn’t born into this fast-paced, high-speed, virtual world, so it took me a little time to get traction and momentum. In fact, overwhelm used to be my daily state of being. But thanks to some simply awesome women – including the Juicy Geniuses themselves 😉 – I learned a lot! And one of the most valuable skills I learned was how to be more productive. So when info-overload slows you down, here are some tips to regain your momentum.
5 Productivity Tips
1. Throw it Out!
The ‘circular file’ can be a working girl’s best friend. What’s the circular file? That’s old school office talk for the garbage pail 😉 But whether we’re talking virtual trash or literal dust bins, if it’s just going to become one more bit of vaguely relevant flotsam, there’s only 1 thing to do: get rid of it! This means pens that have died, emails you’re never going to do anything about, old text messages or reminders that are past their due date anyway.
2. Back it up and THEN Throw it Out
I know, I know, there are some things that you’re just not sure about: “Will I need this again?” What if that project get’s revived? Shouldn’t I keep this stuff?” When there’s any doubt, back it up. And then, of course, get rid of it from your computer. And if you don’t have a back-up hard drive of your own, might I suggest something? Get one YESTERDAY, please.
3. Time Log
This isn’t an every day thing. Time logging is something you do every 2-3 months for about a week in order to monitor your productivity levels and to review exactly WHAT you’re up to on a day-to-day basis. Get yourself a little calendar (physical or virtual) that can be broken up into 15 minute segments. Then, every quarter hour jot down what your doing.
Some people do lots of little things across a day, switching back and forth between various tasks. This works for them and they get a lot done. Others need to have solid chunks of time devoted to one task in order to stay focused and get it done. Time logging will let you see how you work and how you work best.
You need to include self-care as a regular part of your work day. ‘Push-aways’ are simply short breaks (even 5 minutes) when you completely get away from what you are doing. You literally push away from your desk. When I’m really busy, what I like to do is get up and do a couple of stretches first. Then I rub my hands together until they’re warm, place them over my closed eyes and take 3 deep breaths. This refreshes me enough to sit right back down and get back to work. (BTW: this is great when studying for exams, too!)
5. Just Say ‘No’ to Notifications
Facebook chat, skype, messenger, twitter dashboards … I turn them all off. In fact, my skype & FB chat profiles are always invisible when I’m working so that I’m not interrupted. Then, about 3 times a day I spend 15 or so minutes checking all message venues: email, FB, skype, tweets & texts.
Juggling a variety of tasks can be fun – and really satisfying as you watch projects move from vision to completion. BUT, without productive and streamline work habits, the same scenario can quickly become an exercise in overwhelm.
What are your top productivity tips? Which of the 5 above are you ready to incorporate into your work week? Let us know in the comments below.
Dawn DelVecchio Dawn DelVecchio is a writer, speaker and self-empowerment coach. She’s the author & host of DawnDelVecchio.com, where she shares insights, tips and practical tools for living a life of joy and abundance. Her eBook, The 7 Keys to Unlock your Soul’s Purpose is a simple guide to connect with your truest calling in this life. Dawn’s intent is to “Help people unlock the door to their soul’s calling so they can live in the joy and abundance they were meant for.”