How Planning Will Improve Your Personal Productivity

Have a look at the way you work. Do you arrive at your desk with only a vague idea of what you are going to be doing for the rest of the day? On the other hand, do you arrive at your desk with a neat list of 47 things that you must do today because they are number one priority? The third option, is to arrive at your desk, drink your coffee and wait for the phone to ring to tell you about the first crisis of the day.

If this describes you, then you have a problem. It is extremely likely that you will go home at the end of the day tired and unfulfilled. The first description involved no planning. If this is you, then you are setting yourself up for a hard day and an unproductive day. In this situation you will be reactive, not pro-active. In a reactive situation is very hard to be productive because you are at the mercy of other people. Their lack of planning becomes your crisis.

The second situation where you have a neat list of 47 things to do, is totally unrealistic. You won’t finish them all during the day but you will add to them. Even if you put them into priorities, sooner or later the lowest on your priority list will become the highest.

The third situation is the worst. Think about it. It phone didn’t ring, you wouldn’t do anything. This is the ultimate in passive working. At the end of each day you go home exhausted and wondering what you achieved. In reality, you put out a lot of fires. It is amazing, because the people who are good at putting out fires-get lots of them to put out. This means that anyone who has a crisis will call up and ask for help. You are employed to be active and to contribute. Being passive and not planning is giving your employer a bad deal.

How about you try this. Sit at your desk and make a list of the five most important things to do that day. Start off with the hardest and progress through. If, at the end of the day you have not finished your five most important tasks, carry over what is left for the following day and let that be the basis of your list for that day. Alternatively, do your planning at the end of the working day so you come in the following day knowing exactly what you are going to do. This will get you off to a flying start.

Personal productivity is a pro-active activity not a passive one. You will get more fulfillment, more pleasure and be less tired the more productive you are. If you are not planning to be productive, you won’t be.

How to Improve Personal Productivity by Crushing Time Wasters

Now that the year is almost over and you begin to reflect on improving for 2011, let’s focus on time management. How are you at time management? Or as I like to refer to time management, how is your personal productivity?

  • Do you accomplish everything you set out to do in a day?
  • Do you find yourself running from one thing to another?
  • Do you know the “time wasters” in your world?
  • Do you know how to eliminate the “time wasters”?
  • Do you procrastinate?
  • Do you know your priorities?
  • Do you get consumed by email?
  • Do you have time to work on improving your skills?
  • Do you run out of time to accomplish the tasks you want?
  • Do you have enough time for your family?
  • Do you wish you had one more hour in a day?

It is essential for career advancement and leadership to master the art of personal productivity. Like a CEO who leads a worldwide organization cannot afford to waste a single minute when trying to profitably grow their business… and neither can you.

If you started the year off with great intentions and struggled in managing your time, now is a good time to get back on track for. Going through the rest of the year and into next without a good structure in place is not worth the stress and you deserve better.

Begin to identify and crush time wasters- NOW.

Here’s how;

Make a list of all of the things that waste your time and think about what you can do to eliminate them from your day. Then begin to eliminate them one at a time. Alternatively, as you go through the next two weeks, simply record the things that waste your time.

To get you started, here are a few time wasting examples that likely need to be crushed:

* Clutter that leads you to wasting time as you constantly search for things or lose things that then have to be replaced.
* Ineffective meetings that you attend or facilitate where nothing of importance or significance results.
* Wasting time in traffic as you come to work – go home or move around your city /town.
* Misunderstandings of who was going to do what – when. There are many scenarios that can lead to last minute panic and / or resulting in doing things twice.
* What other time wasters do you experience?

Once you identify the things that waste your time and don’t contribute to your success it’s time to eliminate them. Crush them.

In my experience, anything that is a waste of time can be crushed.

If you don’t know how to eliminate them from your day get some help.

Ask your boss, co-worker or a mentor for some help or advice on how to deal with a particular time waster.

As a result of crushing those things that are robbing you of productive time, you will experience less stress, enjoy your work more, be more effective at what you do and enable you to spend valuable time on professional development which will position you for career advancement.

Maintaining Personal Productivity When Working Online

Maintaining personal productivity is crucial for anybody who works online since in most cases you will be working alone! Making an online business successful involves very many tasks all of which must be completed successfully to allow for the growth you need! This can result in mounting pressure on anyone trying to keep up with the daily demands of growing a business on the internet. Our focus here is how a hard working entrepreneur can remain productive even during those times they may not be at their best.

Following you will find 3 suggestions you can use to maintain a consistent level of progress even during your ‘off’ times when growing a business online!

Hit a Snag, Move On

It is inevitable that during the course of any given day that you will come across a ‘snag’ that may take time and thought to figure out! When this occurs move on to something else if you do not seem to be making progress. Anybody who works online ALWAYS has a long list of tasks awaiting completion so choose something else to do and get it done. In this way you have still made progress and your mind will be refreshed when you return to take on your ‘unsolved’ snag!

Bunch Your Tasks

When marketing on the internet many of your duties may be located in the same folder, software or even internet site. When this occurs try to bunch together these tasks for completion while you are at that location. This saves you the time and energy ‘bouncing’ around needlessly from one location to the next! Now you do not have to repeatedly log-in or out of sites, open and close software or even go rummaging through your files to access something you had opened earlier! While you are at any given area of your business get what you have to get there and move on!

Save the Mundane for Later

Certain chores and duties of any online business require more focus and energy while ranking a little higher in your list of priorities. It is these tasks that you should complete when you are at your best and allow yourself tackle the more mundane and less challenging ones later. This decreases the instances of mistakes and if they do occur it will likely be something that is not as significant. The key to growing a business online is to minimize mistakes in key areas and devoting your time and energy while you are at your best to these areas will help accomplish this.

Your personal productivity is very important for growing a business since it supplies much needed momentum and motivation! Most anybody who works online is going it alone therefore their every effort is crucial. Making an online business function smoothly and successfully involves the completion of many tasks to make this happen. Considering that nobody can be at their best all the time the 3 suggestions offered above serve to help you use your time and skills wisely and efficiently. Following these suggestions anyone who works online can maintain a consistent and productive level of output allowing them to stay focused, motivated and always moving forward! It is this momentum that is required for making an online business a huge and profitable success!

Improve Your Personal Productivity by Careful Goal Setting

Setting goals is one of the most important activities that you can possibly do to raise your personal productivity. By having a predetermined end result you will find that your day-to-day activities will be much more focused. Once you’ve got a goal, you can instantly assess whether or not your current activities will contribute towards the achievement of it.

For example your goal may be to improve the productivity of your section by 13% in the next five months; acquiring five new customers every two months; being promoted to the next level before the end of the year or finishing another two papers in the next six months.

There are certain attributes that are contained within effective goals.

The goal must be demanding. This is the most important quality of the goal because it motivates us to do our very best. You’ll be surprised that when you set a demanding goal how easy it is to exceed it. It’s sometimes very easy to set lower goals.

The goal must be achievable. On the other hand, don’t make your goals unrealistically high because this will only lead to disappointment and frustration. This may cause you to give up. Goals that clearly cannot be reached, will destroy your morale and with it, your motivation.

The goal must be specific and able to be measured. If you have a vague goal you will never know when, or even if, you have achieved it. A goal such as, “To read more” is of little value. It is not a measurable goal because it doesn’t state how much you are going to read and what you were going to read. If you state your goal in the form of, “I am going to read the daily paper every day before going to work” it is much more specific and it is easy to measure. When you have a specific goal you have something to aim at and an easy way to know if you have succeeded.

The goal must have a deadline. The goal without a deadline does not provide the motivation to take it seriously. The deadline is an important function in goal setting. It provides a sense of urgency as well as a way of tracking progress. A deadline also puts the goal in context with the rest of your activities. These elements greatly increase the chance of the goal being achieved.

The goal must be written down. If you don’t write down the goal, you are not utilizing the well-known fact that we remember things that we write and say rather than the things we think. All serious goal setters write down their goals, tell other people about them and keep them visible so they can see them frequently.