When we think of productivity we generally think of getting more done in less time. But productivity can encompass a lot of other factors. Among the productivity insights that can help you be more effective in your career:
The most productive people know that taking a break doesn’t cause them to lose focus or even time, but rather it allows them to come back to the task sharper so they can accomplish it in less time. You should make sure that you are taking adequate breaks not only throughout the day but each evening and on the weekends. Taking time off when you aren’t thinking about your job will allow you to return to your job refreshed and ready.
There are many things that we want to do — that we need to do — that we just don’t have the time to do. The benefit of delegation is that the task is still getting done, just not by you. One of the problems standing in our way of delegating is that we fear it will take too much time to explain to someone else how to do something. And sometimes it does take more time than you want. But the beauty is that hopefully once you have invested the time in teaching someone else how to do the task, you won’t have to think about it anymore.
The enemy of productivity is distraction. By learning new strategies for improving your focus, you can get more done in less time — and more effectively.
The things you do every day are what will affect your productivity. Create ways to set up your day, your to-do list and your time with smart habits to ensure you are as productive as possible — as second nature.
Microsoft Office/Online Tools
The goal of technology is to allow you to be more productive, but it is only effective if you understand the best way to use it. Someone who understands how to use computer programs like PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel can get their work done in far less time if they can create their presentations or spreadsheets with minimum effort. In fact, it is well worth it to spend time learning how to use these programs better through a class or an online resource — even a savvy colleague. The time you invest in learning them will save time for you over and over as you put it into practice. Same goes with online tools. We like to say “there’s an app for that,” but the truth is there is indeed an app for almost everything. Finding and mastering the ones that will help you eliminate steps or do your work faster are an important component to productivity. But everyone is different — what might work for someone else might not work for you. Try out different online resources, realizing that if it doesn’t work for you, it’s fine to abandon it and try something else.
Ah, procrastination… The problem is that procrastination can often look surprisingly like productivity. It’s not about the task itself but rather about the intent. For example, reading the newspaper or browsing news online might be a form of procrastination for many professionals. But if your job entails spotting trends or staying up on the latest news, then this task is key to your function and not procrastinating. Take the time to analyze any task that makes you feel like you are doing something, and yet you are not really accomplishing anything. The one time that procrastination makes sense is if you knowingly substitute a useful task for the one that you should be doing. For example, maybe you really need to be writing your sales report but you are having trouble making the words flow. Setting up your call sheet for the next week can be a complementary task that is something you need to do anyway and that can also put you closer to your goal by letting you think through some of the client traits that should be noted on your sales report.
Productivity and time management are inextricably linked. Learning smart time management hacks — from managing your technology to planning your day — will allow you to be more productive throughout your day.
Being productive isn’t just a matter of being efficient. Rather the goal of productivity is to be efficient as well as effective — getting the task done and getting it done right.
Articles giving productivity insights:
- Burn Your Weekly Status Report! On Second Thought…
- Keep Your Resolutions by Making them SMART!
- Learning More About Left versus Right Brain Strengths
- Productivity Quotes From People In The Know
- Ten Unusual Ways to Deliver Great Work
- The 80/20 Rule, and When You Should Ignore It
- Don’t Mistake Activity for Achievement
- How to Be More Productive and Maintain Good Relationships by Taking Care of the Simple Things Quickly
Articles on taking breaks:
- 5 Steps to Power Nap Mastery
- Make the Most Out of Your Time by Taking Breaks Strategically
- Why and How to Incorporate Creative Breaks into Your Day
- Playing Is Good – Making an Effort to Incorporate Play Time Can Have a Dramatic Impact on Your Productivity
Articles on delegation:
Articles on how to focus better:
Articles on habits:
- Five Bad Habits to Drop for an Improved Lifestyle
- Get Rid of Your Bad Habits in 5 Simple Steps
- How to Build Good Habits
Articles on Microsoft Office:
- The “Control Panel Spreadsheet” — How to Use Excel to Quickly Launch Links, Documents and Programs
- 5 Useful Outlook Functions You Might Not Know About
- 5 Functions You Might Not Know About in Microsoft Word
- Creating Watermarks in Word, Excel and PowerPoint (2003)
- How to Create a Table of Contents Using Microsoft Office
Articles on online tools:
- Cleaning Your Email Account: Tips for Keeping a Tidy Inbox
- Using Evernote as a Universal Inbox
- Utilizing Evernote For Paperless Productivity
- Making Evernote Work For You
- Paste and Go Add-On in Firefox
Articles on procrastination:
- The Great Procrastination Hoax
- How to Tell if You are Really Tired or Just Lazy
- Stay Productive By Overcoming Internet Procrastination
- 5 Ways to Eliminate Procrastination From Your Daily Schedule
Articles on time management:
- You Can’t Manage Time – You Manage Your Attention
- Scheduling Tips
- 5 Ways to Ensure Steady Progress in Your Workday
- How to Increase Your Productivity by Focusing on the Rate of Production of Your Activities
- 8 Time Management Apps: Hassle-Free Management of Tasks and To-Dos
- Using To-Do Lists Effectively
- Time Saver: Your To-Don’t List
- Time Estimates: The Key to Time Management