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BizReport : Internet : March 07, 2017

Top 4 tips to improve productivity

Productivity is a big struggle, whether in the workplace or out of it, and across demographic boundaries. In the digital age, productivity is more important than ever. Here are four tips to help improve productivity.

by Kristina Knight

Focus on mission-critical activities.

"Be clear about the activities you do on a daily basis that advance the strategic plan of your business. Make sure these mission critical activities get done first. As a business owner that likely means a focus on things like new product development, prospecting and leading your team. Do not get bogged down with tasks like unnecessary meetings and checking e-mail," said Cornelia Shipley, Leadership Development Strategist.

Plan big rocks first.

"I see many leaders with long to-do lists where large strategic goals are given the same weight as routine tasks. Then there is the struggle for the ever illusive work-life balance. In my opinion there is no such thing. It is about creating an integrated life that includes work, family, friends and fun. To do this you have to put those things that are most important on your calendar first! This includes critical work and personal priorities. Once you have done that you can plan the rest of your tasks around what you value most," said Shipley.

Invest 15 minutes to save two hours.

"Be intentional about planning your time from week to week. Whether on Friday evening, Sunday afternoon, or Monday morning, sit down for 15 minutes to take stock of what did or did not get done the previous week, make adjustments to your expectations, and move forward with intention. Decide the top three things you need to get done this week both your personally and professionally. Schedule those things first along with time to complete the two or three mission critical tasks that will move your business forward," said Shipley.

Calendar everything.

"Whenever I start working with a new client they inevitably tell me they have a to do list a mile long and no time to get their actual work done. I have found this occurs because most people fail to actually schedule time to get their actual work done. If you have a presentation to deliver you should have both the presentation and the preparation time on your calendar. To-do lists account for what you have to do but fail to allot for the time it will take to complete the task. By calendaring everything you can more easily see the capacity you have available for new responsibilities and can more effectively manage your capacity. This only works if you honor your schedule. Now if something needs to be changed or an emergency arises, be sure to reschedule the affected activity. If it is important enough to put on your calendar it is important enough to reschedule when the need arises," said Shipley.

Tags: Cornelia Shipley, digital productivity, productivity tips, work productivity

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