An Example of a Personal Productivity System

I believe that everybody could benefit from a personal productivity system. There is nothing more rewarding at the end of the day than enjoying a sense of achievement. I’m going to share with you my personal productivity system so that you can adopt it and modify it to suit yourself.

So the first thing to do is to write down a list. No, not a “To Do” list. The list should be a “Not To Do” list. Make a list of the things that you shouldn’t do because they are barriers to your personal productivity. Here are five examples that are often on my list. I have included the explanations so you can see the reason for the items.

1. Don’t procrastinate.

Sometimes I’m guilty of putting things off rather than planning my day so I do the hardest thing first.

2. Don’t waste time on the web.

Whilst I’m looking for something on the web, I get distracted by other interesting pieces of information. When I look up words in the dictionary or the thesaurus, I am prone to looking at other words as well.

3. Don’t encourage interruptions.

Often I don’t close my office door, so people who are passing sometimes interrupt me to socialise. This wastes a lot of time.

4. Don’t lose your focus.

I have a sign in my office next to my monitor and it says, “If what you are doing is not moving you to your objective, don’t do it!” This helps me to consider what I’m doing on a regular basis to make sure that I am doing things which are going to make me progress. It is so easy to get sidetracked.

5. Don’t forget to plan tomorrow.

The last thing that I do at the end of my working day is to plan what I’m going to do the following day. This enables me to start my day quickly. I don’t have to think about planning. I can get straight into my work.

As part of my personal productivity system, I have included 20 minutes a day for thinking. During this 20 minutes each day, I turn off my phones, make sure I’m not going to get any interruptions, put my hands behind my head and think. This thinking time is used for strategy planning and problem solving.

It requires a certain amount of discipline to take time out to think because of the temptations of socialising, coffee and other distractions. Some of my best thinking has occurred during this 20 minute break when I have been really creative.

My final strategy is to take a break every 50 minutes. This time is flexible but generally speaking I make sure that I have a stretch, stand-up and move around for a few minutes after every block of 50 minutes. I organise my work in blocks of time during my daily planning at the end of each working day.

Boost Personal Productivity by Simplifying Your Work Schedule

Our days grow longer and the work loads grow heavier putting increasing pressure on each of us to increase our personal productivity. There seems to be no end in sight to the seemingly daily challenges we face that test our work productivity. Looking for productivity improvement in any area to help keep up with ever growing work demands requires examining our own use of time. The problem in fact that most of us are facing is more in the way we schedule our work loads than it is in the amount we have to do.

Here are 5 suggestions that can be implemented to help you better manage your use of time when scheduling your work to help increase your work productivity.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

As simple as this may sound far too many put off the start of their days assuming they can make up the lost time later. If you are looking for some sort of productivity improvement the first place to start is here. Get a jump on the day while your mind and body are the most rested and productive.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Either the first thing in the day or preferably the day before you want to ‘organize and prioritize’ the days work schedule.

In order to make the best use of time you should establish 2 to 3 things you want to get done that day. Avoid the temptation of overloading your schedule since this will serve to disrupt your focus resulting in a lower quality effort and a decrease in your work productivity.

Establish Set Hours

Establishing a time schedule puts you on notice NOT to waste any time during the course of the day. Knowing you only have so much time to accomplish your scheduled duties will help you maintain your focus thereby making better use of time. Normally everybody works more efficiently when under pressure and setting your work hours like this will prove to accomplish that.

Limit Email Time

Unless it is urgent or work related avoid this time guzzling activity or schedule just so much time to review your email. The best time to ‘manage’ your email is during the hours where you may seem to be less productive.

Organize Your Work Space

If your work space looks like a cyclone hit it than it is time to tidy it up. All the clutter and disorganization will only serve to distract you. The key to productivity improvement is focus and a messy work space will challenge your abilities to maintain your concentration.

An environment like this also makes it more difficult to locate anything which leads to more time invested in your search.

With more demands being placed upon our personal productivity due to increasing work responsibilities it is up to all of us to make better use of time. In looking for a productivity improvement anyway we can locate it, the answer may in fact be found in how we schedule our work. The 5 suggestions offered above focuses on making better use of time as opposed to trying to find MORE time to manage our work loads. Taking a closer look at how you schedule your efforts and revamping your approach will likely help boost your work productivity. In the end you have now recaptured both your productive ways along with your sanity!

How to Double Your Personal Productivity in Just 30 Days Part 3 – 3 Strategic Secrets

In parts 1 and 2 we talked about how to prioritize your tasks and prepare yourself and your work space. Those are, strictly speaking, tactical considerations, albeit vital ones. However, doubling your personal productivity depends on some work you need to do at the strategic level – work ON your business and not just IN your business.

1. Clarity is the Key:

Before you start implementing the tactical approaches to doubling your productivity that we’ve discussed, you need to take a look at the higher level of planning, the strategic level, and ask yourself:

o What single, overarching goal am I trying to achieve over the next 3-5 years?

o What shorter range goals am I trying to achieve in the next 3-12 months?

o What are my immediate objectives over the next 30-90 days?

o Why do I want to achieve any of these goals, how will this make me feel and am I strongly motivated to reach them?

Nothing is as powerful as clarity. Knowing what, when or even how won’t make you an unstoppable force. Only a strong enough reason WHY confers the inspiration and the power to move forward in spite of all obstacles.

2. Be Ruthless:

Once you’re clear on where you’re going, you need to take a hard look at what you’re actually spending your time on. First, of course, you have to KNOW what you’re really spending your time on each week. The most effective way to do this is to actually log all your activities for an entire week to see where the time really went.

Okay, I admit logging all your activities for a week isn’t fun, but it’s almost always shocking – people are literally speechless when they see how much time they’ve wasted, how little time they really spend working and how unproductive they really are. When the hard evidence is in front of you, you have to face the music – you can no longer deny the truth or continue to delude yourself.

Next you need to make a list of all the work-related task you do each week. Then, beside each one you need to make one of three things: “do it yourself”, “delegate it” or “dynamite it”. You see, there are only three ways of handling a given task – do it yourself, give it to someone else to do or simply drop it because no one will notice if it’s not done (and a surprising percentage of tasks are found in the latter category).

The secret of doubling your productivity is to make absolutely sure you’re doing High Value Tasks almost exclusively, that you’re the person best qualified to do these tasks and that you offload every other task you possibly can. After all, you have the same 24 hours in your day everyone else does, so to start focusing on the tasks that yield the greatest results inevitably means you have to stop throwing away your time and energy on lower value tasks. There’s no other way. Keep in mind that successful people are not successful because they work harder or longer; they’re successful because they use their time better than you do. Now you can join their ranks.

3. The Role of Play and Balance:

Working harder and longer are seldom the answer and certainly won’t double your productivity, which is measured by output per unit of working time. Simply increasing your working time and continuing to work inefficiently is a recipe for frustration.

Decades of studying success have proven that people who are successful over the long term tend to value life-balance much more than unsuccessful people, contrary to what you might expect. They know that “playing hard” is just as important as working hard and that the former is a precondition of the latter.

Ultimately, you’re doing what you’re doing to make yourself and your loved ones happy. However, unless you’re leading a balanced life to get there and giving time to yourself and to the people you love, you’re making yourself more and more unhappy; in other words, you’re on the wrong track. Sticking to a routine of misery will not bring you happiness, not now and not ever. You can never start building a balanced life too soon. It’s essential to doubling your productivity and becoming successful.

If you apply the strategies and tactics I’ve shared with you in this 3-part series, you’ll definitely double your productivity in short order. Once you’ve done that, drop me a line and let me know!

Personalized Products – A Grand Re-Opening’s Best Friend

You might not think a lot about personalized water bottles but, if you’re a business owner, you should. I know, who am I to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do. I insist and counter-insist. If you’re a business owner give personalized water bottles some thought.

Actually, give promotional products some thought. Brief review, personalized products are products that have your logo and/or a marketing message printed, lasered or painted on them. They more useful they are, the more people tend to hold on to them. Also, they hold on to them longer.

Not long ago, I was at a grand reopening for a chiropractic practice. They’re in a large building. You walk into a hallway and the first thing you see, is a fitness club. If you’re observant, you also see the chiropractic practice. Most people enter that building to go to the fitness club. Most people who go to the fitness club don’t know there’s a chiropractor just down the hall from the fitness club. Many of them need chiropractic help every now and again.

At the grand reopening, the chiropractors had great food and drinks. They had a table with business cards, fliers and copies of some articles one of the doctors had published. And a bunch of the people who worked there were on hand to greet and answer questions.

Kind of typical of grand re-openings.

But it didn’t have to be. They could have had someone give out free stuff to the people who entered the gym. There were a lot more of those than people interested in the grand re-opening. A lot more.

In my opinion, personalized water bottles would have been perfect. I mean, how many people go to the gym and don’t get thirsty? If besides the log, the personalized water bottles had a call to action, an invitation to visit a website, they’d have been perfect.

The bottles would have been of different colors and sizes. The website address would not have been the home page but a page dedicated to gathering links, perhaps a page where people could have learned about how to avoid certain gym-related injuries or, perhaps, about ways to make their workouts more meaningful or how to improve their well-being overall. The subject is not that important as many fit the bill. The information would have to be quality.

Would the people walking into the chiropractor’s office get the personalized water bottle? Yes, if they were members of the gym across the hall. But if they weren’t, perhaps promotional USB drives, pre-loaded with information on how to avoid injuries, how to diminish pain and/or how to take care of yourself, with the use of a chiropractor, to live a happier and longer life.

Well, the grand re-opening I attended gave away no gifts but the food, especially the pastries, were great. Which means that I don’t even remember the name of the chiropractic practice. I know where to find them – vaguely, though. But I don’t know their name, or their web site address.

I am sure some of the people who showed up have or will become customers. But they could have gotten more. But they did not.

It’s good to create occasions where you give yourself a chance to introduce yourself, your business, to prospects. It’s even better if you give yourself a chance to get tons of them to become paying clients. You can do it with or without promotional products. But promotional products are an inexpensive way of getting your message in front of people.