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Friday, July 23, 2010

10 Tips to Improve Your Productivity and Get More Done at Work

"Most time is wasted, not in hours, but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over." -Paul J. Meyer

Productivity is such a big deal these days that companies spend millions researching how to optimize their employees’ time.

The following are tips to increase productivity and decrease wasted time.

Be smart with email. It can be easy to get distracted by checking email too often. Tip: Pick a couple of times a day (8am, 11am, and 3pm for instance) and only check your email then. Turn off the alert on your email program so you don’t get distracted by emails that can wait.

Organize your day. Set aside 5 minutes at the start of your day to map out what tasks you will do and how long you will work on them for. This is done best when you...

Prioritize. Start with the most important stuff first and then go down your list, leaving the unimportant stuff until you have already done the ‘heavy lifting’. A good way to prioritize is to put your...

Worst First
. Start with your most annoying task and work on it until you’re done. It will be nice to have that monkey off your back, because its tough working with monkeys.

Learn what makes you productive.
Some things that help me be productive: a clean desk, a good breakfast, instrumental music, exercise, and a good night's sleep.

Don't m
ultitask. Pick one task and give it your all until you're done. Cut down wasted time switching tasks and shuffling papers by finishing what you started.

Reward yourself.
When you get something done, celebrate. Whether it be 2 minutes on a website you enjoy or some food, have a prize in mind that is better than just crossing something off the to–do list.

Gimme a break. Be serious about breaks in order to clear your head and refocus. My best thinking comes when there is no pressure. Go for a walk or just stop doing what you're doing and rest a little. Sometimes just what I need for another blog idea is to take a break.

Turn off technology. How much time do you waste watching TV, deciding what station to listen to on the radio, or getting text messages? Turn off every potential distraction that can hurt “the flow” of your work. If you are a PDA user, consider the Hipster PDA.

Consolidate mini-meetings. Instead of asking questions to your higher-up each time you have one, write down a list of questions and schedule a mini-meeting with them later. You'll find that many "urgent issues" have either worked themselves out or are not as important as you had thought.

The last tip I will include is from Steve Pavlina’s blog which says,

“On the rare occasions you actually do manage to get something done, talk it up like a madman. Say “This is huge!” to everyone you meet. People will assume you’re 10x as productive as you are.”
For more effective time management and productivity tips, check out the resources I used to write this blog by clicking here, here, here, and here. We do our best to productively do our jobs here at Amplivox producing the best sound systems and lecterns money can buy.

Anything I'm missing? What helps you be productive? Leave a comment!