Saturday, November 8, 2014

5 Essentials for Productivity

For any small business owner and entrepreneur it often feels like there are just not enough hours in the day. Maximizing results in limited time can be quite the feat so here are five solutions to keep productivity on a roll.

Practice Mindfulness
If you're building your business then you may be like me. I'm constantly on. My mind is spinning with ideas, tasks and projects and this often leads to stress.  According to Forbes' “A Guide to Mindfulness At Work” it's toxic emotions like these that disrupt our work environment.  When you're mindful though you're basically allowing yourself to experience “moment to moment awareness” without having to take action.  There is no judgement or need for solution.  

“When you are mindful…You become keenly aware of yourself and your surroundings, but you simply observe these things as they are. You are aware of your own thoughts and feelings, but you do not react to them in the way that you would if you were on “autopilot”…By not labeling or judging the events and circumstances taking place around you, you are freed from your normal tendency to react to them.

This type of awareness puts a stop to “destructive patterns, helping you recognize them before they run rampant. It’s a way of reprogramming your mind to think in healthier, less stressful, ways.”

Set Structure and Deadlines
I ran into an old friend recently and we parted ways with the intention to meet again. And we did. But we did because we set a date and time. You can't be productive when by assuming things will get done.  Self imposed deadlines encourage us to manage our time and energy more effectively. Setting realistic deadlines also helps us to stay accountable and disciplined while building some structure in our work day. Meeting a deadline and seeing your work coming to fruition will definitely leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.

Disconnect for Success
Are you constantly looking at your phone? Flipping screens? Checking your Facebook? It's time to disconnect.  Being constantly connected often creates a false sense of urgency with things that pop up. It's impossible to be productive when you're looking for diversions and spreading your attention to things that don't matter.

Get Organized
Reaching that long term goal is achieved with short term tasks. To find success our day-to-day actions must be aligned with the bigger picture. Create a list of tasks, a chart of action and make appropriate use of your calendar. When and idea or task pops into your head get it down on paper so that you're not having to constantly remind yourself not to forget it. In addition to that, assign times in the day for certain tasks, like email. Amir Salihefendic, the founder of Doist, a company that specializes in productivity software suggests the following:

“I think email is really a productivity killer. I get hundreds of emails per day, and I manage this in following way:
  • I only check and process email three times a day (morning, noon, and afternoon).
  • I answer an email if it will take less than one minute.
  • I archive if an email isn't important.
In other words, "If you're going to open an email, either do something with it, like respond to it, or delete it, or file it away." Don't even open an email unless you can process it right then. That's part of the two-minute rule.

Space Awareness
Our surroundings can have a profound effect on our mood and productivity. Working in a space that is cluttered, dark or confined can cause us to feel lethargic, distracted and restless. As a mobile trainer I spend much of my time in my vehicle but each home is a work place. Setting aside a space with appropriate lighting and room temperature can have an immediate positive effect. This is also the case for any office setting or home office. Artificial lighting can be challenging in a workplace and unfortunately we cant always control that. If you're in an environment with artificial lighting taking breaks outdoors can give you the boots you need. In addition to lighting and room temperature our furniture and the colours in our space can also effect or mood and productivity. “Ergonomics are a real issue in today’s typing-heavy work environment. But ergonomics are not just a safety issue. Studies have found when a worker is comfortable and safe, that worker is more productive. When employees sit up straight and type, they thinmore clearly and have a higher work output than an employee who sits slumped over his or her keyboard.

Enjoy yourself in good health and fitness, Gena. Get the funds you need to
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