I hope this 3 part series has been helpful and given you some tips to get organized and increase your productivity.
As we said in the previous post, time is the only non-renewable resource we have. And because you are reading this, that puts you in the top percentage of people that succeed in life. You want to make the most of the time you are given.
As we bring this 3 part series to a close, here are the final seven tips of 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.
15) Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.
How many times have you heard people say, “It’s just easier to do it myself”? Maybe you’ve even said those words. While that statement may be true at times, experts tell us we can go further, faster over the long haul if we hand off things that are not in our strength zone. In fact, I recently heard the leader of a large organization recommend delegating anything to someone else they can do at least 60% as well as you. If we can delegate the things we aren’t great at, things that zap energy from us and in turn focus on the things we do best, our productivity will go out the roof.
16) Take regular breaks.
My wife often says, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes Jack a tired boy. Our bodies were not meant to run 24/7 without breaks. Working this way is actually counterproductive and hurts us and the relationships with those around us in the long haul. Try practicing the 5/30/1 system. Take a 5 minute break during every hour you work throughout the day, at least a 30 minute lunch break (where you don’t do work) and at least one day off per week where your brain can disconnect from work and recharge with things that are life giving. Those consistent breaks along with healthy sleep patterns will give you more energy and increase productivity.
17) Break larger projects into smaller tasks.
Many times larger projects can be overwhelming. Just the thought of starting them is overwhelming because we don’t know where to begin. One helpful tip is to “begin with the end in mind”. In other words, picture the ideal outcome for the project. Once you have that, you can reverse engineer the process by making a list of everything that has to be done to accomplish that desired outcome. Make a list of even the smallest tasks and details. From there, prioritize the tasks in the order of importance and sequence. Delegate the tasks others can do and begin to schedule and accomplish the ones you can do. By cutting everything into bite size pieces and pacing your progress, a large project suddenly becomes much more manageable and less stressful. It brings clarity, focus and simplicity to the process and ultimately increases productivity. Bottom line: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. O.K., we can pass on the elephant.
18) Focus on tasks that achieve the biggest results.
One of the challenges that busy leaders have is confusing busyness with effectiveness. How many times have you asked the question, “How have you been?” To which you receive the answer, “Busy”? Busyness does not equal productivity. As leaders, we have to get the right things done, not just many things done. Before you begin your day, make a list of all the things that need to get done in order to move the ball down the field. Out of those items, ask yourself, “What one to three tasks would bring the most results if I accomplished them?” Prioritize those in order of importance and key results and get to work. Delegate or delay the other tasks and watch your productivity skyrocket.
19) Reward yourself for results.
Leaders love accomplishment. Too many times we don’t slow down long enough to celebrate and enjoy the win. Try giving yourself small incentives for finishing smaller tasks and larger incentives for finishing larger projects. It’s the carrot principle. In fact, if you are competitive, (which most of us are) play “Beat the Clock”. In other words, tell yourself, “If I complete this task by a certain time, I will reward myself with _______. (Pick a reward relative to the task.) Not only will you have the satisfaction of your accomplishment, but you will also enjoy a reward a much deserved break along the way.
20) Practice pre-vacation mode.
If you’re like most people, the day before a vacation you get a ton of stuff done. Why? Because you know you have to. You want to be able to leave the office without the weight of things falling through the cracks while you are gone. So you pick up the pace and get the most important things done before you leave. What if you applied that strategy to your workday on a regular basis? How would that increase your productivity?
21) Limit time in meetings.
Unnecessary and/or inefficient meetings can be huge time bandits. Sometimes they are unavoidable. However, if it’s up to you, look for ways to limit your time in meetings. Meetings should not be used for conveying information that can be communicated in an email, text or phone call. The exception to that rule is if a sensitive subject is being discussed. Things that could potentially be misinterpreted in written form should always be done verbally so all parties can hear the tone involved. Tone does not come over well in writing. That being said, the most effective meetings have a set agenda, start time and end time. Valuable information is sent before the meeting to all participants so the meeting can be used for the sole purpose of doing what the group can only do together; things such as brainstorming and decision making. After the meeting, it is always productive to recap three things: 1) What was decided. 2) Who is going to do it. 3) When they are going to do it by. Most meetings fail because they had no structure. Add structure and guidelines to your meetings and you will experience a much more productive day.
I hope you enjoyed this blog series and that it added value to your life and organization.
When each of these 21 strategies are applied to your life, you will see your productivity unleashed. You will have more time to do what matters most.
Work hard. Work smart. Be awesome.
Which tip did you find the most helpful?