3 Tips to Help Increase Your Productivity

Time management seems to be one of those things everyone knows about, but few people truly know how to put into practice (myself included!) Believe me, I’ve tried apps, classes, books, day planners, timers, you name it – I’ve probably done it.

However, throughout all that time, I have discovered that by BEING MINDFUL of the time I spend and how I spend it, I can manage things more effectively.  Here are three tips I’ve learned that I’d like to share with you:

Create a Plan for Your Day.

Even something as simple as taking a half hour every day to plan out your major goals for the day can really make a big difference in your productivity and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.

Resist the urge to check your email first, dash off that proposal or any other loose ends left unattended until you’ve created an overall plan for the day.  You’ll stay more focused throughout the day on getting more done – just be sure that your to do list has things that can reasonably be done in a day.

Always do the largest, most challenging and time-intensive tasks first, and save the smaller, less brain-draining work for later.

And set a specific time frame for each activity. Here’s a cool online timer to help you with that: http://e.ggtimer.com

Make Time for Interruptions.

They’re going to happen whether you have a huge DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging on your door – so why not make them a part of your schedule?  Don’t pack your days to-do list so full that it becomes unrealistic, since you’ll end up feeling defeated that you didn’t get “everything on your list” finished.

Keep in mind, however, that although you’re making time available for inevitable interruptions, this doesn’t mean that you should let everyday distractions such as a ringing phone, beeping email program or Facebook chat distract you.

Turn off the distractions, let the caller leave a message, and make time to deal with your email all at once or twice a day.  Even better, let your clients know in every email you send that you regularly check messages between X and Y time period.

Multitasking – Not So Smart

You may think that being able to juggle writing an email, talking on the phone and checking your Facebook wall will help you get more done, but our brains simply aren’t wired for multitasking.

Even if you think it’s a great idea, studies have shown that multitasking doesn’t let you work more efficiently, even if it feels that way. Even with all the gadgets we have to help us stay more connected, being able to focus squarely on one task at a time is still the best way to tackle them.

It may not seem life changing, but I encourage you to put these tips into practice a little at a time – in your daily routine and in your business.  By making them a conscious habit, you’ll not only work smarter without working harder, but you’ll also feel a surge of confidence and a can-do attitude by creating a schedule that works for you.

Please share your opinion on time management or give us some tips of your own by leaving a commnet below.

Thank you.

Alex3 Tips to Help Increase Your Productivity

Comments 11

  1. Herschel Lawhorn

    Hi Alex,

    I was just thinking about time management yesterday, because I haven’t gotten back in to my old habit of letting all the little jobs keep me from getting the main jobs done.

    I thought I had that under control at one time, but it is too easy to let yourself slip back into old habits.

    Thanks for reminding me that I have to get things back under control again.


    1. Post
      Alex Safie

      Hey Hersch,

      Yes, you’re right.

      At one point I was almost addicted to checking my email, I did it like 10 times a day.

      Now I only do it twice a day and because of that I’m more productive.

  2. Mark g

    Great info Alex! I read that study where they showed that the people who THOUGHT they were good, productive multi- taskers actually were less productive than the focused people. Very enlightening!

    1. Post
      Alex Safie

      Hi Mark,

      And its very counter intuitive, you would think that by doing many things at once you’ll achieve more, but that just isn’t the case.

  3. Pra

    Alex,Thanks for your comment and link about tixnetg. Reviewing your blog it looks like you’re thinking about a lot of the same things. Since my vacation I’ve been working on a few more posts on this topic I hope to share soon.John

  4. Ken Budka

    Hey Alex,

    Great article and some very useful and simple tips. I can recall reading a book by Brian Tracy called Eat The Frog, which essentially says to take care of the most difficult or challenging task (the frog) first thing in your day/schedule. If you have two frogs, eat the nastier one first and then everything else is like eating chocolate cake.

    For me, I’ve gotten in the habit of looking at tasks for my day or week within this idea, eat that frog right away and everything else is much easier. If you put it off, you will feel the stress of knowing it still needs to be done and weigh on you throughout the day.

    I love the idea of spending time in the morning before even looking at email to schedule your day. Most often I spend an hour on the weekend looking at my calendar and planning my week. Then each morning it’s only a few minutes review of my day and my goals, then off I go…

    Keep up the great work my friend!


    1. Post
      Alex Safie

      Hey Ken

      Yes, that is a great concept by Brian Tracy.

      Eat the nastiest frog first thing in the morning and everything is downhill from there

  5. Michiel

    Nice post Alex! Making efficient use of your time is hugely important and can be hard especially if you’re working from home.

    As you say, multitasking and interruptions are a real killer. Phone and e-mail provide lots of distractions and each time you attend to them, it takes extra time to properly get back to what you were doing before. I tend to keep my e-mail client open and every time you hear the sound of a new e-mail it’s very hard to resist the temptation of checking your messages. It’s best to just close down the client and only check mail once or twice a day so you don’t have to deal with the urge to check messages every time your hear one coming in.

    The egg timer is brilliant by the way, thanks for sharing it! Handy little tool to achieve better time management.

    1. Post
      Alex Safie

      Hi Michiel,

      Yes – email was the hardest one to let go for me. I use to check it constantly, but now I only do it twice a day and that has helped me become more productive

  6. Judy Kettenhofen

    Good stuff, Alex.

    Time management isn’t about ONE technique, it’s about finding what works for YOU…

    Too many people try to rigidly apply various techniques and then get frustrated…

    flexibility is key … and understanding that interrupts WILL happen …

    I actually have a “smart interrupt strategy” … hmm come to think of it, maybe I should write it up and make it a Kindle Single or something…

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