A search on Amazon.com for books on Productivity returns 45,960 titles. If you’re having trouble being productive at work you may find it difficult to make the time to read a book on productivity cover to cover.
For that reason, I’m going to share with you 5 proven tactics that you can start implementing today that WILL enable you to increase your productivity and help you to get more done.
5 Proven Tactics to Increase Your Productivity
1. Wake Up Early
The morning provides a calm that is often hard to find at any other time of day. Phones aren’t ringing, emails are only starting to trickle, and not gush in, as they do later in the day. This is your time to get ahead. Use this time to exercise, read or study, and to get a jumpstart on your most important task of the day.
2. Start with Important Work
Our most meaningful and impacting projects are often the hardest and require the most time and attention. That’s why they often end up getting pushed lower and lower on our to-do list throughout the day. Take a new approach and start your day by focusing on your most important work first. You may find it hard to get going, but once you do you’ll be working on tasks that have meaning and provide a real impact to your business and career. Plus, once you get through your most important item you’ll feel liberated and can move on to the less important work that so often clogs the day.
3. No Interruptions
Robin Sharma points to research data that says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Every distraction reduces your productivity and derails your focus and energy from the task at hand. Value your work and value your time by saying NO to interruptions. Close your door, create a “Do Not Disturb” sign if you need one, and block your calendar with work times so your assistant or co-workers know not to bother you. There are so many interruptions around us each day. Find what they are in your life and start removing them.
4. Avoid Meetings
Daily and weekly meetings can be critical to keep the flow and rhythm in a business. But meetings where several people need to spend 20, 30 minutes to an hour or more need to be avoided like the plague. Not only do these meetings often result with few actionable ideas, the topics they cover can usually be dealt with over a 5 minute phone call. In fact, Seth Godin goes as far as saying he won’t attend meetings (at least in the typical sense) but prefers conversations where a decision can be reached. If not, meetings simply become events. Think about how much money is “invested” into a meeting when you have 4-5 employees sitting around a table for 30 minutes or an hour.
5. Disconnect the Internet
Stop swearing at me! Seriously, I know you NEED the internet. In a CNN survey many respondents said they would take the Internet over Sex any day. I digress. While the Internet does increase your productivity and allows for access to information in unimaginable ways, it continues to lower the productivity of many workers. How often do you get a notification of a new email? Engaged in research and come upon a Youtube video that you just “needed to watch”? Had to update your Facebook or Twitter status because you just found the cutest cat picture ever? You get the point, right? Unplugging yourself by taking your work offline provides a level of focus that you just can’t achieve online with all the potential distractions it presents.
Start by implementing one of these tactics today. You’ll start seeing positive results and will quickly move to implementing more of them.
To a more productive you!
How do you increase your productivity? We’re curious to hear your tips!
Photo by David Castillo Dominici.
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Waking up early definitely increases my productivity for the day! I seem to have longer days, I can workout, I can catch-up on reading and do other tasks before the rush of my day begins.
This means that I can then start my ‘working’ day with my most pressing tasks.
This resonates so much with my own recent forays into how to be more productive! Totally agree that getting up early has been the most effective thing I now do in order to achieve more in the time I have. Have a look at my blog post that I wrote after my exploration of the subject – we agree on so many of your points, Michael!
David – way to go! Getting up early can be challenging for many people, great that you’re making it happen!
I’m very depending to Internet for my work. The accounting software needs internet. I’ll be dead if there is no Internet.
However, the point are so very true. It’s a very huge reason why I’m not focusing to my work.
I’m typically in my office between 6a – 7a… and since I’m on the East Coast, that gives me hours of peace before the my inbox starts going bonkers.
Joyce – thanks Joyce. Smart move on your part.
In my country , avoiding meetings is a very difficult thing.Many of my friends’ experience,boss like meeting 2 times a day about 2 hours a meeting is.And the issue they discuss in meetings sometimes not so important.If they can avoid meetings,they could be much more productivitly .
Yes, definitely. Different cultures have different ‘status quo’ regarding work habits and meetings. I had a company in Japan for many years and it’s not uncommon to have meetings that run 2-4 hours. However, I found that it would be important to help guide the meeting so that it would stay on course.
While it’s not culturally ‘proper’ to cut people off or push to end a meeting early in some cultures…it also needs to be done on occasion and you’ll find that most people will appreciate that you have taken the initiative to push for a change that helps everyone get more done.
OMG!This points are very ture for me.Everytime I spent more time to do less important thing such as watching TV,meeting with friend and my boss when I sleep over.Because I feel the time is not enough to do more productivitly by myself.So, I hope I will do much more productivitly and reduce my bad habit from reading this good point. Thanks!
Glad you found them helpful!
How to increase your productivity? Maybe we can wake up early in the morning and start with important works firstly. Meanwhile, we need to make sure no interruption from other people and avoid frequent meeting to spend too much time. By the way, we don’t forget to disconnect the internet and we can increase the productivity finally.
Disconnect internet should be in the first point 😉
Surprisingly it does help : )
#2 is the most important for me – starting with the most important work first. And especially, not touching email or anything else that I can get digitally lost in, before starting to work.
I’ve lost many a day, when I reached for my phone to ‘just quickly check’ email / news / social networks / etc. shortly after waking up! So, to be productive, I must not plug in until necessary (for work reasons).
Also, clear goals, action lists, and a schedule helps me stay a little more focused, motivated and productive.
Kymberly thanks for the comment and sharing that!
Getting enough exercise to keep the ol’ brain on its toes is definitely important, as is staying properly hydrated (especially after lunch and in summer).
It’s the truth, indeed 😉