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Advanced Productivity Power Tips

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Advanced Productivity Power Tips

  1. 1. ADVANCED PRODUCTIVITY POWER TIPS Putting you on the straight path to super productivity
  2. 2. BE THE ENTREPRENEUR YOU DESIRE TO BE… HavingworkedwithandcoachedhundredsofbusinessownersoncreatingproductivehabitsJillpullsherexperience andskillstogetherinthisamazingresourcethatcanliterallychangeyourworldandtheworldaroundyou. Jill Chitty Grow Unlimited grow@jillchitty.co.uk "...when we look at people who are able to 'do more' than we do, often it's simply because they manage their time better. One of our biggest challenges when it comestocapitalizingontime: Wedon'treallyknowhowwespendit.’’LauraShin
  3. 3. Productivity Power Tips If you aren’t as productive as you would like to be, it’s because you have trained your brain through weeks, months and years to form unproductive habits. Habit change is never easy, so rather than relying on willpower alone here is a guide to assist you to create some new habits step by step. But before we even begin there’s one thing you must do… STOP THE EXCUSES!!! They are well planned lies which you have formed before you even begin your task or day which lets you off the hook for anything you don’t complete on. Nobody believes your excuses except for you. Stop settling for mediocrity and
  4. 4. Your Time Vampire #1 Emails One of the easiest way to lose hours of your precious day is by allowing other people’s agenda to become yours. So when you’re continually responding to emails you will achieve absolutely nothing. Q1: Do you read your emails before do anything else each day? Q2: Do you keep your Outlook open all day? Q3: Do you answer emails every time you’re alerted to a new one arriving? Q2: Are you overwhelmed by the number of emails you receive each day? If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions you will be slowing down your productivity and minimising focus. If you answered ‘yes’ to all 4 then you are in self- sabotage mode.
  5. 5. The Way Forward Pick two or three times a day when you check your emails and schedule these times in to your day, but make sure you use your peak energy hours for your best work and not answering emails.  Turn of your email notification alerts. If you don’t, it’s like putting candy in front of a child – just impossible to resist!  UNSUBSCRIBE from so many newsletters – you don’t need them and you probably read very few of them and you can always sign up again if you miss them.  Create Folders like ACTION, ARCHIVE, NON-ESSENTIALS, READ LATER etc. so that EVERY email that comes in is either deleted or move to the correct Folder.  Don’t react to material in the email and click through only to get lost in a sea of Google activity. If it’s really important schedule it in.  Use the phone. Email isn’t meant for conversations. Don’t reply more than twice to an email. Pick up the phone instead. Don’t give in to your email addiction!
  6. 6. Your Time Vampire #2 Social Media Another of the easy way to lose hours of your precious day is by getting swallowed up into the social media black hole. Before you know it you’ve wasted a whole day and achieved nothing. Q1: Do you randomly check facebook at unspecified times of the day? Q2: Do you keep any or all of your social media platforms open all day? Q3: Do you respond to messages every time you’re alerted to a new one coming in? Q2: Do you lose yourself in clicking through to links to view pictures and videos? If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions then you will be slowing down your productivity. If you answered ‘yes’ to all 4 then you are in self sabotage mode.
  7. 7. The Way Forward Pick two or three times a day when you connect with people on your social media platforms but use a timer so that you limit your productivity and focus leakage.  Turn of your message alerts. Your inquisitiveness will kill you if you don’t!  SCHEDULE posts that you wish to put out there using platforms like Hootsuite so you don’t actually have to access facebook etc. until you’re ready to. Post scheduling can be part of your daily plan and can be done when it suits you.  Be really clear what you want to get out of your social media for your business – when you have clarity on that your behaviour is more likely to follow.  If you see an interesting article ask yourself ‘will it make the boat go faster?’ If it’s really important to your business schedule it in. DON’T dive right in there and then! Don’t become a professional social media surfer with a business on the side!
  8. 8. Your Time Vampire #3 Telephone Answering Once again answering the telephone means that you are falling prey to other people’s agenda and stopping the flow of productivity in your own business. I know this sticks in the throat of a lot of business owners and it isn’t the right course of action for everyone but here are some of my tips to reducing the sabotage effect of answering your telephone every time it rings! If an answering service isn’t an option use a creative recorded message that positions you Diarise times during the day when you can answer an incoming call. Otherwise turn off the ringer and any flashing lights. If you do pick up the phone schedule them in for a time that fits in with you where you can give them more time to answer their queries.
  9. 9. To Be the most productive you possibly can on a regular basis you need to create the right environment both internally and externally. It’s much easier to make changes to your external environment but the internal, the thinking environment usually needs a bit more work. So, we’ll start with the external environment …
  10. 10. Your Outer Environment Keep a clean, tidy and de-cluttered desk and office. Mess creates stress so clear it all out. (Andre Agassi said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). If you have piles of papers in your office it’s simply that you haven’t yet decided what to do with them or where to put them so create some systems and folders. Turn of all the blips and bleeps in your office that will break your focus. Un-clutter your desktop by sorting your icons and folders – it will save you hours each year! Get fit! Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity. Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done. Sleep well. Productivity is severely reduced if you’re fatigued. Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.
  11. 11. Your Inner Environment Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action. ‘Don’t get paralysed by perfection. Your business isn’t made in a single ideal moment. It’s a collection of good and great moments that add up over time.’ Art Markman Do one thing you don’t want to do...remember this sentence, tape it to your monitor, tattoo it on your wrist: You don't have to 'feel like' doing something in order to do it. Simply feel the resistance and direct you limbs to do the work. Stay in the moment. If you feel overwhelmed (like pretty much everyone), it might not be because you have so much to do, but rather that you are trying to do too much at the same time. Create a list of the thoughts and ‘to dos’ that you hold in your head and when you find an unexpected 15 minutes you can review or action them. At the beginning of the day be in agreement with yourself as to how you’re going to think and behave in the day ahead of you. Why not create a mantra? If you fall of the horse, and you will, don’t make a huge deal about it. Simply brush yourself down and get back on… it’s what the super successful do. Deal with something only once. Do it now. Then it’s off your mind, and you can fully focus on the next matter.
  12. 12. The Disease of today’s business owner sneaks up on us and we don’t even realise we have fallen prey to its cunning. It literally stops productivity in its tracks yet has us believe that we’re being super productive. If we fall prey to this disease we are likely to look back and wonder where our business, family and life has gone because we always thought we were working so hard. The disease in mention, my friends is… MULTI-TASKING.
  13. 13. THE DISEASE OF MULTI-TASKING Just because you can do six things at once doesn’t mean you should! But the little known fact is that multi-tasking makes you suck at everything. We have a finite amount of awesome in our brain. Every time we have to shift back and forth between tasks, we use up some of that awesome to get back on target. Because we’re constantly changing our focus – from writing or problem solving, to email reading and chat conversing – we never get good at the thing we really need to do. Constantly multitasking can be mentally depleting. Mental fuzziness comes from the fatigue from constantly switching from one activity to another to another without focusing on one task. No, seriously—stop. Switching from task to task quickly does not work. In fact, changing tasks more than 10 times in a day makes you dumber than being stoned. When you’re stoned, your IQ drops by five points. When you multitask, it drops by an average of 10 points, 15 for men, five for women (yes, men are three times as bad at multitasking than women are).
  14. 14. Yes, you can walk and chew gum at the same time. You can fold laundry while talking to a friend on the phone. Clowns can ride a unicycle while juggling brightly coloured balls. These are role tasks that don’t demand a lot of brain power. But in most cases, multitasking = lesstasking. When you make those shifts from one context to another, you risk dropping things from your short-term memory. Do one thing at a time, minimize context shifts, maximise brain power! If you are writing an article, paper, or memo, JUST write that article, paper, or memo. If you are checking email, respond or filter EVERY email in the inbox, and then move on. If you are updating a spreadsheet for work, ONLY update that spreadsheet. STOP MULTI-TASKING! In order to do that, you need to remove distractions from your workspace so that you can ONLY focus on what you’re doing. It may not be easy to crack this habit so set rewards for yourself when you have completed fully on one job. Go for a walk, make a coffee, relieve yourself or have a 5 minute chat. This stuff works!
  15. 15. How We Organise our day can make a huge difference to the amount we achieve. Your organisational skills are going to be a crucial element in the mastering your time. This next list of helpful tips isn’t going to work for everyone as we’re all so wonderfully different. I suggest you genuinely apply an organisational rule and if it doesn’t work for you try another until your content with your level of productivity.
  16. 16. Super Organised #1 Shrink Your Mental Deadlines. If you think something is going to take an hour, give yourself 40 minutes. By shrinking your mental deadlines, you work faster and with greater focus. Create a ‘Stop Doing’ list is as important as a ‘To Do’ list. A ‘“To Do’ list is easy, you just keep adding to it and the more you have on it, the more important you may feel. But ‘Stop Doing’ is more difficult because you have to give up some things. Schedule time to focus on the Big Picture; it will help you to know exactly where you’re going each day and what you want to achieve. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks. Writing “launch company website” at the top of your to-do list is a sure way to make sure you never get it done. Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less: Sketch a map, outline an introduction for the homepage video, etc. That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.
  17. 17. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals. Your brain uses up more glucose than any other bodily activity. Typically you will have spent most of it after 60-90 minutes. (That’s why you feel so burned out after super long meetings.) So take a break: Get up, go for a walk, have a snack, do something completely different to recharge. Run routines. If you study the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion. Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity. Trash Your To-Do List Our biggest problem is the to-do list. A giant to-do list can paralyze you. Instead, make yourself a separate, shorter daily list, known as the hit list. Ask yourself every night, 'If I get nothing else accomplished tomorrow, what are the two or three things that I would absolutely have to complete to make me feel as if it were a productive day? That's what goes on your hit list.
  18. 18. Super Organised #2 Focus on Your Core Competencies - the things that we do best and that other people can't do for us. Focus on only doing your BIW (Best In World). As for everything else? Ignore, minimize or outsource. Check In Once not multiple times. Rather than visiting the same person seven times a day make a list and visit that person once a day. This doesn't just work well for business. It works equally well with co-workers and friends. Ask Why? We have so many things presenting themselves as a business owner that sometimes we forget to ask a vital question: 'Why am I doing this?' Maybe there's a good reason, and then you can remind yourself that it's important, but maybe there isn't.“ And if it's not getting you closer to the life you want, it's off the list. Get things right the first time. Most of us are wildly distracted these days. And so we make a huge amount of mistakes. To unleash your productivity become one of a rare breed who have the mind set to get it right first time. This saves you days of having to fix problems. Get up early. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.
  19. 19. Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. Spend some time in the café, park or store restaurant. Turn off your devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. I often spend hours at a time in the cafe of a National Trust Park miles from anywhere. There’s no signal there so I can think, dream, create, and plan. I get massive results. Get up early. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life. Bolt together activities of similarity. So, if you have outside meetings or activities do those in one go. If you have different phone calls to make bolt those together in one time slot and if you have lots of emails to respond to bulk them up together and get them done in one go – you will get into the ‘zone’ and get them done much more efficiently. Keep your door closed with a strong notice on it – ‘Please don’t interrupt unless the building is on fire.’ This way you’re preventing unwelcomed interruptions. (You don’t need to leave it on 24/7!) Engage your Team in any new habits you decide to introduce otherwise you’re doomed and your good intention will be eroded because you will be like a salmon swimming against the stream of old habits. It’s crucial to enlist your team with a good understanding of why the changes need to happen and perhaps some rewards thrown in for good measure!
  20. 20. For Many of us technology may enhance our productivity on daily basis for others of us they are the very thing that may detach us from being fully productive. Here are some resources, technical and non-technical for you to look into where ever appropriate.
  21. 21. Resources Keep a simple spreadsheet. To use this method, make a basic two-column table in something like Google Docs, Evernote, or even Excel. Then, using the built-in stopwatch on your phone, log the time it takes you to complete each task. Alternatively, make a three column table and log the start and end times. Use an app like Toggl. This free app for iOS, Android, and your desktop; it streamlines the process of tracking time. The interface is minimal, giving you the tools to describe the activity and initiate a timer. When you've completed the task, stop it, and it will be added to the log. I was astounded when I first started using it because generally every project I worked on was easily 2-3 times longer than anticipated. It really showed me how unfocused I was. Use the timer on your mobile to allow you a certain time to spend on each task. Again it gives you a real heads up to get focused and lets you know clearly if you are being accurate on the predicted time you gave yourself for each task. As you start to increase your productivity keep a log of just how much of your day you are productive. On a blank piece of paper create a table with fifteen minute slots and fill it in as you go throughout the day. You’ll be surprised how quickly you hijack yourself!
  22. 22. Trick Your Brain Into Focusing. Time and time again, science has shown that though you may not be tuned into the noises in your workplace, those ambient sounds are chronic stressors over time. Chatter, munching, and typing can all negatively affect your ability to be productive and focus on a task. That's where an app like White Noise (Android, iOS) comes in. By filling your ears with ambient noise (like pink noise, white noise, or even sounds like water running), other noises are washed out, allowing you to focus on your task. Not only will you reap the benefits of shutting out office noises, but the pink noise will cue your brain, letting it know it's time to be productive.
  23. 23. Now It's Your Turn… By no means is this a formula or magic system that promises to solve all your time management problems. But some combination or adaptation of the above suggestions should seriously improve your productivity. Experiment with different methods, and don't be afraid to try something new - just don't waste too much time on it. Take small steps and do them thoroughly to be one of the rare few who becomes super- productive. Enjoy :-) Jill x Contact Jill on (01452) 417696 or grow@jillchitty.co.uk

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