Easy Ways to Boost Productivity Today, By Laura Stack

laura-stack4Okay, let’s face it. We’re all trying to do more with less.

And chances are that you and your company have already made the big, tough decisions needed to streamline operations. But what about the little things?

You can still boost both personal and team productivity in lots of smaller ways that are easy to implement and provide immediate results. Read on for quick tips on getting more done.

Hit the ground running. Don’t waste the first hour of the day. As soon as you arrive, focus on getting something done before you even think about checking Facebook or dropping in on a coworker.

Say “no.” As companies try to do more with less, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to cut back on lower-value activities. Don’t be afraid to decline tasks that aren’t a good use of your time. (The first time you do this will be the hardest.)

Keep a time log. Do you have a good idea of how you spend your time each day? If you don’t, use a paper time log or track your time in Outlook so you know how your precious minutes and hours are being spent.

Set goals. Once priorities are crystal-clear, be sure to set some measurable goals. Appropriate, attainable targets will help keep your team moving in the right direction.

Look ahead. The higher up in an organization you are, the more you should be looking ahead. If you are dwelling on the past or bogged down in the details of the day, you won’t plan effectively for what’s down the road.

Train on the cheap. A three-day trip out of state for a seminar or conference might not be in the budget this year, but you still don’t want people getting rusty. Keep an eye out for less expensive, less time-consuming training activities like conference calls and webinars.

Avoid toxic people. Some people are never happy and are eager to tell you why. They can occupy your time and drain your energy. Don’t let them.

Be healthy. A strong, healthy body is the foundation of productivity. Eat well, get some exercise, and take care of yourself. Better health means more energy. More energy means getting more done.

Close out the day. Don’t waste the last few minutes of the day. Make it a priority to close out your day by organizing yourself and setting priorities for the day to come.

© 2009 Laura Stack. Laura Stack is a personal productivity expert, author, and professional speaker who helps busy workers Leave the Office Earlier® with Maximum Results in Minimum Time®. She is the president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management training firm specializing in productivity improvement in high-stress organizations. Since 1992, Laura has presented keynotes and seminars on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in today’s workplaces. She is the bestselling author of three works published by Broadway Books: The Exhaustion Cure (2008), Find More Time (2006) and Leave the Office Earlier (2004). Laura is a spokesperson for Microsoft, 3M, and Day-Timers®, Inc and has been featured on the CBS Early Show, CNN, and the New York Times. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Sunoco, KPMG, Nationwide, and 3M. To have Laura speak at your next event, call 303-471-7401. Visit www.TheProductivityPro.com to sign up for her free monthly productivity newsletter.

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