Boost Your Productivity

Originally written and posted by Lauren Myrick on July 18, 2013.

Between projects, your family & friends, vacation days, and deadlines all vying for your attention this summer, there’s a lot on your plate!  Continuing the flow from last week’s post on revamping your Office Space, I have rounded up some productivity tricks from around the web…  So you can work hard and play hard!

Often times, the ugly intimidator of productivity is often overlooked: procrastination.  Using a mix the productivity tips and procrastination killers below can give you a winning combination!  Be sure to check out the poster below - it contains a collage of techniques and motivational quotes to get you going!

As with all articles, posts, and tidbits, feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.  Something that works for me (or the writer of an article), may not work for you, and vice versa. 

Best practices:

·         25 minutes dedicated solely to one task, 5 min break (Pomodoro Technique).  Set a timer for 25 minutes, when the time expires give yourself a break, even if you feel you don’t need one… this will prevent burnout in the long run.  A 5 minute break could entail checking emails, getting a fresh cup of coffee or water, a bathroom break, getting a meeting early, getting a breath of fresh air, etc.  This break can also provide a welcome rest for your eyes.  When 5 minutes is up, repeat!

·         Elimination.  Over time, tasks and responsibilities can build up, leaving a feeling of obligation to do EVERYTHING or feel guilty about not doing it.  The article below by Inc. gives you plenty of examples of how to cut something out of your day.  Pick one or two things that can be subtracted!  I especially like “eliminating one will-power drain” and “eliminating one ‘permission’”.  

·         Designate time to manage email.  In almost every list and article I’ve read, this suggestion is included.  Email is tricky, it can reel you in before you even know you’re hooked! Set aside time everyday dedicated solely to managing email.  And turn off the pop-up email icon or notification on your computer and phone.  REMEMBER:  If something is urgent, a phone call is the proper protocol.

·         Reward yourself / Relax.  With all your responsibilities and deadlines, remember to reward yourself.  This can be done in a number of ways:  a vacation day, a new dress, a massage, going out to lunch, buying fresh flowers, etc.!  Most important, remember to RELAX – make time to do nothing or just enjoy the outdoors… without technology!

·         Face your procrastination.  Pretending things don’t exist or trying to ignore them eventually turns a bug into a beast!  Write down the things you’ve been procrastinating on.  Ask yourself a few questions for each one:
o   Do I really need to complete this task?  (See Elimination above)
o   What’s the worst thing that will happen if I complete this task?
o   What’s the best thing that will happen?
o   What is holding me back from completing this task?  (Need guidance/help, ask for it!)

If you do indeed need to complete the task:
o   Make a plan, schedule, timeline, etc.
o   Be reasonable when goal setting. (Use SMART goals!)
o   Start small.  “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” –Lao-tzu
o   And last, take some inspiration from Nike, Just do it.

Have any great ideas that weren’t mentioned here?  Share below!