In your annual appraisal did you receive a comment saying “Improve your productivity”. If Yes then you will find something worthwhile here. If you havent received any such comment & still want to improve your personal productivity, these tips will serve you better. The tips work only when the person works. Following these tips I was able to create Free time for myself and I have taught many people to create it in their lives. To grow in career fundamentally you need 2 things : 1. Available time so that you could use that time to acquire new skills & 2. More energy. If you are energetic you could have the strength to cross the hurdles that come your way no matter how Big they are.
Here are those 10 TIPS coming to you from the GENIE:
- End your day with a self-audit. Spend 10 minutes looking at what you planned and what was achieved. If some goal was missed, plan it for following day. Create a planner for next day once you are done with self-audit, it takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Start your day early. Most successful people wake up at 5:00 a.m. you could start with 7:00 a.m. and gradually bring it forward to 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. Assuming you have to reach office by 9:30 a.m. which most people have to, you get 2-3 hours depending on the time you take to travel. For most people this is the best time to work on their goals. Use this time to work on those top 2 goals. You could also use this time to exercise, meditate, and visualize keeping you healthy, peaceful and wealthy.
- Guard for energy drainers. Sometimes when you get in to an argument, conflict your energy drains rampantly. Similarly if you overwork you are physically exhausted. This slows down your brain and also your body. Avoid getting in to conflicts if you could at the start of the day. Look at ways to conserve your energy so that it is evenly used throughout the day.
- Automate repetitive tasks. If you have to send reminders to someone set it in scheduler. Your computer is powerful enough to share your workload. Create shortcuts of frequently accessed folders so that you do not spend time hunting. Cutting down time spent browsing emails could save 50%-60% of your time. In this activity time is consumed depending on number of times you open your email and the time you spend on each email. Many people have a habit of pressing alt+tab buttons on computer to check if there is new email. This is also by the occupying your brain.
- Delegate tasks that could be done by others. A thumb rule is any activity that does not require your expertise could be delegated. For e.g. your meetings can be handled by your secretary. If you do not have a secretary but have a team, ask your team to block your calendar. To delegate effectively you will need to train people reporting to you, trust them, take the risk of something going wrong sometimes and manage it with a quality review. Managers who are effective in delegating save anything between 30-60% of their time.
- You cannot handle all tasks in your bucket in single day. If you have more than 5 high priority items in a day to work, you will be worked out. Re filter tasks and act on those important tasks keeping them to a max of 5 tasks. The best number could be anything between 3 to 5. Avoid trying to build Rome in a single day.
- Sharpen your axe every day. If your job requires you to write, you need to spend time on learning how to write quality articles and for this you should be reading many articles. As a manager you could spend time learning about the business & people.
- After every 1 hour take 5-10 minutes of break. Break need not be necessarily for having coffee. By the way guard your caffeine intake. Caffeine gives a momentary adrenaline punch however excessive coffee intake creates more damage to your body in the long run. You could go for a walk, hear soothing music, make neck movements, and meditate. The list is unlimited.
- Be agile. Many times the schedule we plan for and what comes forth is way different. Be ready to accept and replan. Again, do not rush in everything together.
- This is the most important of all the 10 points. Spend time on doing 1-2 things you derive happiness the most. For e.g. If you like painting, you could spare ½ – 1 hour for painting, this stimulates your right brain and stimulating right brain overall has a soothing effect on your mind and body. Some people are very progressive at their work because they find time to do something they like every day.
Exercise: Apply these 10 tips every single day for 21 days without missing them for a day. Share you r experience on this blog. To know more about increasing productivity, effectiveness, achieving dream goals, in life hold on for my next book on Kaizen, the art of continuous improvement.