Productivity can be a slippery slope for some of us. At times, we may get lost in our thoughts, try to juggle too much or just struggle to find a habit that sticks. Above all else, it’s frustrating. But the good thing is, when we come across our own method and begin to right the productive ship, it’s a thing of beauty.
And inside that “zen” of productivity, there are certain habits we latch onto and try our hardest not to break. Some might be as simple as minimizing the time spent away from the desk by trimming down meeting times, while others could revolve around just keeping our brain and energy levels healthy and fit before entering the office. Both these habits are just some of many I came across in a recent article on how certain industry leaders keep their eye on the prize when at work.
Alongside shorter meetings and daily exercise, I noticed a few other ways leaders maintain their productivity year in and year out. Like the method practiced by Aaron Shapiro of Huge, who uses the OHIO (only handle it once) approach with emails. He states that by deciding then and there to reply, you avoid returning to the same email two, three or four more times throughout the day, which in turn, just makes you think too much about the response itself when you do decide to act.
Or there’s the technologically-deficient method: Adopt a dog. That’s how Kevin Purdy of Fast Company and former editor of Lifehacker helped organize his thoughts. He says that by having to focus on the short-leash training walks every single morning, he was able to spend time outside planning the day in his head, rather than inside his smartphone.
Like Aaron and Kevin, I’m sure everyone reading this has their own method to focus and execute accordingly, and as long as we discover a habit or two that enhances our productivity at work and becomes a repetition in performance improvement, we’re all the better for it.
As for what keeps me productive?
Well, I start by mapping out my day the night before going into the office and place all of the important items in my calendar. This usually happens like clockwork at 10:00pm every night. Although at times, life can get in the way, so I need to alter my approach. And in those instances when I’m not near my computer, I'll use my mobile devices to go through all of the meetings/information requests for the next day and give myself reminders using the “Notes” function. This allows for short bullet points of conversations I’m going to have, or for tasks that need to be completed. That way, when I get to the office I am organized and ready to take on my next task, like writing this blog.
With that said, I’m always looking for new solutions to help keep my life organized. Maybe I’ll start by downloading the new Mailbox app and see if that helps with the way I handle email. Now if only I would have made a note previously instead of wait for another 252,641 reminders to pass through my Inbox before accepting an invite...
Image courtesy of StuartAlexSmith.com