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Jan 21 2021
As a business owner I’ve been passionate about productivity for some time.
Productivity is vital to all professionals – but especially digital marketers. We have to manage multiple priorities and balance urgent requests with completing projects.
As a business owner, I’ve focused on productivity and organization for 20 years. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to deliver a virtual keynote presentation on how to grow productivity – including sharing some of my favorite tools and tricks.
I did a TedX talk about this 6 years ago, but the idea of improving productivity isn’t about dramatic change. It is about small changes. If you can invest every month in something that saves you 5 minutes a day, you’ll get back over 2 weeks of time a year.
I recently gave a keynote presentation to a group of executives on the how to Power-Up your Productivity to Get More Done.
As I’ve managed different people and worked on my own productivity one thing is clear. Productivity is personal.
Evaluate yourself and how you work to determine:
The #1 BEST thing you can do is start by tracking. See where your time is going. I recommend using a time-tracking app for 2 – 3 weeks to see where you are actually spending your time.
Most people are surprised to discover where they ACTUALLY spend their time.
Look at the things you work on and categorize them based on the importance or impact that they have and how important it is that they are done right (effectiveness).
For example some tasks just need to be done quickly (eg. responding to emails) while others need to be done effectively (eg. writing a client proposal).
Some tasks are high impact – (eg. Completing a strategy for a client) while others don’t really grow the business (eg. Busy-work that seems important but doesn’t really matter).
The idea is to determine where a task falls before you get started to decide how you’ll handle it.
For example responding to new connection requests on LinkedIn who are strategic and in my network = high impact but low effectiveness – I want to respond quickly and efficiently.
Responding to LinkedIn requests from spammers or blatant sales requests is low impact and low effectiveness – I should just delete them.
By categorizing the tasks – even within one area – I can reduce my time on the low impact one and free up more time to effectively handle the high impact one.
Writing a blog post, which is not vital to my business but important is low impact, but high effectiveness. I need to write something meaningful. So for this I set a timer to be sure I don’t spend too much time on something that isn’t vital but must be done somewhat well.
Finally for tasks that grow my business and must be done well – proposals, etc – I need to get FOCUSED and prioritize time.
The idea is to REDUCE the time and energy on low-impact work and INCREASE the time and energy on high impact work.
Choose 1 thing per month to work on. We all have different habits that need attention.
For example I sometimes find myself checking email 100+ times a day. I may need to retrain myself by committing to 3 checks and closing the browser window.
I may need to get more focused time, so I’ll practice scheduling time.
I may find I spend too much time scheduling meetings and going back and forth, so I find a scheduling app.
Choose the things you can work on and prioritize them to tackle one per month.
Be deliberate and consistent.
Over time, the more things you build into habit the better your overall productivity will be.
Don’t try to do everything at once. One thing, no matter how small, can make a big difference over time.
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