Productivity isn’t always about the big things. To a large (pun intended) extent it is, but the small stuff factors in as well. Today I present a list of 10 things you can do on a small scale to boost your productivity without anyone…including you…realizing it.
Have a 5 (and 10) Minute List
You may not have a large chunk of time, but if you have 5 minutes, and you know what can be done in 5 minutes, you can be productive. Either estimate how long the tasks on your current list will take, or start a special list of things you can do quickly. (Want a head start? Check out this article.)
Listen to a Book or Podcast
Why listen to the news while you are commuting? Nothing is really new. There’s always war, some celebrity is making an ass of himself and someone is always ranting. Listen to a book or a podcast instead. And don’t worry – if something big happens, people will tell you. My favorites? Lore and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me
Always Have Something To Read
Why waste time thumbing through your phone while you’re in line? Or staring off into space? Instead, always have a book handy. In this day of smart phones and reader apps, there is no reason not to read. Spend that waiting time learning something. Looking for a suggestion? Try Getting Things Done
Never React With a Yes
Most of us say yes more than we say no. And it is very easy to take on more than we can actually do. So get in the habit of never reacting with a “yes”. Always react with a “I’ll check my schedule and get back to you.” This gives you some breathing room to decide if you can take the new thing on. This alone has saved me from getting further in over my head.
Accept and Move On
Many of us spend a lot of time and energy fighting for or against things. Instead, accept reality as it is and move on with what you can change.
Cut Your Work Wherever Possible
Whether it is abandoning projects, delegation, paying teenagers to help out, using appliances or hiring a VA – cut your workload. My favorite appliance is my new Ninja crockpot…and my favorite assistant is my teenage daughter, who takes on everything from household chores to clerical work for the blog.
Learn to Simplify
Humans like to complicate things. If you strip away all the unnecessary, you are left with the bare bones of the task. Figure out how to get rid of the fluff and do what is truly needed.
Paper isn’t just a record…it represents a future action and more steps to take. An appointment card needs to be entered into the calendar. A receipt needs to be sent to the financial system. A warranty needs to be filled out. Eliminate whatever paper you can, relying on your smart phone to enter things as you receive them.
Set up Quick Capture
Most smart phones have ways to enter things quickly. Decide what works for you, if it is voice commands, or even scribbling with your finger. But make it easy to get things into your phone.
Use Tech to Eliminate Bottlenecks
Texting is easy. Email is easy. But neither is the best way to determine a meeting time for a group of people. Use technology to facilitate better connections instead of making back-and-forth faster. Find a conference call system to use for meetings where people are having trouble getting together physically. Use a scheduling tool to decide on meeting times.
These are easy and small things that can make a big difference in your productivity – without too many people realizing it.
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