Put more time in your day with these personal productivity tools.
These days it isn’t enough to just work harder...you have to work smarter.
Below are some personal productivity tools that will help you do more and be more…in both your professional and personal life.
Establish a routine
Spontaneity is all well and good in your personal life, but when it comes to business, the more you can automate, the better. Instead of being boring, a routine lets you accomplish more. For instance, as one of my personal productivity tools, I try to devote the first part of my day to doing projects that require creative thinking. The afternoons are when I try to schedule meetings and more tedious tasks like research. On Mondays I do sales calls, and on Fridays I do billing. The point is, doing the same thing in the same way day after work day helps ensure you will get things done. When things become habit, you just naturally do it.
Work in your natural rhythm
As I mentioned above, I am more productive from a creative thinking standpoint in the mornings, so I work with my natural rhythm instead of against it. Everyone has a time of day when they are more productive…what’s yours? If you know it, work your schedule to optimize those times of day.
Get rid of distractions
It’s so easy to get sidetracked these days because there is so much that demands our attention. Another one of my personal productivity tools is to limit the amount of time I spend on the phone and checking and answering emails. If you can, also limit the number of meetings you attend, or schedule them for certain times of the day.
If you want to learn to manage your time better, you have to learn how prioritize your tasks. Prioritizing is simply learning the difference between the things you have to do, and the things you have to do NOW. A simple way to do this is to make a list of the tasks you have to do. In another column, write the deadline and the how important the task is (on a scale from 1 – 5). The tasks that have the tightest deadlines and the highest level of importance move to the top of the list. Always do the most important things first. One of the most important personal productivity tools ever: Put your most dreaded task first on the list and get it over quickly. This will get it out of the way and you won’t have to waste unnecessary time and energy dreading it.
Make good use of your time
There are many business owners and executives who still insist on doing everything themselves. But you have to ask yourself…is this really what I should be doing? Am I operating in my skill set, or just trying to control everything in my environment? Successful business owners understand they can’t (and shouldn’t!) do everything. They know how to delegate. Because once they get the minutia out of their lives, it frees up time to do more productive things like, say…build the business.
Filter your information
This is right up there with getting rid of distractions. We have so much information bombarding us every hour of every day. It could suck up your entire day if you let it! Obviously, we need to know what’s going on in the world, but do you really need to read two newspapers everyday, watch four news programs, and check those news sites on the web on the hour every hour? Limit the amount of news you get and you’ll get two immediate benefits: A more positive outlook, and more time in your day!
Many small business owners – and people in general - forget to do one simple thing: Make a plan. After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know when you arrive? Goals are important because they keep your feet moving in the right direction. Every business owner needs to set both short and long-term goals. Long-term goals define the big picture, while short-term goals are the steps along the way that bring you closer to the long-term goals.
And one of the absolute most important personal productivity tools...
Who says you only get to have fun after you’re through working? I say…why not have fun at work, too! Not only should you have fun, but you should allow your employees to have fun. When you’re having fun you have more energy, you’re more motivated, you have a more positive outlook, and you just get more done. More fun equals more done. Now having fun doesn’t mean goofing off. It means enjoying what you do, and not being afraid to be silly from time to time.
Becoming more productive isn’t hard, but it does require discipline. All it takes to start down the road to getting more done is just one step. Pick one of these personal productivity tools and get going. Then another, and another…
How to Reward Employees
Learn how to reward employees in a way that will not only give them well-deserved recognition, but drive profit to your bottom line.
Why is employee motivation important?
Click here to learn the answer to this question, and to read some great ways to motivate and inspire your workforce.
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