We can have the best task management software and the best productivity systems in place, but again, our efforts to become more productive will not give us the expected results.
What’s the problem? From my personal experience, the biggest challenge in being more productive is exercise.
What does exercising mean for you? I mean to take a system that you will adjust for yourself and start implementing things. However, that doesn’t mean you will automatically become a more productive person. That means starting the process of your own improvements.
Yes, you can’t find something that will do these exercises and improvements instead of you. You are in charge of increasing your own productivity.
Where Your Most Productive Work Happen?
Is what you are working your most productive work? Many times I ask myself where are the places of my most productive work. Why that places allow me to be more productive? Are we most productive at our workplaces?
When I think about the situations when I worked for a larger organization, what comes to my mind is:
- While I am working on something, I receive an email with the subject urgent from the manager as something important for him.
- When I work on something, I receive a phone call from my manager to go to his office to talk about something important to him.
- While I am working on something in the office, one of my colleagues needed help with something important to him.
- When I sit down to continue with my work, it’s time for the scheduled meeting.
- While I am working on something in the office, again, I will need to do something important for someone else.
As you can see, the importance is not for me. It’s for them. How can I be productive with such a distraction for activities that can be part of quadrant 3 from a time management matrix?
Sometimes I can do more things, with better quality when I am not in my office. One of the most creative works from me comes at the places that have nothing with my workplace.
Jason Freed on Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work
Jason Fried from the 37Signals and author of one of the best books that change many things in my mind titled as Rework in a TED presentation talk on “Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work.” You must see this presentation because it will encourage you to think about the many possibilities.
Here are 10 simple steps that can help you in your own exercise to become more productive today.
1. Before you start working, prepare yourself if you want to become more productive entrepreneur
Before you begin with the working activities, you need to have good preparation. You need to know the purpose of your work, what you need to do, and why you need to do that.
Think about things that can mentally prepare you for the day that follows. You can dedicate time for your motivational, educational and spiritual preparations.
2. Make a to-do list with 5 to 10 tasks for today
Before you start working, you need to go through your tasks list and decide what you will work on today.
Don’t make your to-do list more than 5 – 10 tasks. The bigger list will make you ignore it.
3. Group tasks based on context to help you to become a more productive entrepreneur
Different tasks will be in different places and will need different tools. Therefore, for better organization of yourself, it is good to group your tasks in different contexts.
That means you can group your tasks as tasks you need to do in your office, the tasks you need to do on the computer, or the tasks you need to do outside your office.
4. Prioritize your list
Before you start working on your tasks, the good practice is to prioritize them. Because you have a little list grouped in the context, you can easily create priorities for each task on your to-do list.
5. Make your working environment inspirational if you want to become a more productive entrepreneur
Without inspiration, we can’t be productive. Try to find what inspires you and arrange your working environment to have those inspirational drivers who will inspire you to work on things you must do.
6. Turn off all possible distractions
Distractions are productivity killers. Turn them off when you work on your tasks for today.
7. Start working on a first task
When you already have your to-do list, your working environment is prepared for your best efforts to start doing things. You can start with the first task from the list. If you put that task as the priority for you today, then start with exactly that task.
8. If the task needs more time to be done, use short breaks
Use short breaks if your task needs more time to be done. I am using the Pomodoro technique and a PomodoroPro app on the iPhone to manage that short breaks.
9. Before you finish the first task don’t start the second one
I know that sometimes we think that we can do two different things simultaneously. However, multitasking can hurt our productivity.
When you start working on one item from your to-do list, don’t start other without finishing that item.
10. Repeat the process of doing things until the last task
Repeat the process of doing things until you come to the last task finished.