Wednesday, September 26, 2012

5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity

How can I get more done? That’s a question we have all asked ourselves at one time or another. Our days are packed with meetings, emails, projects, to-do lists, errands, etc. How often have you reached the end of the day and wondered “just exactly what did I accomplish today?” You do not need more time; what you need is to take control of your days. Your productivity will skyrocket when you take back control of your day.

What controls can I put in place you ask? Try these five:

1. Schedule your email. Do not leave your email window open at all times and un-click the option to play a sound when emails arrive. That little chime is like a siren’s song – calling you to come and see. And every time you react like a pavlovian dog your productivity drops. Check your email at scheduled times. Say four times a day, and not first thing in the morning. Remember – you need to control your time and if you check email first thing when you get up or when you get to the office you are immediately entering a reactionary mode. The email requests and updates now have your attention and end up dictating your agenda. Better to wait, formulate a plan for the day and prioritize your must do’s before charging into your email. I tell all my associates that email is for non-urgent communication. If something is urgent and I need to know or make a decision immediately then they better be ringing my phone and speaking directly to me.

2. Prioritize tasks. What are your must do’s today? What deadlines are approaching? Take a few moments at the beginning of your day to list out the tasks you need to work on today. Not want to work on. The want list is easy and pulls us in the wrong direction. Focus on the needs. Circle the top two or three and make that the focus of your time today. Completing the “need” to do items each and every day adds up. Instead of doing a little work on a lot of different things you will complete the really important tasks in their entirety. You will feel better and others will notice.

3. Schedule Power Blocks. Make sure to schedule uninterrupted blocks of time into your day. Two to three 45-90 minute blocks of time. Close your door, imagine your legs chained to your desk chair and really dig into your “need to do” items. One at a time. This one tip alone will push your productivity to a much higher level. Set a timer if you want and keep your head down and working for the full time. Chances are you will get more done in just one power block than the rest of your entire day. Don’t believe me? Try it for a few days; you will be glad you did.

4. Daily Contact List. Make a list each day of people to reach out to. Colleagues that you need to give information to. Business contacts that you want to stay in touch with (keep your network strong). Vendors, companies, or co-workers you need information from. Keep the list short and focused and then make it a point to make contact before you go home with each person on your list. Try to include at least one networking contact each day.

5. Take a break. That’s right. Take breaks during the day. Get up. Walk around. Get the blood flowing and the muscles working. Every 90 minutes at the most, get up from your desk and move. Even a short two to three minute break helps increase circulation to re-energize your body and your brain.

Productivity is all about taking control. You need to control your day and work in focused bursts of activity. By taking some time each morning to make a plan, and then working your plan, you will become more and more productive.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Quote for the Week

"A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change." -  Earl Nightingale

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Quote for the Week

Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines practiced every day, while failure is simply a few errors in judgment repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure. – Jim Rohn

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let Your Greatness Shine Through

There is greatness within you. Everyone has gifts to offer the world. Everyone has talents and strengths that are unique to them which help to enrich the world. We are all different – both on the outside and on the inside. That is what makes each of us so fantastic. That is exactly why we need to share our greatness.

You may be like a lot of people who either do not feel comfortable sharing themselves or who feel they have nothing to offer. Poppycock. The differentiating factor between those leading a successful, fulfilling and happy life and those who are not is the ability to let their greatness shine forth.

Share what you love with others. Share your thoughts with others. Sure, that can be a risk but it is only by taking that risk that you find like minded individuals. Sharing your true self with others is liberating. Some people may laugh at you, some may not fully understand or appreciate your talents, but they have no power over you.

Are you living your truth? Perhaps you have encountered that question before. You may have read it in books, heard it in interviews or heard from the pulpit. What is your truth? You may not have given it much thought before. What better time to start thinking about it than now? What makes you tick, what is important to you, what makes you happy, what activities are you drawn to. These are important questions.

How do you want to spend your days? Being truthful to yourself and letting your light bathe the world around you, or pretending  to be something altogether different and hiding your light from the world.
The greatness that is you is only evident when you are being yourself and participating in activities that are important to you. True success is found only when you are honest with yourself and choosing a path in life that is congruent with whom you are on the inside. Stop planning your life around measuring sticks like income level or career title. Get truthful with yourself, spend your time in the areas you truly love and life’s riches will always find you. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but they will find you.

Share the greatness that is you with the world around and everyone will see your beacon. You will become a magnet for opportunity. You will attract people from all areas who want to learn from you , work with you and help you succeed. Ask any successful person for advice on success and they will tell you to be true to yourself. Let your greatness shine through.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Quote for the Week

"A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."- Tony Robbins

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quote for the Week

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become character,
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.
Frank Outlaw