by Maria Gracia
Being productive each day does not come from working
harder, but working smarter.
Here are 9 tips to help you make each day more
1. Get ready the night before.
Whatever you can get done the night before, from laying
out the outfit you plan to wear, to setting the
breakfast table, to checking your To Do list, to filling
your car's gas tank, the more you'll be able to get done
the next day.
2. Use your To Do list.
Don't go through your day in a random, haphazard
fashion. Do one thing at a time as listed on your To Do
list, and cross each task off your list as you complete
3. Set timers.
If you tend to start projects, but get distracted and
get off track, timers can be a huge help. When you begin
a project, set a timer for 15 minutes. If the timer goes
off and you're still working on your project, great! If
it sounds and you're doing something else, immediately
drop what you're doing and go back to your original
project. Keep setting the timer every 15 minutes until
4. Stop trying to be a super hero.
If you can delegate some tasks to your spouse, your
kids, your associates, your co-workers, an outside
source, etc., then do it. Once you take the 'I have to
do it all myself' responsibility off your shoulders,
you'll be able to get more done and feel less exhausted
at the end of the day.
5. Cut the clutter.
Clutter is one of the main barriers of productivity. If
you can't find what you need, or you don't have enough
clear space to work, or you are stressed by the mess,
it's going to be very difficult to get anything done in
a timely manner. Make a promise to yourself to begin
getting rid of the clutter and keep that promise. It's
an important one.
6. Use your computer.
Sound like a silly tip? I know there are thousands
(millions) of people who still are not making use of the
technology available to them. For example, I personally
know three accountants who still use pen, paper and
calculator to calculate financials. Ugh! Take the time
to learn how to use computer tools, such as
spreadsheets, word processing documents and databases.
You cannot calculate, look up, spell check, etc.
anywhere close to the seconds it would take a computer
program to do so for you.
7. Know yourself.
Work on your most important projects and tasks during
the time of day when you feel most energetic and awake.
Determine if you're an early bird or a night owl, and
schedule your projects accordingly.
8. Reduce interruptions.
When working on something, do whatever you can to
eliminate unnecessary interruptions. Put a 'Do Not
Disturb' sign on your door. Allow your voicemail to
field your calls. Turn off the radio and/or the
television. Tell visitors you'll stop by later in the
day when you're done with your project.
9. Get something done, even if it's small.
Try to start and finish your first task of the day.
Completing a project early on is great motivation for
you to continue being productive. I always start my day
with a task or project that I can complete in 15 minutes
or less. Once I'm done with it, I feel energized and
move on to the next task or project of the day with
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