11 Secrets for Doubling Your Productivity
If you ever feel like you can’t get everything accomplished on your To-Do list, you’re not alone. Sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Other times you sit down at your computer and don’t even know where to start. Either way, there are some simple tricks for staying on track towards your goals and boosting your productivity.
1. Turn off email and text notifications on your phone and computer
It’s no surprise that distractions kill productivity. Have you ever been in the situation where you’re working on a big project and suddenly you hear a chime and see a pop-up box at the bottom of your screen notifying you that someone sent you an email? Now instead of continuing to focus on what you’re doing, you are either clicking on the pop-up to read the email, or you are at least thinking about it. Your momentum just got derailed. To avoid this, simply turn off your email notifications on your computer… and your phone! Simple. Done!
2. Only check your email 3 times per day – first thing in the morning, lunchtime, & 4pm
Email is a huge time suck. I always joke with people that responding to emails is helping other people get their to-do lists done. Your To-Do list is much more important. So stop wasting your precious time on email when you have more important things to work on. Check it first thing in the morning to make sure there’s nothing urgent, then again at lunchtime, and finally at the end of the day. I like to use the 4pm hour to respond to emails IF I have already completed the tasks on my own To-Do list for the day.
3. No Social Media during the workday
Facebook will literally steal your life away if you let it. There’s something addicting about scrolling through a newsfeed to see what else people have posted. Before you know it, you’ve been in a Facebook time suck for 45 minutes! Shut it off until work is over. If part of your job is to post content for your business, limit yourself to 15 minutes. Set a timer. Seriously.
4. Write your To-Do list the night before
At the end of each day you should write your To-Do list for the following day. That way you can hit the ground running first thing in the morning. What is the MOST important thing you need to get done? What is the simplest thing you can knock out the fastest? Prioritize your list so that you know what order to work on tasks.
5. Do NOT multi-task!!
Have you ever experienced starting one project and then getting sidetracked onto another project? When you simultaneously work on multiple projects at the same time, your attention and focus gets split up. You miss out on the opportunity to get those moments of inspiration that come from being so focused on what you are doing. You’ll get more work done if you complete one task before moving on to the next one.
6. Know what time of the day is your most productive
We all have different times of the day that we are most productive. Are you a morning person? Do you think clearly first thing in the morning? Or are you much more productive and able to focus in the afternoon? If you don’t know, I encourage you to pay attention and figure it out! To maximize on your most productive time of the day, you want to work on your most important, thought-provoking tasks during this time. Use your less productive time of the day to answer emails or do busy work.
7. Turn off your phone
Okay seriously, stop checking your phone every 2 seconds. Put it away. Or turn it off. At a minimum, turn off the ringer and get rid of those text message and social media notifications. They’ll be waiting for you later. Our phones rule our lives and it’s too easy to let them steal our focus. Put your phone in a drawer, purse or briefcase. Leave it in there unless you need to make an important call. If you receive a lot of calls during the day, don’t be afraid to let them go to voicemail so you can get your work done.
8. Set your email auto-reply to say that you’re in meetings all day and not able to respond to emails right away
This is a brilliant idea that I came up with years ago when I needed some quiet time to finish up an important proposal. For some reason people expect that you are going to respond to their emails right away. Why is that?? Beat them to the punch by turning on your out-of-office reply to say that you’re in meetings all day. No one will expect immediate replies. Shut off your email altogether.
9. Take a movement break every 2 hours to stretch your body and clear your head
It’s so easy to get drawn into the workday and start feeling overwhelmed. Get up every couple of hours to clear your head. Take a 5 minute break – set a timer. Ideally go outside and breathe in the fresh air. If you really need to clear your head, walk around the building or block. By the time you sit back down at your desk you’ll be ready to rock!
10. Write down Goals for the Month and look at it every week
I cannot emphasize how important it is to have monthly goals! What are you working towards? What is it that you want to accomplish? Set yourself some targets and break them down for the month and week. And most importantly, LOOK AT IT EVERY WEEK! Keep your goals written somewhere that you can see it every day, and be sure to include tasks for achieving them in your daily To-Do lists.
11. Get an Accountability Partner
Being accountable is one of the greatest ways to boost your productivity and results. Find someone who is motivated to succeed and ask them to be your accountability partner. Commit to speaking on the phone with this person EVERY MORNING for 5-10 minutes. This is not the time to chit chat, but rather to discuss what’s on your To-Do list for the day, AND to let them know if you accomplished everything from yesterday’s list. When we are held accountable we push ourselves much harder to get things done. No one wants to feel embarrassed that they didn’t complete what they set out to do. So don’t go it alone, have a partner to help you stay accountable. Success will follow.