21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now

If you’re like most of us, you often feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything you want to do. 

books stacked

The older you get, the faster time seems to go.

The reality is all of us have one thing in common:  The amount of time given to us per day.  The difference between successful people and those not as successful often boils down to how that time is spent.

Time is a nonrenewable resource.  We can’t “save up” time like we can money or some other resource.  Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn

We can however, spend it wisely and make the most of our time.  The goal is to create blocks of time to do the things that really matter to us.  Things that make a difference and bring success, happiness and fulfillment to our lives.

Note: This is part 1 of a 3 post series.

Here are the first seven of the 21 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Productivity Now.

1) Plan your day in advance. 

I have found this to be the greatest time tactic of all.  I use a very simple system that works for me.  You can use a digital platform, but I currently use a legal pad.  I write down everything I need to do in advance and work off that list.  Often times, I plan an entire week in advance, which works even better.  I go down the list and cross off the things that I accomplish.  Once I finish something, I move on to the next most important thing.  Crossing or checking something off gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue.  The list keeps you focused on doing the right things.  If by the end of the day, you haven’t accomplished everything, you simply move the tasks to the next day.  It’s a great feeling to know you got the right things done.

2) Use the batching technique. 

This is another great time tactic to maximize your time.  Batching is a technique where you do all the same type of activities together.  For example, when possible save up your phone calls and make them together.  If you have to do errands, do them in one trip.  Return emails at certain times during the day.  Some experts recommend mid morning and before you leave, depending on your job.  Batching things together can bring a lot of momentum and get the activity done quicker.

3) Don’t multi-task. 

This goes against our common sense, but studies have shown productivity actually goes significantly down when we focus on doing more than one thing at a time.  I heard one expert say that it takes up to 18 minutes to transition when we stop and start an activity over again.  Focus and finish a task and then move on to the next thing and you will be much more productive.

4) Prep the evening before.  

Deciding and doing what you can the night before can be a big time booster.  My mom is a master at this.  She is one of the most organized people I know.  She makes her lunch, decides what she is going to wear and lays everything out she needs for the next day the night before.  Once you get up in the morning, you are ready for the day without spending time prepping and looking for things.   Another effective strategy is to plan your to-do list for the following day the night before.  Your brain will subconsciously begin to process what needs to be done.  This practice will bring much more efficiency and clarity to your day.

5) Practice the 80/20 rule. 

The 80/20 rule is the idea that 80% of our success is made up from 20% of our efforts.  This, of course, is not a scientific number, but generally  speaking, it’s true.  Spend 80% of your time doing the things that will bring you the greatest amount of success.  Do your best to minimize the time spent on the rest.

6) Reduce your time online and in front of the television. 

I love spending time online doing things like catching up with friends on Facebook and surfing the internet.  The problem is, I often spend too much time online and find myself wondering how the time passed so quickly.  I don’t recommend everyone completely eliminating these activities, but giving yourself a limit (budgeting your time) can greatly increase your productivity and still give you the break you desire.

7) Clear the clutter. 

A disorganized work space can greatly reduce your focus and productivity.  I tend to be very easily distracted and I work much better in a clutter free environment.  My office is very minimalistic.  I work from a small round table and only keep what I need on there.  Usually, this means my laptop, a legal pad and a pen.  It helps me to focus and I’m not distracted by the things around me that aren’t contributing to my work at hand.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for the next 7 Tips to Get Organized and Increase Your Productivity Now.

What is one tip you have found that helps you get organized or increases your productivity?

image credit for stacked books

The Winner Of 2 Free Movie Tickets Is…

admit-oneFirst, I want to say a sincere thank you to all of you who commented on The New Year Challenge.  You guys are amazing.

By the way, you can still get that really great resource that gets me going daily. Here’s a link: “My 10 Top No-cost Tools For a Great New Year”

You have to enter your name and email address, but I promise not to send you a bunch of spammy emails or badger you to buy the newest and best anything. What WILL happen is that it will be a real boost to just about every area of your life in 2014.

Also, feel free to share the blog with anyone you think may benefit from it.  My goal is to serve and bring value to as many people as possible.

And if you haven’t had a chance to “like” my new Facebook page, you can do that here: https://www.facebook.com/doug.rasku

You can also follow me on Twitter @DougRasku and I’ll follow you back!

It’s a great way to stay connected with the content here as well as some other helpful stuff too.

Now for the winner.

The winner of the 2 Movie Tickets is…Katherine!

Congratulations, Katherine. I will be contacting you soon to get you those tickets.

And thanks again to all of you for being a part of this community!

Go and be awesome in 2014.

The New Year’s Challenge (And 2 Free Movie Tickets)

Happy New Year!  I thought we could have a little fun today to kick off the New Year, right.
MovieGift
I’m going to give away two free movie tickets and a free resource that can help you make 2014 your best year ever.

Make sure you read this post all the way through to find out more about that.

What if 2014 could be your best year ever?

What if you could build better relationships, get in better shape, increase your income or simply have more joy in your life?

A wise person once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

One of the keys to success in life is having a target you are aiming for.  Once you have a target, you have a better chance at hitting it.

Some people may say, “I don’t want to set a goal because I may disappoint myself by not achieving it”.

I can understand how some people may feel that way, but I have found the opposite to be true.

The person that works toward a goal will get a lot closer to reaching their potential and becoming everything they were created to be than someone who has no direction.

A life without direction is like going down a river without a paddle.  A goal helps guide you to where you want to go.

Let’s start off the New Year heading in the right direction.

Experts have found that when people can take one small step towards something, the rest becomes easier. 

Let’s take one small step together and have fun with it.

I’m going to throw out a challenge.

I’ll call it The New Year’s Challenge.

1) Think of one goal you would like to accomplish in the next 3 months and write it down.  (Writing it down tells your brain it’s time to go to work to achieve it.)

2) Then, in the comment section below, type the words, “I’m in.”

As an incentive to every person that leaves a comment, your name will go into a drawing to win 2 FREE movie tickets.  No strings attached.

3) As an extra incentive, if you click the Facebook “Like” button on this post or the “Tweet” button and let me know in your comment, I’ll enter your name twice in the drawing to increase your chances to win.

My goal for this blog is to help make 2014 your best year ever.

To do that, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I want to give you a free resource.

This Free Report Reveals My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever

These tools will help you have better relationships, increase you income, get organized, be more productive, connect with God, become a better leader, stay motivated and more.

Click here to get My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever.

And don’t forget to leave a comment, “I’m in.” (and click the “Like” or “Tweet” button and let me know) so you are sure to enter your name in the drawing to win the free movie tickets.  

I’m believing the best for you in 2014!  Let’s make it the best year ever!

P.S.  The last chance to enter the drawing and win 2 free movie tickets will be midnight, Thursday, January 2nd.  Winner will be announced on the blog on Friday.  Good luck!

PPS The contest is over, but you can still take advantage of the offer (and you can jump in any time, even if you missed January 1. These tools work any time, any day.) Click here to get My Top 10 No Cost Tools For Making 2014 Your Best Year Ever.

14 Ways to Make 2014 Your Best Year Ever

As 2013 winds down to a close, it’s time to reflect on where you’ve been, what you’ve accomplished and where you want to be.

make 2014 your best year ever

For some, this was a great year. For others, it didn’t go exactly as they had hoped.

The great news is 2014 is a clean slate, ready to have your story written on it.

If you’re tired of existing in a “same ole, same ole” life and ready to jump into a life you are excited to wake up to every morning, then this post is for you.

Here are 14 ways to make 2014 your best year ever:

1) Dream big.

2) Write down your goals.

3) Evaluate your progress weekly.

4) Eat healthy.

5) Exercise regularly.

6) Laugh more.

7) Read more.

8) Serve others.

9) Get organized.

10) Budget your money and your time.

11) Stop a bad habit/ start a good habit.

12) Go to bed early and get up early.

13) Build better relationships.

14) Spend time with God.

These are not the only ways to make 2014 your best year ever, but putting these things into practice will dramatically increase your success in life.

Don’t overwhelm yourself before you start.

Pick one thing you need to implement most and start with that. Then begin to work on other things as needed.

Can you imagine what your life will be like next year at this time if you even put half of these into practice?

Picture yourself accomplishing these goals. Each one of these is well within your reach.

Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Go for it! Here’s to your best year ever!

Let’s get this party started.

What is one thing you want to accomplish in 2014? Leave your answer in the comment section below.

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3 Essentials to Getting Faster Results- Part 3

Have you ever struggled with gaining traction in achieving a goal?  Maybe finishing a project?  How about seeing a dream of yours come true?

If so, this post series is for you.

In part 1 of this series we introduced the first essential of three to achieving faster results with your goals.

We said you need to determine “your what”.   Not a general “what”, but a specific “what”.  People get stuck because they were general, not specific in what their goal was.

When you have a clear target, you will have a much better chance of hitting it.

In part 2 we introduced the second essential.

We said you have to determine “your why”.

“Your why” is your reason behind your desire to get results in the first place.

When you establish “your why”, you paint a picture of a compelling future.  When the motives for that future are good, our brain will go to work on how to achieve it.  We always make time for what is most important to us.

It’s the secret sauce that most people miss.

The third and final essential to getting results faster is the most practical.

Determine “your how”.

3 Essentials to Getting Faster Results- Part 2

In part 1 of this series we introduced the first essential of three to achieving faster results with your goals.

We said you need to determine “your what”.   Not a general “what”, but a specific “what”.  People get stuck because they were general, not specific in what their goal was.

When you have a clear target, you will have a much better chance of hitting it.

Not having a specific goal in mind is like going down a river without a paddle.  You end up wherever the current takes you.

Today, we introduce the second essential.

3 Essentials to Getting Faster Results. – Part 1

I love progress.

I have always been intrigued by men and women who have built great organizations or achieved some sort of extraordinary results.

Maybe that’s why I love biographies so much. Especially biographies that involve people that have seen progress in their life or company.

On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re spinning your wheels without gaining traction in a certain area of your life or career.