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Here’s another excellent inspirational video from Alux. We have listed below the 15 Ways To Improve Productivity together with our own notes:
1. Write It Down
A fantastic practice is to write down your tasks for the next day, the night before. That way, you will “hit the ground running”. People who do not have a clear objective very often waste the first hour of the day, half asleep, not really knowing what they should be doing, whereas those who wrote it down can achieve maximum productivity.
2. Cut Down Your To-Do List
The objective here is not to do less but to prioritize. Work on the most important thing that you can be working on at any given time and do not fill your to-do list with “busy work” – non-essentials that make you feel as though you are moving forward but are in fact filling up your day and PREVENTING you from doing the important things.
3. Stop Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking has become fashionable but it has been demonstrated that people are not able to deliver their best results if they are trying to do three things at once. “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither” is the old Chinese proverb.
4. Minimize Distraction
You have the same 24 hours per day as Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Bill Gates – and what you do with that time is up to do. Develop a single mindedness that enables you to eliminate distraction and focus fully on one thing at a time.
5. Organize Your Workspace
Clutter leads to chaos, stress and mistakes. Good organizational systems give peace of mind as well as saving time when it comes to finding what you are looking for. For example with your filing cabinet you should be able to find any document in under 30 seconds.
6. Track And Limit How Much Time You’re Spending On Tasks
“Work expands to fill the time available” – this is absolutely true and if you do not set a deadline you will move at a slow, meandering pace. Deadlines mean pressure and a certain amount of discomfort but success does require moving out of your comfort zone.
7. Embrace Technology
Use whatever tools are available to you to increase your productivity. To-do lists that are run through smart apps can be synced across devices and can therefore stay with you wherever you are.
8. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym and stands for
Timebound (this means the goal is constrained within a deadline).
9. Choose Your Friends Wisely
Surround yourself with people that have the same level of motivation and drive that you do. Cut loose from people who drag you down, create problems or waste your time.
10. Learn By Yourself
There is an unlimited opportunity to study any subject for free in the modern world. It was not always like this. Those who take responsibility for their own learning will make the most rapid progress in life.
11. Develop The Habit Of Saying No
Saying no is absolutely vital if you have standards. You need to be able to reject anything that does not meet your criteria. Saying no rapidly, clearly and firmly eliminates wasted time and allows you to get back to being productive.
12. Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Reactivity means that you are in the quadrant of urgency – “putting out fires” and solving problems which are getting in the way of productivity. Being proactive means you are in the quadrant of “important but not urgent” – taking the steps towards your goals and the future that you want.
13. Don’t Get Engaged In Endless Meetings
Meetings are seen as the “black hole of productivity” because they eat up time and very often do not lead to meaningful changes.
Learn to avoid meetings that are not absolutely vital and minimize those that are. Bill Gates famously set a time limit of 3 minutes for meetings – a fantastic time management strategy!
14. Focus On Result-Oriented Activities
The Pareto Principle states that 80% of our results come from the top 20% of our activities. Identify those activities and focus on them, eliminating those that get no results.
15. Take Care Of Yourself
If you are burned out or over-tired you can become useless, which obviously hinders productivity. Pacing yourself is the key.