5 Ways to Boost Personal Productivity

Are you always looking for a way to stay sharp, gain an edge and boost your personal productivity? If so you are in the good company of a large percentage of the rest of the population of the planet earth. With so much to do and the list seemingly growing every day we are all looking to increase our personal performance if for nothing more than to just make it to tomorrow.

Increasing productivity starts with getting the most out of what skill sets you already have. With that said here are 5 ways to find the productivity improvement you are looking for by ‘fine tuning’ what you already have.

Start Early

The saying ‘early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ is something many of us are familiar with and it holds much truth. Starting your day early gives you the opportunity to take advantage of your energy level while at it highest. Both the mind and body tend to wear down throughout the course of a day so it only makes sense to be sure to get the most out of both while they are at their optimal levels.

Develop a Fitness a Routine

Along the lines of increasing personal performance a fit body will possess more stamina and ‘staying’ power allowing you to stay ‘sharper for a longer period of time. It is also a well known fact that exercise supplies more oxygen to the brain allowing it to function more effectively. So here is what you get for exercising, sharper brains on a more fit body, what more could you ask for?

Also adopting a regular exercise routine will help you fall asleep quicker at night so that you can wake up early the next morning

‘List Out’ Your Day

Developing a daily list of priorities will help you maintain your focus on completing those tasks you judge as important. Generally just simply listing out your ‘day in advance’ will automatically help you prioritize the tasks on your list. As your ‘to do’ list is being developed you can make any necessary adjustments as to scheduling or changes in your priorities. This is a great way of ‘scheduling goals’ on a daily basis!

Strengthen Your Strengths

Any strength you may have can almost ALWAYS be improved upon! One of the best ways of increasing productivity is to simply get better at what you are already good at. Besides if you are good at something you usually also enjoy doing it therefore you will not mind spending more time on it to make improvements.

Work on Your Weaknesses

To get better we sometimes need to venture outside our ‘comfort zone’ which means taking on something we are not good at. By dedicating just a small amount of time each day to work on some of our weaknesses we will begin to see improvements in these areas over a short period of time. After a while we will get better and more comfortable with these ‘former weaknesses’ which will make it even easier to spend more time working on them.

If you are driven it is only natural and quite commendable to want to boost your current personal productivity. With an ever growing list of demands, finding ways to increase our personal performance is the best way to tackle these new challenges. Developing new talents and skills is one way to find the productivity improvement necessary to meet these challenges. Another more practical approach to increasing productivity however and possibly even easier is to further develop the skill sets we already have. The 5 ways to do this as discussed above focuses more on ways to strengthen or better utilize any current assets we have. In this way we can build upon that which we already know thereby making us better at that which we already do.

How to Double Your Personal Productivity in Just 30 Days – 1 – Preparing Your Attack

How often have you said to yourself, “If only I could get twice as much done as I do now!” The good news is, you can… as long as you have the right method and the motivation to change. In this 3-part series, I’m going to teach you a step-by-step method that will allow you to double your personal productivity in just 30 days. Actually, you could do it in a week, but I prefer to allow for the fact that most people aren’t very consistent at applying new information!

1. Scheduling the Time:

As I emphasized in Part-1, you want to schedule your High Value Tasks (HVTs) for times when your mental and physical energies are at their peak, usually first thing in the morning, although that varies from person to person.

Your next decision is how much time you want to set aside for a given task. In general it’s pretty hard to stay focused for more than one hour of solid working time, so dividing your working time into one hour chunks is a smart way to go. Then, even if the task you’re working on takes two hours to complete, you need to schedule at least a 10-15 minute “stretching break” in between your two one-hour chunks to ensure you’re at your best when you start the second round.

The next vexing question is when to STOP working. Do you quit when you say you’re going to quit, no matter where you’re at, or do you plow ahead until, come hell or high water, you’ve completed your entire tasks?

This is where many people get into trouble. The danger of plowing ahead is that you can end up just working and working longer and longer, until your whole day disintegrates into an undifferentiated mass of low-productivity work. And you DO NOT want that. On the other hand, completing a task has such a huge psychological payoff that you won’t want to stop if you’re close to the finish line. So how do you resolve this conflict? Just apply these guidelines:

1. When you’re scheduling a task, first determine how you’ll know when you’ve finished it! Since you may well be working on a sub-task – one component of a larger task – admit that to yourself and make sure you specify what determines completing the sub-task rather than the larger task.

2. Then determine how long the task will likely take. Then add at least 25% as a safety net – most of us consistently underestimate the time we need.

3. If the task can be completed within a one hour time chunk, then you work at it until it’s completed.

4. If the task is a longer task or a more “creative” one where it’s difficult to say how long it will take, then you stop working after your allotted time expires, no matter what.

2. Preparing Your Workspace:

Make sure your work area is clean and neat: a messy environment will compromise your productivity. Be sure to lay out any documents you’ll need in advance and make sure you have any electronic documents or web pages you’ll need open and ready before you begin. Otherwise, you may spend the first 10 minutes of your “working time” just digging up these items and becoming more and more frustrated.

Next, turn your phone’s ringer off and send all incoming calls to voice mail. If you’re in an office and have an assistant, make sure he or she knows you don’t want to be disturbed. If you’re working from home, negotiate with your family so they know to leave you alone as much as possible when you’re really working.

Also, close your email, your Twitter, your instant messaging and any other means of electronic communications you have. If you’re really serious about doubling your personal productivity, you MUST be willing to make your self 100% “available” to your work for defined periods of time, and that means making yourself 100% unavailable to the demands and interruptions of other people while you’re doing a blitz on your HVTs.

3. Before You Start:

Now that you’ve prepared your physical workspace, it’s time to spend a few minutes on your mental workspace. Going into a task fully motivated will significantly improve your productivity, a lesson every athlete knows all too well.

Find whatever inspires you in your work. It could be success stories in your industry, a book about personal effectiveness, time management or productivity, or simply the vision of what you are working towards. Then spend a few minutes reading or thinking about this until you feel “in the zone”. But don’t stop there…

Close your eyes and visualize yourself working on your task. Make sure you FEEL how easily you’ll complete it and the feeling of personal satisfaction that comes from that. Once you can feel all that, then you’re truly ready to begin.

And once you begin, have a timer or stop watch nearby so you can play “beat the clock” – a phenomenal method for keeping your relentlessly focused on the task at hand.

All these preparations – which most people simply skip over – are absolutely critical to doubling your productivity. Without them, no matter how well you’ve prioritized, your execution will be second rate and the time it will take you to complete a given task can easily increase by 3-400%. So resist the temptation to dive into your work without doing these preparatory steps first. At first these steps may seem tedious but once they’ve become a habit for you, you’ll understand how essential they really are.

Join us next time for the third and final installment of this 3-part series on how to double your personal productivity in just 30 days, when I’ll share with you the strategic secrets of flawless execution.

– Dr. Symeon Rodger

Personal Productivity Tips – 3 Ways to Improve Personal Productivity

For today’s busy professionals, productivity is everything. With deadlines looming, product launches coming at us left and right, and a never-ending list of work to complete, it’s absolutely essential to get that work done at the right pace, with the right mindset and to the right level of quality.

There are hundreds of methods out there to improve personal productivity, but all too often they involve sacrificing work quality or lifestyle to achieve. These three tips are completely different.

They’re not about churning out bad work at breakneck speed, they’re about maximizing work speed and quality.

Personal Productivity Tip #1: Use mini to-do lists to boost output.

Sometimes you need affirmation and confirmation that you’re getting work done. By writing simple to-do lists for yourself, you can give yourself a visual confirmation of the amount of work that you’ve achieved, and clearly lay out what you still need to complete.

Try it for yourself — simply make a short list of items on a piece of paper and tick them off as you complete each milestone. Try to keep each list under five items, for too many will cause you to procrastinate and put off work.

Personal Productivity Tip #2: Work at your peak hours.

Sometimes we just don’t feel like working. For some people, there’s a daily cycle of activity, work quality, and personal motivation.

Instead of trying to change these behaviors, it’s often best to work with them. Find your peak working hours and work within them to maximize your productivity and output.

Personal Productivity Tip #3: Don’t use too many tools.

There are hundreds of tools out there that promise to increase personal productivity, but very few of them really do.

Sure, you may speed up some aspects of your work, but more often than not you end up investing too much time in the tool to see any benefit.

Pick and choose your productivity aids carefully, and don’t invest too much of yourself in the assistance of productivity tools.

Personal Productivity Tips – A Super-Optimized Personal Productivity System

In a digital world, productivity is our number one priority. With today’s internet professionals no longer being plagued by inefficient hourly work and set office hours, the burden of working hard is now entirely on us.

As such, we’re presented with two opportunities.

The first is to work at the slow and steady office pace and see our net pay massively decrease. The second is to work at the maximum possible speed, use selective productivity tricks and work-style changes, and earn an income that’s proportionally greater than it ever was before.

The only way to achieve this ideal work goal is to invest some time in a personal productivity system.

Your system doesn’t have to be ultra-optimized or scientifically backed, it just has to be something that works well for you.

Whether that means shaving a couple of hours off your daily work period and making up for it with an increase in work intensity or spending more time each day on learning and research doesn’t matter.

What matters is that you see some big benefits from it. Craft your personal productivity system around your goals, not around the desired results of other people. If you want to devote some time each day to reading, shape your work around times that allow you to read when you want to.

It’s important to remember that productivity isn’t about minimizing the time that you spend on your work. Great productivity is about creating a work system that allows you to live the life that you want. That’s what a personal productivity system is all about.

Create your system to work around what you love doing, maximize the output of what’s most important to you, and allow you to balance your workload and your lifestyle to the degree that you need.

Don’t ever think that you need a personal productivity system built for someone else. Just build it for yourself.