Being productive in business is one of the key drivers to being more profitable.
We would all like to be more efficient with our time, but often it’s little things that, when you put them together, can have a dramatic impact on your productivity.
Try these productivity hits:
Turn off notifications. That little ding noise that comes through on your computer, phone or tablet whenever you receive a message or alert interrupts your thought process. So do the visual notifications that appear at the top of your screen. Turn them OFF.
Close your door
If you have a door on your office, close it. It shows you mean business about not being disturbed. Don’t have a door? Put earbuds in instead and listen to some nice work tunes (if you can work to music). Music cancels some of the background noise and shows others you’re busy and not to be disturbed. This works really well in cafes.
Turn off email message count
Turn off the message count on your email program icon. We all want to feel needed, and we wonder who is getting in touch when we see a new message in our inbox. It’s distracting, because that urge to check has greater power than our need to work.
Turn off your phone
If you really want an hour of uninterrupted time to work on that project, turn your phone off. If you’re concerned about loved ones getting in contact in case of an emergency put your phone on silent with vibrate so you can check who the caller is.
Create a list
At the start of the day (or the night before) create a list of exactly what needs to be achieved. Don’t overwhelm yourself by piling on tasks that won’t be achievable, as this can be demoralising. Keep your list short, putting only the most important tasks on there and get to it.
Clear your desk
Visual cues and reminders of things you have to do (but are not on your list today) can take up valuable headspace, which decreases your ability to focus on the task at hand. Some people operate on the premise that out of sight is out of mind, and for those people I suggest relocating those things to another desk, table or even the floor. Just make sure they are not in your direct line of vision while working at your desk.
Batch your tasks together
Need to make a few phone calls? Do it all in one hit. Need to run some errands? Do them all at the same time, while you’re out and about in the car. Need to write some emails? Do one after the over, while you’re in writing mode.
Cancel unnecessary meetings
Have a meeting scheduled. Is it really necessary? If not cancel it. If it is, stand up during the meeting. This applies even if it’s a phone meeting. You’ll soon tire of standing up and make sure everyone gets to the point!
Answer email at certain times
Email is another form of communication. It’s people requesting something from you. If email didn’t exist and a person came to see you face-to-face instead, would they interrupt you if you were doing something super important? Probably not. By sending an email they’re not interrupting you; they’re simply requesting information when you read the email. The only person interrupting you, is you. But only if you choose to read every email as it arrives. By dedicating certain times during the day to respond to email you are not only batching the task, but also staying in the email writing frame of mind, which is much more efficient than sending random replies while constantly checking emails.
Even if you choose just one of these suggestions above to implement you will be more productive. Do them all and you will be on fire!
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