Productivity Tips Part 2

This is Part 2 of the Increasing Productivity Series.

6. Do the 20% that matters most

In almost everything you do, there will be a few tasks that will account for the majority of your results. This is commonly known as the 80/20 rule where 20% of what you do will account for 80% of your outcome. By identifying which of the things you do give you the most boost towards your goals, you will be able to spend more time doing those things and will therefore achieve your goals faster.

Many times, the things we spend most of our time on is the 80% that doesn't matter all that much. You can "work hard" and still not see the results you were aiming for simply because you were working hard on the wrong things. These things may be even fun to do but if they aren't part of the 20%, limit your time with them.

7. Speed it up

If you want to increase your productivity, just do things faster. There are always tasks that are sort of mundane and routine but are necessary. With these brainless type of tasks, just start doing them faster than you normally do it. What you can do to motivate yourself to do these tasks a bit faster is time yourself doing it. You goal is to beat the time it took you to do the task the last time you did it.

When I was in sales and did the dreaded cold calls, I tried to see how many I could make in an hour. Then, I'd try to beat that number the next hour and so on. It kept me from taking too long to make the next call. Of course, once I got a potential client on the phone, I talked normally. The speed was in making the calls.

So think of some things you do on a regular basis that you can set up little games like this to get you to just do it faster. Keep in mind that this technique is best used on things that don't require a lot of your focus and concentration.

8. Relax

Every now and then, you need to take some time to just settle down and relax a little. Working non-stop will actually decrease you productivity because you will start to wear you mind out. You'll be able to think better and feel better and will therefore be able to work more efficiently since your creative juices will flow out more easily.

This will also help you reduce stress. As you know, stress is a major reason for many illnesses and other problems. Taking some time off to relax will help reduce that. You can either see this as a 30 minute break once or twice a day or you can see it as a week vacation every couple of months. Whichever way works best and makes sense for you.

9. Exercise

This has similar benefits to the relaxing. When you exercise, you will give your mind and body an energy boost which will allow you to concentrate better as well as help you be more creative. You'll be less tired during the afternoons as well. This is one of those things that everyone knows they should be doing but not everyone does.

When you are fit, your body will be able to take on more demands. When you do that, you will get more done. On the other hand, if you don't get any exercise, your productivity level won't be nearly as high. Let's not forget about the other health benefits like, oh , I don't know, LIVING LONGER!

If you haven't made exercise one of your habits, something you do on a routine basis, then you're missing out big time. You can start off slow, maybe 10 minutes a day, everyday for 30 days or how ever long it takes you to make this a habit. Just keep doing it until you don't have to force yourself to exercise. You don't force yourself to brush your teeth right? Get to that point and exercising will be as easy as taking candy from a baby. They shouldn't be eating candy anyway.

10. Learn to type faster

Obviously, this is if you use the computer a lot. If you still type with your two index fingers, then shame on you. I always wondered why actors/actresses in movies always use two fingers whenever they type. Can't they at least pretend they know how to type correctly?

Anyway, if you aren't typing at least 30 wpm, then you need to take some typing lessons. There are a bunch of free typing tutorials out there that can help you speed up your typing speed. You ideally want to be able to type around 50wpm or more. This will help increase productivity tremendously.

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