A while ago I listened to the legendary Dave Dee and Dan Kennedy, as they were launching their program. In one of the webinars Dave was giving practical advise on how to schedule your day, starting from the tasks that need to be done, not the fun ones and so on. His personal secret is napping, by the way. So I decided to ask this question
“What is your best productivity tip?”
from other bloggers all over the internet (actually posted it to some forums I’m a member of) and here are the answers I got:
1. Listen to your body clock. If you’re a natural night owl and do your best work after hours, then create a routine around that. There’s no point in following the widely accepted advice of waking up early. It works for people who do their best work then.
If that’s not you, productivity will elude you no matter how hard you try. Take it from a night owl who spent years trying to conform to the norm. It doesn’t work. Now I work from 11 pm – 3 am and sleep in till 10 am after sending the kids to school.
– Samar Owais, FreelanceFlyer.com –
2. I end my workday (may be as late at 2:00 am) by making a list of the first 6 things I wlll do in the morning.
– Sylvia Runkle, SylviaRunkle.com –
3. My business changed when I learned to set aside special time slots of ‘business development only’ time. For me that is half a day, every 2 weeks.
This is my ‘insurance policy’ to get myself closer to my bigger goals, to actually FEEL productive and to keep feeling good about myself, because our work as entrepreneurs is never finished.
– Lianne Ebbinkhuijsen, Easy-Influence.com –
4. Book 3 to 5 one hour slots in your calendar each week to work on your business. This time should be treated as a top priority, as important as meeting your best client.
During that time turn off ALL devices and alerts, put up a “do not disturb” sign if you need to and focus on 1 critical task to move your business forward. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll get accomplished and the difference it will make for your business.
– Heather Cameron, IgniteYourMarket.com –
5. Unsubscribe! Once you get on a list you’ll start to receive dozens of emails every day with offers for plug-ins, information products, and “free” webinars. Sifting through them can be time-consuming and it’s very easy to go down the rabbit hole of information overload.
Particularly when you’re just getting started, focus your energies on growing your business and stick to a few trusted sources that you know from experience offer great value.
– Mary Trump, TrumpCoaching.com –
6. Here are my tips: to keep blog updated, set time away from distractions to work.
– Marcie, MarciesCaringHands.weebly.com
7. Learn to use Photoshop. It will save you hours of posting (and waiting on) tiny graphics projects on outsourcing sites and move your projects along more quickly.
– Elizabeth Jamieson, GenesisClub.com
8. Take notes, review and expand them on a regular basis, know your desired outcomes, lay them out in a calendar, and stay focused on them while being open to taking time to have experiences outside of your normal habit or routine.
– Wyatt Christman, LittleGuyWebdesigns.com
9. Taking time off to play – I recently took up skateboarding again.
– Marlene Hielema, ImageMaven.com
10. Get to work. Dive In. No distractions allowed. No Facebook, no email, no Twitter, no food, no drink. For three hours. Try it – you’ll discover you can do in three hours what normally took you eight. I’m best in the morning.
– Rick, GetMcKinney.com
11. Stay focused. You keep in the cloud mind where you are going. Work to proceed on that path. Until a wall suddenly appears. Then pivot to circumvent it to get on track. Stay focused. If you can’t, do something else.
– Richard Canfield, YourPrinceton.com
12. Unplugging from technology. Many people have said this, but it is astounding how much more I accomplish on the days I actually remember to close email, ignore all non-emergency emails and calls, and even unplug from my Internet connection completely for a couple hours at a time.
– Brynn, AllergyBytes.com
13. My best productivity tip is actually two, but they might not work for everyone, so please let me explain a bit.
I work for a ghostblogging company, and manage 17 blogs (though some weeks more, and some weeks less), all of which require 2 posts a week, and one requires three. I write and post everything myself, and the way I was doing it was to research, write, source photos and extras, post and publish. I did this one by one for each blog.
I knew there had to be a better way, and I found two.
The first: Do the work in stages. I’m writing at least six posts a day, whether it’s a day for the ghostblogging job or not, so instead of going back and forth as I was wasting time, here what I do:
- First, I research everything, and leave relevant tabs open for easy access as needed to copy links and cite sources.
- Second, I write everything – only going back to the research as I need to.
- Third, I source all the photos and other extras I need.
- Last, I post everything, and publish (or schedule), one after another until finished.
Using this strategy instead of the old one has allowed me to turn eight-hour days into a more manageable six hour block, which leaves me time to market my services and other business related stuff.
My next tip goes with the first one, though I imagine these would help others, and not just those who work on volume writing projects. I installed three plug ins to Firefox, Direct Link, Mass Copy URL, and Tab Group Manager.
Direct Link allows you to copy a URL that’s not an active hyperlink and – depending on the options selected after installing it – open it in a new tab or new window, without having to copy and paste. For instance, highlight a link that’s not active like: http://www.example.com. Then, right click, chose the direct link option, and it will open either in a new tab or window.
This also works for “malformed” URLs without the www. or the http part. For example, highlight and right click text with: example.com and it will open in a new tab/window.
Multi Link plugin allows you to select specific tabs, or all tabs, and copy the URL of the tabs all at once so that when you paste them, they form a list. You know, to be honest, I’d have to say that if I had to choose a single productivity tip, it would be to use Firefox. Alternatively, if you have a 64-bit system, use a 64-bit variant – (and make sure you use 64-bit software at that). They are all faster, and have unlimited add on abilities so if these plug ins don’t work for your situation, you’ll no doubt find some that will.
– Jessica (JC) Zuzierla-Torpey, virtual-copy.com
15. I like the Pomadoro method. Set a timer to work on 1 thing for 25-30 minutes. Take a 5 minute break…repeat. It’s simple, but it works.
– Clara Mathews, freelancerslifestyle.com
16. Going out for a walk before starting work. Allowing myself breaks has been key to improving productivity when I’m working. An (online) kitchen timer can be useful for this.
– Henneke, enchantingmarketing.com
17. My productivity tip is to ask myself this question: ‘…will this generate revenue for my business?’ If the answer is ‘Yes’, then I work on it. It the answer is ‘No’, then I keep looking through my list until I find revenue generating activities.
– Jenny Spring, springintosales.com
18. Always have a pad and pen around to write down your ideas and your to-do list. I keep at pad at the entry way and on my nightstand. I also have a pad in my purse and in my car. You never know when you will come up with $1,000,000 idea.
– Michelle Arbore, savvysocialmedia4u.com
19. Have a routine! Doing the same things everyday will become habit making it easier to focus on the tasks that need to get done. If you have to, write yourself a weekly schedule until the routine becomes second nature.
– Jen Marie, jenloveslife.com
20. Can’t settle on a decision? Thoughts spinning? Chasing your tail? Don’t rely only on thinking to resolve your challenges. Do a semi-organized brain dump of all your issues and thoughts (like on a white board).
That will allow your thoughts to settle down because it’s all right there in front of you. As you move around, coming, going etc., notice the brain dump. Let it remind you but not drag you back into spinning. After a while — hours, days or weeks — the answers will come – efficiently, clearly and confidently.
– Jim Clark, issaquah360.com
21. Having a dedicated work space in a quiet room or space in the house does wonders for getting lots of work done!
– Nadine Herring, Virtually Nadine
22. Regular naps.
– Demian Farnworth, Copyblogger.com
23. Sleep, 8 hours
– Mike, Stickfiguresimple.com
24. A spreadsheet with monthly goals, that get placed into weekly goals that get placed into today’s to-do list.
– Pete Renzulli, smallbusinessformulas.com
25. Get stuff off your plate and on to someone else’s. When you’re trying to move so much stuff forward, it’s easy to get caught up in the details of each step, only to find you are clogging up the progress.
What if you took 30 minutes a day to get things “off your plate” and into the hands of someone who can move it forward. Treat it almost like a race, replying quickly to emails, returning calls and writing directional briefs for a solid 30 minutes. It puts the ball back in the court of the players (rather than with you, the coach) so that something can actually get done.
– Brett Duncan, marketinginprogress.com
26. Learn to say NO. Use TimeOut.
– Eve Koivula, NeatHomeBusiness.com
27. Block out time in your diary to complete larger tasks rather than simply adding the task to an action list and not getting to it!
– Alisoun MacKenzie
28. Take a short break every hour that will take you out of the work environment physically and mentally. Note: bathroom breaks don’t count.
– Lori Dean
29. Break things into time chunks, ie dedicate a block of time for one thing and do it. Do not use this time for checking emails, FB etc just focus on this one thing in this specific timeframe, set a timer for yourself too.
30. My number one tip for productivity is to have a to-do list, ordered from highest priority projects to lowest! I find if I don’t have a list, I waste a lot of time deciding what needs my attention next and things fall through the cracks.
– Molly Baker
31. Having clear mental clarity to focus on one task at a time. Which I believe is achieved through optimal health with good nutrition as the foundation.
– Sheridan Harvey
32. Turn off things such as Facebook and email as they are time killers. If your smart phone distracts you, put it somewhere else.
Now it’s your turn: what’s your No #1 Productivity tip? Please share it in the comment box below!
<a href=”http://www.neathomebusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/productivity-tips-infographic.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-502 size-large” src=”http://www.neathomebusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/productivity-tips-infographic-650×1024.jpg” alt=”productivity-tips-infographic” width=”650″ height=”1024″ /></a> Update –
Great tips also in this post: http://www.inc.com/ss/jeff-haden/20-awesome-productivity-tricks-anyone-can-use