3 Easy Tips for Staying Productive All Day

Productivity tipsYou’ve made your list, you’ve set your schedule and you’ve chosen priorities. So why aren’t you having a more productive day?

Here are 3 easy tips that you can use for getting more accomplished today:

Work your list

Being productive requires you to challenge yourself to accomplish everything on your to-do list. If you’re creating a realistic list with established priorities, then each day should offer a personal victory as you check all your items off.

Keep these habits in mind:

• Don’t overload yourself, always schedule your time conservatively

• Tackle important projects first

• Set time limits to your activities

• Minimize your distractions such as internet, tv, and personal calls

• Say no to requests that exploit your time

• Be wary of urgent tasks that carry emotion but not importance

Think with a pen in hand

Being productive takes focus, especially when you’re on the move from one task to another, one conversation to another, and one thought to another. It’s daunting to think you can do this alone.

Keep your day planner (or a notepad) with you at all times. It will create a capture point that allows you to dependably record the important conversations, thoughts, ideas and follow-up items you come across during your day. By getting it down on paper, you’re freeing up your memory and allowing your brain to maintain focus on the task at hand.

Keeping a running record of your thoughts and activities also leaves a popcorn trail for when you need to cross back over your tracks tomorrow. 

Sort the meat from the bones

Becoming more productive often requires you to better control not just what you do, but how you do it as well.

With each task or project, devote yourself to the areas that produce the highest output. To do this you must identify the obvious imbalances, where your time spent on specific parts of tasks will create the most gain.

It’s the “meat” of your tasks — concentrate your energy there. These are the 80/20 areas of your life where a majority of your productivity should come from a narrow focus of effort.

Some examples include:

• If you have a half hour to clean the kitchen, tend to the pile of dirty dishes in the sink before you consider waxing the floor

• Write your presentation outline and bullet points before formatting the color scheme and graphics

• Study the section headings of a large report before reading the first chapter

Please share with us your top tips for staying productive all day by commenting below.

 [photo by tinou bao]
Jeff Doubek Day-Timer Spokesperson Jeff Doubek can be reached at jeff.doubek@daytimer.com

5 thoughts on “3 Easy Tips for Staying Productive All Day

  1. Great stuff Jeff! I’ve even heard that the 80-20 rule these days has become the 90-10! I think I got that from one of Harvey McKay’s books. Cheers for posting!

    1. Derek, thanks for your comment. 90/10 might be the new rule, it certainly couldn’t hurt to start your focus that way and see where it takes you. The key is to concentrate on the points of effectiveness.

    1. Thanks for your feedback Steven, I’m glad you found these tips useful.

      ~ Jeff

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