10 Tips to Improve Productivity

10 Tips to improve Productivity in your Home BusinessProductivity isn’t rocket science.

In fact, there are some very straight forward things you can implement that have a significant impact on productivity and results. Here are:

10 Tips to Improve Productivity

1. Start with the end in mind

I first learnt this many years ago when reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people” by Stephen Covey. If you don’t know where you are heading, how can you choose what actions to take?

Always start each year, month, week and day knowing what you want to have achieved by the end of it (Note: this applies to your family life and lifestyle as well as your business).

2. Apply the “first things first” rule

Do the highest priority things first. That way, if you run out of time later in the day it will never be the most important stuff that gets dropped.

3. Set a “school” timetable

Remember those old school timetables with days and allocated time slots for lessons? Well, set one up every week. (Note: as with point 1, include family stuff as well as business stuff). It will keep you focussed and on track. It will also help you protect what is most important and stop you from over scheduling.

Remember to apply point 2 – put the most important things in your schedule first.

4. Stop multitasking

Multitasking reduces productivity and increases stress levels. Focus on one task at a time until it is done. Do this in line with point 2 and 3. (Read 3 Myths of Multi Tasking for more on this subject)

5. Reduce how often you check email/social media

Constantly interrupting tasks to check emails and social media reduces productivity. Set times during the day for checking email/social media. Use a timer. When the timer goes off, shut email and social media down to avoid temptation.

6. Take regular breaks

People who take regular breaks throughout the day actually do better quality, productive work. Schedule regular breaks as part of your daily routine.

7. Learn to say “no” more

Many people often find it difficult to say no to things, even if it impacts on their own priorities. It’s OK to say “no”. It will stop you taking on less important stuff at the cost of your priorities.

8. Get an accountability buddy

Being accountable to someone else for achieving something by a set time is a great way to keep you focussed and productive. Find someone to buddy up with. Set tasks you are both going to do by a set day/time. Agree a check in time by phone. Amazing how well this works. Try it.

9. Break tasks down into bite size chunks

For each task you have, break it down into bite size chunks. This helps keep you focussed, motivated and helps maintain concentration levels. Then apply point 10.

10. Time bind each activity

Set a time limit on each task. This will keep you focussed and reduce the risk of overrunning.

What are your top tips for improving productivity? Please share yours in the comments below.

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  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    Hey Ali,

    some sweet-ass tips. Productivity (or the lack of) has always been a huge issue for me – but I have managed to overcome it by applying some methods. I have read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective people”, but I thought “The now habit” was more productive.

    “Get an accountability buddy”
    hah – I am skyping with my Australian friend and we are holding each other accountable. Every Sunday we have a call and check our progress and our weekly goals. Soo much fun.

    “Multitasking” is useless – it simply doesn’t work. Doing one thing at a time is the MOST effective way of getting things done.

    And giving yourself a time limit is also super helpful. Some sweet pressure does wonders to the natural laziness of my human-ness ;)

    Apply the “first things first” rule is new for me – never tried out that method, but it makes complete sense. I will try it out now, thanx to you :)

    Nice reminder Ali

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    Hey Mars, glad you found the tips useful. Wonderful to hear you are doing the accountability buddy thing. I think that one is crucial for Sole Traders. Has benefits on so many levels. Lone Ranger Syndrome is a killer for Sole Traders so doing anything that removes that is a plus.

    Have fun with the “first things first” rule. It really can transfrom your results. Also makes you realise how much low priority stuf we allow to dominate our time at the cost of the important stuff.

    Whilst there a few “must do’s” on this list for eveyrone, at the end of the day I think it is about experimenting with different things and discovering what works best for you.

    Thanks for dropping by Mars.

  • http://www.meratvforum.com Indian T.v Serials

    You pointed almost every point i try work on every day. If you keep these things in mind you will not only get better productiv results, but you will also spend the day much more relaxed. thank you

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    I think that is an important point – we need to keep these points in the front of our minds in order to act in a way that supports us best.

  • http://www.caradiaz.com/ Caradiaz

    Absolutely spot on. That is how I try to work although I must admit I don’t always managed to stick to my own rules…

    I have made a huge improvement on number 5 though, having seriously cut down on Twitter, Facebook and other social media – which we actually use mostly for business – to deal with true priorities.

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    Congratulations on your progress with number 5. Having a strategy and boundaries are essential for social media yet many people are just diving in without it.

  • Derbhile

    Great tips. Will begin applying immediately.

  • http://alidavies.com/ Ali Davies

    Glad you enjoyed the tips. Love that you say you are going to apply them immediately. Important to take action and experimenting with things will keep momentum going. Have fun implementing them.

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