Sunday, June 23, 2013

10 Steps to Better Productivity



Do you struggle day-to-day with focusing on important tasks? Have a long to do list that never seems to get done? If this sounds like you, read on for some ideas for help getting things done and getting rid of extraneous things.
1. Start your day the right way.
Get up, do your morning routine. I like to exercise before breakfast. Come back to breakfast, shower and meditate. Then I clear the decks by preparing my home space for public viewing. Spray cleaning the kitchen counters. Put everything in its place. Scan through every room and tidy all spaces.
2. Purchase the right tools and furniture.
If you’re comfortable in your space, you’ll spend less time fidgeting and adjusting things and more time accomplishing your tasks. Consider your chair and desk arrangements for ergonomics and ease of reaching important items.
3. Say no to the wrong projects.
It’s important to know when to to say “no.” It may be tempting to take on every job or project you’re offered. However, consider whether or not the job truly matches your goals and focus. Also, if you take on too many projects at once, you run the risk of not completing everything or even completing everything, but not up to your standards. Fewer, better projects will lead to more, better-paying projects. Editors and employers will note quality more than quantity.
4. Learn when a project is complete.
It’s impossible to make a project complete. Continually editing or second-guessing your decisions can lead to more mistakes or changes that are unnecessary. This can waste precious time and slow down your work over all. Finish a project to the point where most errors are picked up and stop micro-analyzing.
5. Limit social networking time with a timer.
Put a kitchen timer (with a loud ringer on your desk) just for these sorts of limitations.  (Not my words) A blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, or other social site is essential to keep in touch with your readers and promote your work, but promotion can quickly use up hours of writing time without earning a penny. To take advantage of these tools without excess, use a timer to ensure you're not socializing too long, or opt to work on only one or two of the tools, rotating so each gets attention every few days.
6. Check your spam filter.
Most email services have a spam filter. It helps eliminate unnecessary “noise” in the electronic world. However, legitimate email can sometimes get caught and lost. Make sure to check this occasionally so important information or opportunities don’t get missed.
7. Take breaks and walk around.
Don’t get zoned out on the screen. Get up and give your eyes a break. Every 15 minutes walk around. Get tea. Stretch if you can. Break that connection and give your brain a rest.
8. Take vacations and mini-vacations.
The more you work, the more you earn—but work too much and your earnings will go down. Exhaustion, poor health, and stress will take their toll on your creative juices and sap your productivity. Plan a full day each week to take completely off—no research, no editing, no perusing new markets. Instead, try something new or enjoy a hobby and you'll not only come back to your office refreshed, but with new inspiration for even more writing. Every freelance writer makes mistakes, but if you can avoid these errors even while you do everything else right, you'll soon see your writing problems fall and your profits rise.
9. Turn off technology when you need to do so.
The cell phone can be left in the car or notifications turned off. At home start turning off notifications when you are asleep or when you are visiting with friends. These disconnected moments allow you to focus on good sleep and good personal relationships.
10. Try Simpleology.com.
I love it. It is according to my eldest daughter a to-do list on steroids. Not only does it help you stay on track, but it helps you identify those key goals that you want to strive for in your life. That way each day you’re working towards your big picture goals.

2 comments:

Elke Feuer said...

Great post, Nancy! I'm going to check out Simpleology. I could use a task list on steroids. :-)

Another way to be productive is to get your work space organized. Electronic/paper files and trays on your desk labeled. You save time if you don't have to search for items.

NERandolph said...

Elke, Simpleology.com is a great way to start your day. I joined before they initiated training. I'm going for my black belt in Simpleology. I love it. It helps smooth my day.