It’s a Monday morning, and you may be feeling, shall we say, a little less than productive right now. Let’s set the tone for the week and get you out of the gate strong. Here are some simple ways to boost your productivity. These straight-forward tips are brought to you by our friends at Inc. Magazine.
Don’t tweet during the day.
I don’t know about you, but for me, alcohol is off limits until after 5. Why? Because it destroys your productivity. Well, guess what? So does social media. Do your tweeting, blogging, posting, status updating, whatever, after work, like while you’re watching the tube.
You know all those different methods for organizing stuff like your emails and files? I’ve never done any of that. Okay, maybe I do a little, but the absolute minimal amount. I have the biggest email inbox you’ve ever seen. It goes back years. So what? You need to find something? Use search. PC isn’t good enough? Get a Mac.
Use hard stops.
I had a lunch meeting the other day. At the start, my associate announced that he had a hard stop at 2pm. That drove the meeting. And guess what? We were done at 2. It’s called a deadline. Deadlines force discipline. That’s why deadlines work. Use them.
Don’t do more; do less.
It’s called prioritization. You know, what we all used to do before self help, time management, and personal productivity became big business. Decades ago I learned to classify To Dos as priority A (time critical), B (important), or C (everything else). When your As are done, take on the Bs. After a few years you learn that you never get to the Cs. And you know what? It never matters.
Learn to say no and never say maybe.
I like getting attention. I like helping people. It’s always been a big motivator for me. When I realized that saying no was a bigger disappointment for me than it was for whoever was asking me to do something, it got easier to say. Don’t know what to say no to? If it’s not a goal, a priority, important, or fun, say no. And never say maybe. That’s just being controlling and self-important.
Mute your devices.
When you’re supposed to be working and getting things done, close your email application or mute your PC or Mac so you don’t hear the chime. Ignore that tug to respond right away to every request. If you really want to do it right, set aside a small chunk of time the same time every day to email. Also, never answer a call unless you’re expecting it or have time for it. Even if it’s your boss.
Work at home.
Most executives spend their days in meetings. Carving out significant chunks of time to get any real work done is a challenge. So I got in the habit of doing presentation and budget work at home. A lot of my strategizing and thinking, too. If you’ve got young kids running around, though, that can make it tough.