I am ready to work. Opportunities are happening with abundance and I am ready to get lots of stuff done. When I get in a productivity mode, I like to learn from those who seem to be busier than I am and yet seem to be relaxed while they accomplish a ton.
Lately I have been interviewing some CEOs who are high achievers from the Young Presidents’ Organization and they have truly inspired me to up my productivity game. Here are the daily tricks they have taught me so far.
1. Get a Full Night Sleep
I need a minimum of five hours sleep each night to feel alert and six hours makes me feel great. People who don’t get enough sleep are less efficient and prone to mistakes. The quality of their thinking will suffer with extended sleep deprivation. Make sure your work life and your home life support a restful sleep and you’ll get more done while you are awake.
2. Create Undisturbed Work Time
I recently interviewed a 29-year-old CEO of a public company who told me his best tip was creating two-hour blocks of time when all outside communication is cut off. I was surprised. “I thought Millennials were all about multitasking,” I said. “Maybe they are, he replied. “I just get more done with no distractions.” I agree with him. I personally need email, texting, and even the internet to go away so I can think and write. I do play a lot of music as well.
3. Give the Brain a Rest
The more I think, the more physically tired I get. It’s easy to lose sight of how much energy brainwork draws. A brief and mindless refresher like TV or an escapist book can let your body and brain recharge, readying you to focus on difficult problems or creative activity once again. Try natural beauty as well, especially if you are near water.
4. Master the Checklists
You don’t have to be a detail freak, but listing tasks and checking them off will help you stay organized and productive. Listing everything helps you assess time and prioritize. And checking off the list is a great morale boost to keep you motivated throughout the day.
5. Review All Email
If things are left hanging you’ll waste time and energy worrying about what needs to be done. Plan to review all of your email by the end of the day. You don’t have to respond to each and every one, but if you at least look at it you won’t miss anything. You may even be able to avoid working on things that are already resolved. Just open, read, and if necessary, add the required action to your to do list.
6. Resolve All Conflicts
Emotional conflict is a draining distraction from getting things done. You don’t have to like everyone with whom you work, but you don’t want to let anger and resentment negatively affect your performance. Address issues before they linger. Find the quickest way to an amenable solution so you can focus on the positive aspects of you instead of that guy who ticked you off.
7. Plan the Next Day
Not knowing what’s happening ahead can add stress and take mental energy. Planning a day ahead doesn’t require hard thinking, but it will release tension and let you start the next day right away when fresh. It helps with number one on this list as well.
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