Who’s not busy? If you are like most people, we wake up to crammed calendars and a million things. As a lawyer/father/husband/writer, I am sharing my top 11 productivity tips that help get things done.
Now you might’ve seen some of these before, but trust me, you need the reminder. It’s alarmingly easy to postpone improving your productivity, so read these tips and put at least one of them into action today!
First, write it down
Every task and commitment should be written down, getting every engagement out of your head and into a trusted system.
You can use a fancy app (think Evernote, Asana, or your Microsoft Outlook) to capture these commitments, but you can start with a simple pen and paper.
The most dreaded task
Each of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we dread doing. It may be an unpleasant phone call you don’t want to make or that memo you’ve been putting off writing.
Whatever it is, it keeps getting pushed, and then your week gets overwhelming. End that cycle. Do it first thing instead of doing the easy ones. Do the tough tasks first.
Distractions such as emails and phone calls, are one of the primary productivity killers. While technology should make our lives easier, it can also make it virtually impossible to maintain the kind of focused attention necessary to work efficiently.
So you need to control that technology. When you’ve got a critical task, turn off the ringer on your iPhone, silence your email alerts, and close your office door for that hour or 30 minutes. The world won’t end, and you’ll finish your task faster.
No matter how busy you are, after a certain amount of time, fatigue will begin to impair your effectiveness. Periodic breaks, even during the most hectic days, can help a lot.
A simple stretch, walk around the block will help you be both mentally and physically which in turn leads to more productivity.
Many people hate to ask for help. It often seems more trouble to explain a task to someone else than just to do it. But not everything must be done by you.
Evaluate your to-do list carefully. What jobs could someone else do, thereby freeing you up to focus on the things? Doing only the things you can and allowing somebody else to contribute by doing those other tasks.
“No” is a complete sentence. No explanation is necessary. Practice saying it. Saying “no” helps me stay productive and focused on what matters.
Nourish your mind
I try to start my day with guided meditation, gratitude, and forgiveness practices. I use apps like Omvana on my phone. I embrace technology-based solutions, and I love finding new “hacks” to enable growth.
Amplifying positive thoughts, expressing thanks, counting blessings, and removing negative charges through forgiveness, helps me stay focused on the present.
Nourish your body
On weekends, I make superfood green veggie smoothies with my daughter to ensure healthy nutrition when starting each day. My favorite ingredients are spinach, leafy green and rainbow chard, avocado, celery, and a pinch of ginger. I try and eat fresh foods, with plenty of vegetables, avoid sugar, processed foods, and minimize alcohol — a challenge for wine lovers.
While I consume copious amounts of espresso coffee throughout the morning, I try and balance the caffeine with at least a liter of water per day to stay hydrated.
Make time for what’s important
It’s full speed ahead with getting the kids to school and into the office. Remote work is here to stay and will be an increasing trend with the need for social distancing. Still, I value face-to-face communication with teammates with clients, and sets meetings with clients and team members where possible between 9 am to 11 am and 2 pm to 5 pm.
I prioritize going out of the office several times a week to attend events, host meals, and visit with those in my network that I admire. It’s essential to be seen by clients, and they appreciate my emphasis on communication, ensuring that they stay abreast of the issues that matter. In the pandemic, that is translated into socially distanced walks and video and group calls.
Get some rest
Getting to bed at a regular time and consistently affording yourself a full night’s sleep is not always easy, but consciously striving for the very same is a vital part of the balancing act.
When confronted with negative thoughts and anxieties, thanking the universe for the many opportunities afforded and blessings received helps. This commitment to gratitude helps overcome the inevitable challenges that will be encountered.
Life is short. Success is leased and feels that rent is due every day. Staying present is the key to being productive.
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