It's 3:30 on a Wednesday. You're finally putting a dent in the project you've been putting off since last Wednesday, and then you get an email, followed by a phone call.
So long, productivity.
We've all been there. You're in the zone, and then a distraction hits that leads to another distraction, and the next thing you know you're 30 minutes into a YouTube video-induced downward spiral.
Aware that cat videos on YouTube aren't going to solve your problems or help you meet your deadlines, there has to be something else you can do to refocus on your output. But what? How?
These 4 strategies will help you boost your production capabilities, and they're ready to implement right now.
1 - Make a To-Do List
If I have a lot on my plate, the first thing I do is get it out of my head and down on paper. For me, visualizing my tasks makes it easier to organize them by importance and start developing a plan of attack.
I've also found that it makes it easier to stick to something when you've written it down. Plus, who doesn't love the feeling of crossing something of their list?
The app, Any.Do, makes it easy to create lists, prioritize tasks, and set notifications to keep you on track. Also, the to-do feature in the desktop app, Momentum, is a convenient place to store your list because every time you open a new tab, your list will appear there. Talk about no excuses, right?
2 - Set Goals and Tell People
Goal setting is an extremely important step for anyone looking to get anything done.
Once you've set your goals, personal or professional, tell someone. By talking to someone about your goals you are not only holding yourself accountable, but you are also inviting them to provide input. Perhaps they can think of a more effective way to approach something that you may not have seen.
3 - Find Your "Happy Place"
When it comes down to it, there are certain spaces and places where we feel more productive. Identify them.
According to David Rocker, author of Your Brain at Work, the majority of people can only truly focus for an average of six hours a week.(Source: Entrepreneur) If this is true, we need to be able to harness our ability to perform and put it towards those mere 6 hours if we wish to get anything accomplished.
For me, I work best on my laptop with a little music. It's something about the familiarity of the keys, (or perhaps because I've written so many college papers on it in the past), that makes it easier for me to just start writing.
Where do you work best?
4 - Focus on Communication
The key to more productive conversations, is a focus on opening up the lines of communication more effectively and regularly.
While all this communication may seem like a time sucker, it's all about what you allow yourself to get out of it that will make you more productive in your day-to-day.
When talking with clients and customers, focus on collecting feedback in order to avoid future disagreements that have the potential to waste both of your time. Focus on replying back to their needs as clearly and quickly as possible to avoid dissatisfaction and the need for follow up.
When it comes to your team, communication is equally as important. If someone comes to you with a question that you think everyone else could benefit from, share it. If you answer it and address it now for everyone, not only will they learn something, but it will prevent them from having to ask you for help when/if a similar scenario arises for them.
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