We are energized by getting stuff done and being productive. It’s central to who we are and what we want both personally and professionally. There are many ways to find your happy place in being productive by syncing with a strategy that uses your strengths and your style. Here are 5 strategies to help you be your most productive.
Organizing is a foundation for productivity.
In a 2008 NAPO survey of 400 consumers nationwide: 27% said they feel disorganized at work, and of those, 91 percent said they would be more effective and efficient if their workspace was better organized. 28% said they would save over an hour per day. 27% said they would save 31 to 60 minutes each day.
That was in 2008 and the need for organizing is even greater now. How do you start organizing to be more productive? Start with your desk and your digital desk top. Paper management and digital file organizing are often the biggest challenges. Set up systems for incoming information, documents to reference to and file, and archive information for longer use. Incorporating files into Word and Excel systematically gives you quick access, rather than your computer desktop. Set a time each week to do some organizing to reset your space and gain control of your files. Getting your physical space organized makes it easier to do your work.
People with ADHD tell me that unproductive time occurs when there are too many choices of what to do and too many priorities. That indecision leads to procrastination and slow productivity. Time blocking assigns a task to a time so that there is little or no decision to make. Start with prioritizing to know what is of highest impact and value. Assign that project or task to a high energy time of day. Be sure that time is well protected for that assignment. In this same way, assign self care time as a time block. Often self care falls to the bottom of the list and there is no time do exercise, eat healthy or reset. Having both your highest priority and your self care assigned times through time blocking help you stay productive.
Teamwork can be implemented with many different strategies.
- Be open to expanding your team with those who have time, skill or talent you need. Add team members who do shopping, cleaning, tutoring, child care or tech knowledge.
- Tag team with those in your home. Your partner and you can determine schedules for who does what responsibility when, such as managing online learning or bedtime tuck in.
- Partnering with a team member can be motivating. My best work is partnering with a colleague to work on presentations or work in a client’s space. You and a family member can partner to make dinner together, organize together or clean together.
Getting Things Done (GTD)
It’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of tasks and projects. We have lots of great ideas, however we can’t do it all at the same time. That is where GTD excels.
- Capture all your information in a list or list with categories.
- Host a Weekly Planning time to prioritize, then assign next steps of tasks and projects to time during a week.
- Review the successes of the week and think big about what you want in work and life.
The Pomodoro Method
There are many distractions and you want to be sure to focus during your work times. This method uses a timer set in intervals of 25 -45 minutes alternating with short 5 -1 0 minute breaks between work.
- Research shows the value of timers. Setting a timer helps you get started and complete tasks for a duration that works well with your strengths.
- Adding up the series of intervals, you have completed sustained work for a long time.
- Taking breaks add momentum to your work.
Pick one of these strategies that aligns with your personal strengths and style. It’s a matter of which of these strategies is a good fit for you. It will enhance how much you accomplish and how efficient you are!