Time just seems to drift away, and we are surrounded by a sea of information. If it’s not YouTube, it’s Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat or even Twitter.
We are literally submerged in information overload, which begs the question “Are these distractions producing anything substantial” or are they nothing more than one big distraction.
You can read online about hundreds of time management tips and advice, and while most may prove to offer better working conditions, and produce more productive days, for the most part, they are overwhelming and somewhat confusing.
Below I have outlined some ways that you can use each day to reduce wasted hours, and increase your productivity. The beauty of the list below is you can implement these into your life, in most cases, in less than 60 seconds.
1. SAY NO
I once heard of a great system someone used that resembled a traffic light system. Green = Opportunities, Amber = General meetings, and Red = Catch ups. Obviously, you aim to fill your diary with as many Green lights as possible, and not many Amber, with even less Red. A great tip to this system is to start saying “NO”. If the meeting or activity produces no real prospect, reject the meetings with a simple NO.
By spending less time on pointless meetings and commitments, you automatically increase your productivity.
2. FOLLOW THE TWO MINUTE RULE
As told by David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” Now if you’re like me, you get a text, an email and often think I’ll come back to that later (and may forget, especially with text messages) or start responding right there and then and before you know it 45 mins have passed. The two-minute rule is as simple as it sounds, if it takes less than two minutes to do, DO IT! Allen goes on to say that it often can take two minutes to schedule the task for later, so you may as well do it there and then.
3. TRACK YOUR TIME
With technology ruling our life, it’s easy to find yourself getting lost on the social networks. I often find my self landing on Facebook for some research or information I need, and before I know it ten minutes have passed scrolling through the newsfeed. A great FREE tracking software called RescueTime for Mac & PC, tracks how you spend your time and each week sends you an email showing how productive you were, you can log in and get a detailed report showing precisely where your time was spent, and how productive you were (or wasn’t).
4. TAKE SOME TIME OUT
This may sound counterproductive, however stepping away from the office, computer or place you’re spending most time will actually make you more productive. Take more breaks, take a ten-minute break to meditate, or just go for a short walk. Small regular breaks leave you feeling refreshed, energised and filled with new ideas, this simple time out exercise will give a huge boost to your productivity levels. A brilliant book Called CALM talks about this.
5. KEEP BETTER TO DO LISTS
You may already have to-do lists, but you may not have lists of everything you’re waiting on. Keeping a mental track of everything you’re waiting for can be very taxing on you, by having better to-do lists, you ensure nothing slips by, and thus making you much more focused on the tasks at hand, increasing productivity.
If you don’t use to-do lists, then I suggest you start immediately, it’s so motivating and refreshing to see this activity getting struck out when complete.
6. FOCUS YOUR WORKFLOW
A technique developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s called The Pomodoro Technique, the idea is that you work on one task with no distractions for 25 minutes, separated by short breaks typically of 5 minutes. The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks actually improves mental agility. The beauty of this technique is the ambiguous and physically demanding tasks become more achievable and enjoyable.
7. MAKE A PLEDGE
A pledge is something totally different from to-do lists or goals, these are things that no matter what you will have done by the end of the day. Write down two or three things you pledge to get done by the end of the day. This will send your productivity through the roof. If you struggle to achieve three tasks, start with one and scale it from there. But ensure you get it done before the end of play.
Enjoy implementing these 7 simple techniques into your life and start to live with greater productivity, if you’re looking to move to the next level, why not book a call with me to discuss personal coaching and development sessions. CLICK HERE