Ten top tips to improve your productivity!

I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to reading productivity and uncluttering blogs and websites.  Lately I’ve been reading and thinking about ways to cut out little niggles and time-wasters in one’s life. It’s too short to walk further than you need to on a daily basis or keep losing your expenses receipts… and some habits are just right out of date!

Here are my 10 top tips for saving bits of time:

  1. Get up earlier and save time on the commute – leaving 10 minutes earlier saves me 20 minutes on the motorway
  2. Better still, avoid the commute by arranging to work at home – start by negotiating an occasional day or a day a week and work up from there if you can.
  3. Set yourself a time limit on a phone call: if it’s with someone who likes to chat, make it clear that you have to finish at a certain time. Sum up as you go along and make sure actions are agreed and noted before the end of the call. Plan a phone call as you would a meeting. This one’s saved me lots of time.
  4. Use email filters.  However often I tell myself this, there is always another filter I could set up that will move the less important emails out of the way so that I can see the important and urgent ones.  Some email systems will also flag up emails sent only to you in a different colour – another good way of spotting the important and urgent emails. (Leo Babauta got rid of email altogether! Possibly a bit extreme.)
  5. Use the Getting Things Done principle – if it takes two minutes or less – do it now!
  6. Take a break! preferably go for a walk, outside. It clears the head and makes you more productive.
  7. Stop work – that is stop work at times that aren’t your best. Find out what times of day you are at your best and play to your strengths by working on the most important and crucial projects then.
  8. Focus on a single task at a time, even if it’s just for half an hour. It’s easy to flit like a dragonfly from project to project, but much better force yourself to concentrate, even if it requires setting a timer.
  9. If you’re an ideas person, ideas can interrupt your flow doing something else. Write it down – put it aside. Leave it for later.  The same goes for things you remember you need to talk to someone about – write it down, put it aside, come back to it at a time you choose.
  10. Working collaboratively – we don’t have to do everything on our own. Get a guest blogger, bounce ideas off a colleague, share a frustration with a friend, ask a question on Twitter…

Originally published on reachfurther.com