Posted in Achieve, Business & Career on 7 May 2013 | by Sam

Productivity Habits

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Everyone can be that bit more productive, is it always the case that there is not enough hours in the day? There are plenty of basic habits you can learn to ensure you are firing at all cylinders to get your productivity at the optimum level.



Traditional To-Do Lists


Lets start with the basics, the To-Do list avoids you having to re-think and remember what it is you need to do and when. Start on a Monday morning and make it a ritual – plan a To-Do list for the week and have it to hand. The feeling of accomplishment will hit you at the end of the week when you have nothing left on the list!


Old School Notepad


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A continuation from the To-Do list but you can’t get better then being prepared with a notepad and pen. Keeping a single notepad ensures all your thoughts, quotes, promises are in a single location. No need to fumble about with post-it notes and messy pieces of paper. Keep it clean and clutter free – just like your mind.


Mind Blocks = Move On


We have all been there, stuck on a problem which we can’t immediately solve and we spend an entire, unproductive day, on it. Park the task, find something else to focus on from the To-Do list and come back to the problem with a fresh mind. Having ticked-off a couple more tasks from the To-Do list you should feel more confident and ready to get another task accomplished!


Meeting Scheduling


You can prepare for two types of tasks – planned and unplanned, one way to manage unplanned tasks is to schedule your tasks on your calendar. Time is a precious commodity and you need to be realistic in respect of how much you can actually do in a day. Block out your calendar for the various tasks on your To-Do list and schedule in breaks where possible, so when someone is looking to book in a meeting, you will have sufficient time to be prepared and ensure these do not impact your planned tasks. Simples.


E-mail. Check


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Everyone has a habit of reacting instantly to e-mails as they appear, this causes a distraction from your task and impacts productivity. Nobody sending an e-mail expects a response immediately, if they did surely they would pick up the phone. Schedule, in your calendar, e-mail check-ins. Put in three check-ins a day and use the importance flags to schedule time in your calendar to deal with new tasks.  Oh, and delete any offers of any male enhancing prescriptions.


Take 5


None of us are machines, yet, and it is a fact that to stay focused, the discerning gent needs a break. Have you ever seen an episode of Mad Men with Don Draper not taking a quick break for a drink, smoke or lunch?


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Avoid fatigue of the mind by taking a break so often and discuss the latest happenings on The Voice with the PA. always wears something to laugh at.


Response Time


The number one time drainer for executives is waiting on responses to e-mails to finish a project/task. It is natural to seek approval or sign-off from stakeholders but sitting on YouTube for three hours, an excuse to wait for a response, is not the best use of your time.


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During the waiting period, have a cursory glance of any tasks on the To-Do list that can be done in the interim. If the responses are taking longer than you thought pick up the phone and discuss – nothing gives you a quicker answer then discussing your needs to move things forward.


What do you make of these simple productivity tips? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook….remember to schedule it in your calendar!

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