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5 Simple Productivity Strategies

5 simple productivity strategies

 

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.

Get Organized

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.

 

Time Blocking

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

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!

Delegating and Team Building at Home

delegating and team building

You come home after work and start the 2nd shift.  There’s always more to do than time to do it.  Gather your family around you and think delegate, a.k.a. team building!

 

There are a few ground rules that apply at home, that don’t apply at the office.  The complexity of family relationships makes delegating at home more challenging than at work. But it is not impossible.  Truly applying team building makes this happen!

 

Begin with the family motto of “we’re all in this together!”  Start with a family meeting to talk about what this means.  Keep it simple but think through all the responsibilities at home and create a list of the options.  There are lunches and dinner to make, groceries to buy, laundry to do, lawns to mow, toilets to clean and more.  So getting a list together that hits on the most important tasks is a starting point.  Here is where we start being creative!

·                 Works from family members’ strengths. Who is great at what? Give your family jobs they do well rather than struggle with.

·                 Give the chores different point values by “difficulty” of completion.  Bathroom and toilet 3 points, kitchen clean up 2, dusting 1.

·                 Create partnerships to complete the chores, such as mom/sister make the dinner, dad/other daughter do the dishes.  It is always more fun with a partner.

·                 Set a time everyone does the same task.  Set the kitchen timer, turn on the high energy music, or sing the clean up song. 

·                 Set a standard of completion everyone agrees on.  What does it mean to have the dishes “done” or the laundry “complete”?  Set a time frame for completion. Emptying a dishwasher after the dishes are piled in the sink defeats the purpose. 

·                 Put aside your perfectionism.  Encourage your family to do their best job, even if it is not to your standards, the manner in which you would do it or at the speed you would do it.   

·                 Affirm each family member’s contribution each week.  Praise goes a long way in getting things done.

·                 Create a chores chart and post it in a common space.  It is the chart that reminds the family, rather than the parents.

·                 Incentivize your family’s work.  Incentives can be whatever works for you, but the simpler the better.  

·                 Use this method for every day responsibilities and upcoming family events, including holidays, birthdays and special occasions.

·                 Make it fun!  Everyone wants to work together when the atmosphere is relaxed and happy. 

 

 Great resources are available on www.familymanager.com including lists, charts and more!  How does team work happen in your family?