We all probably have far too much on our plate than we can handle. And while it’s true we probably have the same number of hours as Beyonce; I don’t think we have the entourage by our sides to help us get to Queen B level.
Productivity is a topic I can get almost obsessive about, because it can help us in all areas of our life – not just work.
My productivity had to take on a new status when I first took on a senior role at the company I work for.
After all, if I really wanted to make a difference, I would need to be focussed and self-aware of everything that was going on around me. Not just about the projects but the people I look after as well.
As I had never managed a single living person in my life, I knew I had to get my act together and practice habits that would make me feel totally in control of my day.
Because let’s face it, unless you go on manager training or book yourself onto a self-development course, nobody knows how to get the energy and focus you need to inspire and motivate a team.
Seen as I’ve now been there, done that and got the LinkedIn title, I thought I would share with you the productivity habits I’ve been practising every day.
Everyone is talking about the benefits of mediation these days, but I’m afraid I’m one of them. I began meditating when I found my role was getting increasingly stressful.
In the mornings, my head would be buzzing over breakfast about the projects we had on, which clients I had to talk to, who needed my help on their campaign etc. As well as all the other life admin that fly’s through your mind when you’re chomping on your granola.
So after being recommended to try meditation time and time again by other professionals I had networked with, I decided to give myself ten entire minutes each morning to ground myself.
The difference is remarkable, not only do I feel clear-headed and focussed. But I arrive at work feeling ready for the day, and unfazed by any dramas.
Write Down Three Goals
I’m a big fan of setting goals and achieving them. However, the reality is, goals cannot be achieved over night. They often take lots of little moments where you just need to pitch in when you can.
That’s why I write down three goals I would like to achieve for my day, that may help me accomplish my big goal.
A perfect example, is that I recently wrote a book alongside my full-time job, now I didn’t have the capacity to sit down for hours and hours to put words to paper. But just by taking at least one hour a day on that project I managed to write my book within six months.
No matter the goals, big or small, set your micro-targets for the day.
When you look back in six months, you may be astonished at what you achieved.
It doesn’t sound very dramatic, but eating well is probably the best thing you’re ever going to do for yourself.
Eating well impacts every part of your life, so of course, it’s going to affect your work and how you perform.
I’m not saying you should banish all the goodies from the office, hell no! I’m a sucker when it comes to Krispy Kremes. But be strict with yourself.
When I was stressed I would quickly turn to food as a comforter. Whether it was biscuits, chocolate or a cheeky take-away on my lunch break. Anything to cheer me-up and make me feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel.
But this habit soon had me feeling like rubbish half way through the day.
When you take control of your eating habits, you take control of your mind and body, and you need to do that. Especially if you’re working in a stressful environment.
Divorce Your Inbox
Let me guess. You sit there with your inbox open all day long, hoping that eventually you’re going to get it down to the zero?
Wake –up sister this is never going to happen!
Emails are the modern plague, and as soon as you’ve defeated one, another one crops up.
Pause your anxiety about getting on top of your emails, and get some real work done.
If you sit there all day playing email bingo with clients or colleagues no work is ever going to get done, and you’re going to end your day feeling frustrated.
Emails are unproductive so reduce the time you spend in your inbox.
Personally, I open mine at 12pm and then again just before I leave the office.
Trust me, if it’s urgent, they’ll pick up the phone.
The truth is I could go on and on about the habits I’ve developed to make my work day more productive, and even my life. But the truth is you need to find habits that make you feel happy and in control so that you can make the best of every day.