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18 Quick Ways to Improve Your Productivity
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 6:45 AM

Jones Loflin

Jones Loflin, International Speaker and Author

We’re just three months into 2018. Are you still filled with a renewed sense of purpose and determination about accomplishing all the right things this year? If you're like most people (including me), reality has set in, old habits are dragging you down, and you're already feeling overwhelmed.

To help ensure that 2018 continues to deliver the professional and personal results you most want, start implementing some of these 18 strategies into your day:

  1. Budget to zero with your time. You don't just throw your money around (I hope). Why would you do that with your time resources? Have a plan for every minute, even if it’s scheduled to do absolutely nothing!
  2. Create space for thinking about more than the next crisis. Be relentless in looking at what you can delegate, transfer, or automate to make room for more strategic tasks and thoughts.
  3. Develop a better morning routine. Do those things that nourish you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  4. Finish more tasks before starting other ones. You limit your ability to focus on the present moment because your brain is trying to keep up with so many incomplete activities.
  5. Plan your day BEFORE engaging with technology. Whether it's social media, email, or even phone messages, you need to focus on YOUR expectations first.
  6. Set specific times of the day to work with email or social media. You'll be amazed how it helps with information overload and improves your ability to focus more deeply.
  7. Keep a distractions log for one week. Once you discover the most frequent ones, take action on how to minimize their impact.
  8. Have an "end of day" perspective. Ask yourself, "What 3-4 things, if finished today, would give me the greatest sense of accomplishment?"
  9. Plan for all 3 areas of your life every day. We tend to be most strategic about work. Don't forget to include your relationships and personal well-being.
  10. Communicate your priorities to your team-often. Give them more opportunities to be your ally, and not your adversary.
  11. Set time limits on tasks. Use a countdown timer to force yourself to move toward completion.
  12. Remember that sometimes, "Done is better than perfect." Having these items finished frees you up to focus on more important things.
  13. When you feel like things are out of control... STOP. You can't make a course correction if you are traveling too fast to read the map.
  14. Reduce the urge to multitask. Take one task as far as you can with your current resources and information before moving on to another one.
  15. Remember that your productivity is directly correlated with your team's productivity. If you lead or manage people, honestly ask yourself this question: "Have I fully enabled my people to get their work done?"
  16. Manage your time with others by the principle of “Casual relationships deserve casual time.” This quote from the book, Die Empty, really helps me better plan for how I choose to invest my time with other people, making sure the most important relationships in my life don’t suffer.
  17. Have a better end-of-day routine. Allow at least 15 minutes to reflect on the day, finish small tasks you started earlier, and plan for tomorrow.
  18. Celebrate more "harvest moments." Set aside a few moments each day to congratulate yourself for what is getting done instead of beating yourself up for what isn't getting accomplished.

Get more ideas at Jones Loflin’s Resource Page.

JONES LOFLIN is an internationally recognized speaker/trainer and the coauthor of Juggling Elephant and Getting to It, and the author of Getting the Blue Ribbon, and his newest book Always Growing. He has developed and delivered solutions for many Fortune 500 companies in the areas of work life satisfaction, time management, change, and leadership. His client list includes Federal Express, Wal-Mart, Choice Hotels, Toyota, Bridgestone, Saudi Aramco, and State Farm, as well as the United States Navy and Air Force. Jones holds a BS and M.Ed. from North Carolina State University. He is a member of the National Speaker’s Association as well as the Association for Talent Development. For more information, please visit jonesloflin.com or call 800-853-4676.