Thanks to GigaOM and Dawn Collins for the topic (http://bit.ly/kj6SBi).
We’re all trying to get more out of our day. Dawn Collins shares her 10 ideas in GigaOM in the aforementioned link.
I’d like to add my experiences, observations and applications to Dawn’s.
Between her ideas and mine, perhaps you can add a little more productivity to your day.
- Decline meetings. Don’t accept every meeting. If you don’t see real benefit resulting from attending decline. Ask the “owner” of the meeting about the objective and the agenda. They may rethink the need for the meeting? By only going to meetings you need to attend, you free up time to do something productive.
- Have effective meetings. Have shorter, more effective meetings by always having an agenda and a definitive end time. I see very few meetings that need to be more than 45 minutes leaving 10 to 15 minutes for questions and answers. Have someone, or you, write-up the results of the meeting along with agreed upon next steps, due dates and responsibilities.
- Schedule work. We all have certain tasks that require uninterrupted time where we can focus. Block out time in Outlook just as you would for a meeting. For a large project do this for: 1) planning; 2) for doing the work; and, 3) for finishing the work well in advance of the due date.
- Schedule recreation. Schedule workouts just like any other meeting on your calendar. You get a reminder when it’s time to work out, and second, it discourages other people from scheduling over your workout. Ten years ago I got in the habit of going to the gym every day — it helps me mentally and physically. If I miss a day or two, I feel it and know I’ll feel better when I go workout. While this is harder to do when I travel, I find it’s even more beneficial.
- Take advantage of off-peak times. Schedule activities at times when you can do them in less time. When I drive to work (an 80-minute drive), I get up early to beat the traffic. I also go to the gym after the post-work rush so it’s not as crowded and more relaxing.
- Don’t procrastinate. Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Prioritize your projects and work on the most important first. Don’t hesitate. Map your plan for accomplishing the work at hand and get to it. The more you procrastinate the more pressure you’ll feel as the due date approaches.
- Be true to your word. The people you work with will learn to trust you and will respect your time if you are respectful of theirs and meet requested deadlines.
- Take breaks. Get away from your computer at least once an hour. I drink 96 to 128 ounces of water a day. It keeps me full, hydrated, flushes the toxins from my body and gets me up and running to the water cooler or the bathroom.
- Turn off the television. I find that most of the stuff on television is negative and distracts me from the positive energy I want to put into my work, my workouts and my relationships with others.
- Block out time for you. I always have lunch. It may be by myself, or with someone else, but I’ve found that I really need this break in the middle of the day to let my mind take a break and refresh. My workouts are also a time for me to clear my head and my body of toxins.
What are your suggestions for being more productive?