12 productivity tips to control your work day

Original author: David Finkel
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If you have to scatter your attention throughout the day, these productivity tips will keep you in control of your work time .

1. Start the working day by asking yourself the question: “What ONE thing could I do today in no more than 30 minutes, which will have the greatest impact on my business?” Then do this one thing before starting the others.

I caution you: be extremely realistic about what you can do in 30 minutes. From a larger project, highlight one thing that you can handle in the allotted 30 minutes.

2. Every week, set aside a whole 4-hour period (half a day) for important tasks. In order to deal with issues that add value to the business, we need long periods of time, while for entrepreneurs, time is constantly sprayed into small parts.

Choose one day a week when you can set aside continuous 4 hours to do the most valuable work. For this time, turn off e-mail, lock the door, and possibly even completely leave the office to work in a remote place where no one will distract.

3. Do the “worst” thing first. Instead of wasting your emotional energy, not daring to proceed to this point of the plan, ask yourself every morning: "What is the thing on the list today that scares me the most?" And just do it - right away, without leaving your place. This will release a huge amount of energy that you can apply to other activities.

4. Focus on a few things that really matter.Most successful businessmen share the slogan: "Better is less, but better."

Remember, your attention is not unlimited, so distribute it wisely. Concentrate on doing 1-2 things as best as possible, instead of superficially doing ten.

Making half is often more expensive than not doing at all. If this is an important task, complete it before proceeding to the next.

5. Hire a personal assistant. Most people are afraid that they will not be able to provide enough loading for a personal assistant. From experience working with thousands of business owners, I can say that almost always the situation is the opposite: your assistant will not have a shortage, but an excess of work.

You can instruct him:
  • organize your trip;
  • Find or organize your files
  • update your blog;
  • keep a schedule of meetings;
  • view incoming mail;
  • invoice
  • troubleshoot computer problems when you are not in the office;
  • Record important dates and remind you of them
  • liaise with your team on key issues addressed at the meeting;
  • etc.

6. Hire outside help for every job that costs less than $ 25 / hour so you don’t get distracted from the main thing. For example, hire additional office staff; those who will carry and move things; those who will carry out your small assignments. It is important that you save time to reinvest in activities that are more valuable for the development of your company or in improving the quality of your personal life.

7. To reduce email correspondence, do not rush to respond. Remember, the faster you answer, the more they will write to you again.

8. Do not use your Inbox as a task list.Email is a great way to share information or take quick notes, but it is not suitable as a task manager. To manage your plans, use a list or a special task manager application, not mail.

9. If you schedule a lot of appointments every month, consider using a special application that allows you to do this more efficiently. Just such an application now saves me 5 hours a week by reducing the planning work. (We recommend reading a useful article about 5 new mobile applications that increase your performance )

10. To save time, use a few sample signatures in emails.They can be used to create letterheads and templates for duplicate letters that you or your employees send out.

11. Extinguish “repeated fires” forever. Find a systematic and permanent solution to the three recurring problems that you have to deal with regularly. This can be done by eliminating the cause, or by assigning one of the employees to deal with these issues, having previously trained him. Remember, prevention is almost always better than cure.

12. Increase your tolerance for non-essential tasks. Some things are simply not important. What is your desire to tick the next item in the task list? Often, the best way to accomplish what is planned is to give up several tasks.

PS We recommend another article on the topic - Five misconceptions about productivity that we inspire ourselves.

Translation by Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of MBA Consult

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