Regardless of how successful they already are, most entrepreneurs and business leaders would like to become more productive and efficient. Of course, the busy-ness of running a company and managing others can create a great amount of stress, which leads to exactly what we don't want: decreasing productivity levels.
Here are 5 proven ideas and strategies for increasing your productivity that have tremendously benefited my life as well as the hundreds of thousands of people that I speak to each and every year.
1. Use your calendar to your advantage.
Most people use their calendar as a tool to simply remember birthdays and special events, but this is greatly undermining the true power that your calendar can serve to increase your productivity. A simple strategy that can work absolute wonders is to schedule your major tasks for the day. That’s right, don’t just create a to-do list of all the things you have to do the next day, but time block all of your most important tasks and projects that need to get done. The saying, “What gets scheduled gets done” holds an incredible amount of truth to it. Give it a try.
2. Plan your day in advance.
Sounds like such a simple thing to do and a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of people who wake up in the morning without a plan of action for the day ahead. Planning your day in advance helps you to get a good nights rest as you no longer have to stay up all night trying to remember all of the things that you have to get done the next day. It also helps you to wake up passionate and excited to attack your day as you already know exactly what you have to do instead of pondering and wasting precious time trying to make a plan.
3. Perfect your morning routine.
Perfecting your morning routine is crucial for you to take your productivity to the next level and set yourself up for a massively successful day. How we start our day is a great indicator on how the rest of our day is going to go. Most of the successful people I've met have, at some point, brought up their morning routine and how much it meant to them. Find something that works for you and start scheduling it in your calendar. An example of what mine looks like is getting a great workout in first thing in the morning, then reading an inspirational/uplifting book for 15-20 minutes, meditating, taking a look at my daily and yearly goals, and then writing in my gratitude journal. Get serious about your morning routine!
4. Develop a sense of urgency.
A lack of urgency hinders so many people from not only increasing their productivity levels, but also from reaching their full potential and achieving their biggest goals and dreams. I have written down on a notecard, “DO IT NOW!” that I take with me everywhere I go and I look at this notecard anytime I notice that I’m second guessing myself or procrastinating on a certain task or project. When I glance down at this notecard, it instantly reminds me the power of taking action and moving forward with a sense of urgency. Create a trigger for yourself that works for you. Whether it’s writing a reminder on a notecard or in your notes section on your smartphone, try to constantly remind yourself to get moving.
5. Become obsessed about limiting distractions.
We live in such a noisy and distracting world that if you don’t make an intentional effort to limit the amount of distractions when it’s time to work, it’s a guarantee that your productivity will take a hit. A typical day for a huge majority of the population consists of logging onto their computer first thing in the morning, checking their Facebook, sending out a few emails, taking a coffee break, chatting with coworkers, and then getting some tedious work done for the rest of the day. Keep breaks to a minimum, limit the chatter with co-workers, and stop searching the internet when it’s actually time to get some meaningful work done.