Being productive takes a serious amount of determination and thought. To really double down and get the most out of your time, here are 30 fast tips for becoming more productive:
1. Get rid of it.
If it's not absolutely necessary, take it off of your to-do list.
2. Daily goals.
Know the plan for your day before it arrives. This helps curb distractions. Set simple goals for the day, and then accomplish them
3. Peak levels.
Figure out your peak times for getting things done. Schedule your high-priority tasks for those times. Schedule less important tasks before and after.
4. The worst is over.
Knock your worst task out first thing, and clear it from your stack of work. This will create momentum and set a "victory tone" for the rest of your day.
5. Pump some iron.
Daily exercise increases productivity in addition to keeping you healthy enough to remain productive in the long run.
6. Race the clock.
Give yourself a concrete amount of time to make a dent in a large project. Don't focus on whether the project was completed. Just put in the time and watch the progress.
7. Catch the worm.
Get an early start. It's no secret that the more time you have available for productive work, the more you can achieve.
8. Cross the finish line.
Set clear, well-defined deadlines for your projects. Use them as focal points to stay on task.
Completing similar tasks together in batches helps you free up time that would otherwise be lost to the admin work associated with task switching. Use this process to handle things like phone calls, emails, or errands.
10. Become accountable.
Tell others of your plans and when you'll have projects complete. They'll expect results, and you'll get things done on time to avoid disappointing your peers.
11. Relax... your workspace.
We all work better in stress free environments. This includes your workspace. Read up on how to relax your workspace so that you'll be more comfortable each day.
12. Practice the art of delegation.
If someone else can do it, let them. The task will still be complete, but your time will be freed up for more important projects.
13. T-minus 60 seconds.
Once you have all the information you need, make small decisions in less than 60 seconds. Once you've chosen an option, move on instead of lingering on your choice.
14. One and done.
At the end of the day, laser in on one final task, finish it, then call it quits. Don't let yourself be distracted by a bunch of half-done tasks that you'd like to mark off your to-do list.
15. Slice and dice.
Break down complex projects into bite-size chunks and complete them one at a time.
Whatever it takes, stay on schedule; and if at all possible, show up early. Being punctual to your various commitments gives you the buffer needed to handle any unexpected responsibilities.
17. Create agendas.
Before beginning your phone calls, have a clearly formed agenda of what you expect to cover and what the possible outcomes will be. This will help you steer the conversation and end it sooner -- saving time for everybody involved.
18. Research and pregame.
Upon entering a meeting, remember the exact reason for it and the necessary outcome. If a topic isn't relevant to the primary reason for the meeting, don't discuss it. If control of the meeting is out of your hands, at least try to steer the conversation back on track.
19. Get out of your head.
Present your ideas and projects to others. They'll have a different angle to bring to the table, and you can use them to brainstorm ideas for improvements that will ultimately save you time.
20. Never good enough.
Constantly look for ways to improve your techniques and methods. Last year is outdated; leave your old ways behind.
21. Educate yourself.
There are over 80,000 books on productivity on Amazon. Try to read at least one of them each month. Getting Things Done is a good place to start if you're new to productivity reading.
22. Reap the rewards.
Have small rewards in place for early or on-time completion of tasks as incentives. You'll work a lot faster if you know there's a benefit hanging on the line.
When an unproductive task is placed in your hands, try to reroute it to someone else who's more invested in the outcome.
24. Check yourself.
Review your progress each day and find ways to improve. The most productive people out there are those who are honest about what they're doing well and where they need to do better.
25. Triage your projects.
Think of your work schedule in the same way an emergency room nurse evaluates incoming patients. Let dying projects bite the dust and spend the saved time on ones that still matter.
26. Question everything.
When someone gives you a new task, have them explain why it's absolutely necessary. If they can't come up with a good reason, there's a good chance the task should be assigned to someone else or dropped altogether.
27. No trolls allowed.
Only associate with positive, successful people who encourage you to stay productive. Banish the negative influences from your life.
28. Chuck the tube.
Turn off the TV. You'll instantly gain back several hours for your business or your most important projects.
29. Enough is enough.
Evaluate any clubs, subscriptions, and groups of which you're a member. If the time spent on them can't be justified, drop out.
30. Keep it fun.
Not every to-do item has to be boring. Fill out forms in bright colored ink, make phone calls with an accent, or spike your hair before you go to the bank just to watch the reactions.
Being productive isn't always easy, but the rewards are more than worth it. When you're productive, not only will your business grow -- you'll reduce your stress along the way.
What else do you do to stay productive? Share any suggestions you have in the comments below: