One of the most valuable tools you have in personal productivity is you. If you can tame the beast and discipline yourself, your productivity can skyrocket. Here are some tips.
- Multi task. Most of what we do in a day can be combined with something else. Like everyone else, I spend much time driving. I combine that with listening to podcasts, returning calls, or mulling over projects in my head. If a thought comes I jot it down on paper. Driving just to get from one place to another and doing nothing else is a huge waste of time.
- Single task. There are some projects that are so critical, they demand my extreme attention. For example, I do my most critical teaching work on Tuesday mornings. During this time I do nothing else but teaching prep. My mind wants to wonder but I know it cannot. I can’t afford it.
- Don’t read everything. There is simply too much information and not enough time. Most of what we read is useless information. One more opinion about a topic is probably not going to move me closer to my goals. I have cut back my feed-reader and am very selective about my blog selection.
- Limit TV. By age 71, we have watched 10 years of TV. The average American watches 3-4 hours of TV a day. Stop complaining that you need more hours in the day. We just need to shove more day in the hours.
- Start day with Life Journaling (daily devotions). This is the beginning of my day. It sets the tone for what is to come and is where I connect to God. I eat breakfast while I journal, multi-tasking.
- Don’t waste time in meaningless conversation. I don’t want to sound cold, but there is a time for high productivity and a time for casual conversation. If we let those bleed in and out of each other we take attention away from from what we need to get done. Be social. Take time with friends. Don’t do it in the middle of your important projects.
- Do less. You can’t do everything. Pick the things you can do better than most and work like mad on those. Let someone else do the things you are not good at. You, and your team, will be better off.
Next time we will look at personal health and productivity.