What techniques do you implement to stay more productive?
I have used pomodoro method to keep my priorities straight & focus on the things that matter most. What small yet impactful lifestyle changes have you made to be more efficient or to simplify your life by staying productive with the right things each day. How do you determine what becomes your highest priority especially with equally important tasks. Please share with others your tips and tricks to make our mosaicHub community more effective.
I love this question so much, I had to take a moment to answer it with humor and then be a bit serious. First of all, the technique I implement daily to stay more productive is, I drink more coffee. That is my lifestyle change that has helped me be more efficient and makes me very happy. I remember when Francesco Cirillo invented this pomodoro technique. Regan was President, here in the US. And that was the time when geeky ideas were coming about. If you didn't do certain things, you were square. I tried that method. Never really worked for me because I learned that everytime I break, it takes me 20 or more minutes to get back on track. So my methods are to work through a project, if I need a break in an hour or so, I take one. I schedule my time by using my calendar, and I don't take calls when I am working on a project that requires my 100% presence. As for my priorities, I set goals and deadlines for my projects with my clients. I determine priorities based on emergency's. Not all of my clients have emergencies, but sometimes when I am working on a project and I get a new client which require emergency services; then I alert my clients, who were there once...that I have to manage something and let them know that I will be pulling myself off of their project for "x" amount of days or hours or a week. It happens. I believe that being open with my clients, (not divulging privacy), keeps my business on the up and up with my clients. So when I do fall behind on something, that it's forgiven with their blessing before I begin another journey. Now don't misunderstand, I use VA's. There's some things I just won't do in my mundane world. I like complex. So that is the world I work in. So I guess understanding your own niche is really important too. Just as long as there is some great dark roast in the cup next to me, close at hand.
I believe that the major concern in being productive is the time aspects that contributes the major stake in the segment of time management. Specifically to have a good control on the time management, the tool that we preferably use is the hours tracker from Replicon - http://www.replicon.com/olp/hours-tracking-software.aspx that helps manage the time by keeping good track of it and approaching for a streamlined process to reach out to the destination level.
Its about attitude. There are 24 hours in the day and I try to use them according to situation and prioritorize things.
1. Get back to basics: A good night's sleep and early rise
2. Set goals and practice discipline
3. Give yourself some "alone time"--and a few cups of coffee, tea or water
4. Reflect on previous positive experiences
5. Avoid things that kill your productivity
Have defined goals. Plan your week everry Sunday. Reasses every evening and plan the next day. Track your results so you can see where improvements can be made. If you are not achieving what your scheduled, don't be too hard on yourself. Reasses and repair as you learn.
I set weekly and monthly goals. Breaking up my day into learning/reading and keeping abreast of change, another chunk of my day is brainstorming for my clients--focusing on strategy, ideation, and broadbase thinking. Other parts of my day are on exercise to allow myself the time to creatively think and let go of the details and prevent stress overload.
Most of my day is spent on project plans, writing, developing customer experience maps, website audits, and the tasks of the job at hand. Balance is the key. You can't provide clear, thoughtful strategy or manage tasks if you don't get out of the minutia. I set aside time to participate in networking events and getting out of the office to meet people and keep my social skills up to par.
The biggest challenge is to prioritize your structure and be disciplined enough to keep your structure that works for you in tact.
I use Google calendar to keep me on track for meetings, personal and professional events, and appointments on my iPhone. I also have a place on my on my iPhone to take notes. I can access documents on the iPhone using Dropbox and Evernote.
I've developed a time tracker in Excel to keep track of how much time I'm spending on client work throughout the day. As a small business owner it is very easy to become distracted with personal tasks if you don't have a way to keep focused. I also use Podio for project management, and have running tasks lists. Lastly, I have an assistant who also helps manage projects and keep me on task.
Delegate what I can.
Delegate what I can't do - To the people who can and have the skills.
Deal with the rest.
Allow for DND (Do Not Disturb) time slabs during the day. usually 2 x 30 min each day.
Do not answer emails straight away.
(it's amazing how many emails resolve themselves with an hour or 2 )
Spend an extra 1/2 hr at the start and end of the day.
Do not spend more than 1/2 hr on any one task.- Come back to it later if you have to.
That way you are fresher, plus you have allowed your sub consensus a little time to work on it.
Great article on productivity: http://m.entrepreneur.com/article/232755
Eliminate those which are demoralizing, demotivating or negativity in the culture. Practice just unbiased procedure. Can't guarantee 100% positivity, as it is impossible and imbalanced. Both positivity and negativity shall exist for balanced environment. But the negativity should be an inducer for better productivity or better quality. For example, stress is not good but there are good stress and bad stress. Bad stress ruins things. Good stress pushes, motivates and exhilarates for improvement.