be more productive in 2014

January 7th, 2014

by: Kelly Barnes

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow”

~Mark Twain

We are one week into the new year and if you are like me you need some tools, tips and a little motivation to keep you focused on making 2014 a productive year. Use the following tips to help you avoid procrastination.

1. Have a to-do list.

It seems simple but I am talking about the right kind of to-do list. The to-do list for your business should not have items such as “do the laundry” or “DVR the new Modern Family.” Make sure your to-do list has…

  • Actionable items. Things you can actually perform.
  • Priorities first. I always ask “if there were only 3-5 things I could do today what would they need to be?”
  • Been completed the night before. Resist adding to it throughout the day as this will distract you from your priorities.

2. Be in charge of your time.

Most people let their time and schedule dictate their actions. Personally, I get the least done when I have the most time to do it. If I have a day where there are things I need to do but nothing I have to do, I will schedule any appointments, calls or meetings early so I don’t have time to waste away. Remember; a body in motion stays in motion while a body at rest stays at rest.

3. Productivity Windows and Gap Time

My good friend and speaking associate Rhett Laubach (Click here for Rhetts site) is one of the best when it comes to getting things done. Rhett teaches the importance of these two tools:

1. “Productivity Windows.” These are the most productive “chunks” of our time. Find out when those are for you and use them.

2. “Gap Time.” These are the moments we have everyday that are usually waisted. The 3 minutes in line for coffee, 20 minutes on the bus or the time you spend waiting to get your car serviced. Plan ahead and use these moments to respond to e-mails, write thank you letters or return phone calls. I am sure you can find a few hours each week that you waste in 5-15 minute periods.

Think about how much more time you would have to spend with your friends and family if you just utilized your gap time.

4. Stay Focused.

I read a study that says on average we are distracted from our work about every 11 minutes and that it takes about 25 minutes to get our mind back to that same level of optimum performance. Put the cell phone away, turn off the notifications on your computer and focus intensely on your work.

Make it a habit…