In part 1, of this series on productivity, I provided the first 4 strategies for the best ways to improve your productivity. In this post, I want to focus on the remaining strategies that high-achieving women utilize:
5. Delegate properly. Delegation is to productivity as a hammer is to a nail.
The most common complaint is that delegating work gives the manager or business person even more to do; because they have to supervise someone else’s work as well as doing their own.
This is so wrong, wrong, wrong! If you assign a task to someone and then supervise him/her closely while they’re doing the task, you are micro managing, not delegating.
When you delegate properly, you have more time to spend on your own work. The key is to assign the right task to the right person, a person you know has the skills to do the job and that you can trust to get it done – and then leave them to it.
If you don’t have staff that you can delegate tasks to? Remember that outsourcing is just as good.
- Eliminate distractions. My best advice: feed the eagles (this is those things that really matter) and starve the turkeys (lots of things are right in front of you … pecking around, making noise, and demanding attention).
It is always easy to pay attention to the turkeys because they are right in front (email and social media) of you but look for the eagles – they bring the most value to your day.
7. Plan your phone calls. Unless you are expecting a super-important phone call, turn off your phone when you’re about to work on a project that needs your full attention.
Set aside a block of time to make all your outgoing calls so you waste less time trying to reach people and more time talking to the people you actually want to talk to.
If you’re working on something that doesn’t need your full attention, feel free to leave your phone on and answer calls; it saves you from having a batch of phone calls to return at some point during your day.
8. Break up work periods with exercise. Studies have shown that physical activity enhances brain function especially if exercise is done during work hours.
If you don’t have a company gym, you can walk during your lunch hour, stretch or do squats during break times. It’s time to get creative and get moving during work hours.
9. Be optimistic. Studies have shown that happier people have 12% greater productivity than those who are not as happy. So if you’re not a naturally optimistic person, this is the kind of optimism you want to cultivate – and the good news is that you can.
10. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep decreases concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity, and logical reasoning.
If you persistently work more than 40 hours a week, your productivity drops – when you are tired mistakes are made.
So the extra hours you are putting in are absorbed by correcting the error that you made because of the tiredness. The fifty to sixty-hour workweeks become rather pointless.
Did you know that taking a nap (10 to 15 minutes – lunchtime) during the day could be really beneficial to your productivity.
- Take care of yourself.
Getting enough sleep and make exercise part of your routine are just two of the things you need to do everyday to be at your best and most productive. Eat healthy and drink lots of water.
The healthier you are, the more productive you’ll be – and the more productive you are with your work, the more time you’ll have to spend however you choose.
Finally, my most productive time is in the morning. Knowing when you are most productive and working on what really needs done during your productive time help you to accomplish so much more.
Between 4:30 and 5:00 PM my mind starts to wander, so I plan my social media time during this time – things that are more fun and don’t require my full attention.
Of course, if I need to finish something, I do. However, it’s easy to plan your day this way and work when you are at your best.
Stay tuned for part 3 of this series on productivity
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