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5 Tips to Boost Your Productivity

Guest Blogger

Even if, you love every minute you spend at your profession, maximizing your productivity over the course of a 40-hour work week is a formidable challenge. Too often, as the week wears on, even the best workers can find their energy flagging. Nonetheless, employers expect consistent output, so find creative ways to stay productive, even on Friday.

Save emails for later in the day

Scott Hanselman, Microsoft’s program manager of development, knows a thing or two about productivity. At a recent SXSW Austin conference, Hanselman counseled listeners to avoid email in the morning and trust that urgent items sitting in your inbox will make it to your desk eventually. Hanselman’s advice makes sense. Perhaps you’re missing a request for a routine report sitting in your inbox. That’s okay if you’re spending your time researching different options that will save your company money month after month. By dedicating the first portion of your day to items that will have lasting impact instead of plowing through your inbox looking to please coworkers and meet demands from the corner office, you can take control of your day instead of letting messages from others control you.

5 Productivity Tips

Come to a clean desk

If you think disorganization doesn’t come with a cost, think again. A recent study, cited in the Huffington Post, suggests that messy habits may cost the average worker 76 hours annually in lost productivity. That’s nearly two weeks worth of time that brings absolutely no revenue into your business. Instead of letting your desk become a paperwork monster that feeds on lost opportunities, take a few minutes at the end of each day to organize it so you can hit the ground running the next morning.

Take Frequent Breaks

Tony Schwartz, CEO of The Energy Project, advocates working with a tight focus on the task at hand — for 90 minutes at a time. It’s great advice. Work intensely, but punctuate your day with short breaks to allow you time to refresh and refocus. Take a walk, browse social media or have a chat by the water cooler. When you return to your work and get ready to take on the next assignment, you’ll be able to bring far more attention and energy to productivity.

Stay Hopeful

Sometimes, the to-do list can seem so daunting that it’s hard to see how you’ll ever get through it, let alone deliver quality results. Still, it’s very important to stay hopeful because the link between a hopeful outlook and productivity is very real. As Dr. Shane Lopez, author of “Making Hope Happen,” points out that hopeful professionals close more deals, create more opportunities and generally perform better.

Take the First Step

Occasionally, there’s something to be said for a little procrastination. As consultant Carson Tate points out, procrastination — if you pay attention to it in your own life — can actually help you clarify priorities and increase creativity. Unfortunately, no matter how clear your priorities are or how creative you’ve become, there comes a time when a project simply has to get underway. That can be daunting, but the key is just to take the first step. At that moment, don’t commit to anything beyond that initial push. Most often, you’ll find that the first step leads inexorably into the second, and the second into the third. -Juan Vasquez.

Photo by Flickr user thetaxhaven

As a CPA, Juan loves discussing how to get out of debt and meet your financial goals. He also helps small businesses get off the ground and grow.

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Sat, May 4 2013 » Personal Organization, Time Management

One Response

  1. James Hadlock May 26 2013 @ 6:52 pm

    We used to live in Indy/Avon/Mooresville areas – now, living in Greenville, SC and LOVING IT! We do miss some of the great things about Indy – like today, the 500. Went to so many. What a great town you all have now, and of course we continue to be Pacers and Colts fans (although Denver is a very close second!). We come to Indy twice a year to visit friends and relatives, and we are starting a branch of our business there in September. As a native of Indy (wife and I both born there) I have to tell you, I wrote what some people are saying is one of the best Christian history books they have ever read (dont' buy it if you are a Muslim, atheist or a Liberal!). Check it out; I recently spoke before a large Christian group at St. Lukes Methodist Church on the north side & sold out all my books. Will be returning in September, 2013.

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