8 tips to be more productive

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Last time I wrote a review of the book “Originals’ by Adam Grant. He writes that Originals are great procrastinators . Examples are Leonardo da Vinci and Martin Luther King Jr.

One advantage of procrastination, Grant says, is that you can find a new angle or a new idea to complete your task.

But at one point you can’t nor will you be able to postpone your task anymore. What do you do to get your task done and to become more productive?

Here are 8 tips:

Clean your desk. A clean desk helps you to focus. A lot of mess will distract you and will not help you to get to work.

Make a list of what to do & stick to the list. I love making to-do lists and rarely completed all of the roughly 20+ tasks. Nowadays, I limit my list to 9 items a day. The number one item should be the toughest cookie. The Success Expert Brian Tracy calls this the frog and he urges you to start to eat that frog first thing. Then list 3 other important tasks and end with 5 minor tasks. These last can include administrative tasks. With every task you’ve completed, cross it off the list. This will motivate you to continue as it feels good to have a task completed.

-If the task is too big: make smaller ones.

Go “cold turkey”. Make sure that there are no distractions from internet or cell phones. Switch it off. This is a hard one for some of us but if I am sure you can be without email, Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp or Skype for say, 20 minutes. Set a timer to stay focused during that time. My experience is that I enjoy being focused and that I continue to work longer. By far, this tip helps me to be productive. For those of you have a hard time switching off the internet because of the withdrawal effects: there’s software to help you.

-Some of you work from home and have children to take care of. Make sure you manage expectations with them. Tell them that you have to work for 20 minutes and can’t be disturbed. Make a stop sign so they know you can’t be disturbed. Of course, tell them that they can disturb you when somebody is injured.

Give yourself a treat when done. While working, visualize yourself enjoying your treat when the task is completed. This can be a good cup of coffee, some fruits, browsing your favorite websites or a cookie.

Ask for help! I tend to do a lot of tasks by myself and I am often giving to others. Why not start receiving? One just has to ask for it. It can be as small as putting stickers on envelopes but you can also ask someone to brainstorm on a certain idea or project with you. You’ll be amazed how many people are willing to help you. But it should not be the a reason to postpone it again or asking something unreasonable from someone (calling the night before and telling that you’ll need it by next morning).

Just start! Take a deep breath, have a glass of water (& nothing else!) on your desk and start doing whatever needs to be done that day. As soon as you start the momentum, you will enter in a flow which enables you to complete your task.

How do you get your task done and what are your tips to be more productive? Let me know in the comment box below!

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1 Comment

  1. Hello Freek,

    What a wonderful, useful list to follow! Thank you for sharing, have a nice weekend and a good training!

    Astrid

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