Productivity Pump

I don’t know about you but lately I’ve been finding myself a little “overwhelmed” by all the things I’m trying to juggle. You see it’s been a busy time for me – with my online business I have a couple of products that are deep in development while at the same time I’m preparing to launch my new offline venture which also brings it’s own unique trials and tribulations.

I’ve been coasting along for a couple of weeks now (at least!..) and I think it’s about time I got my head re-focused and back in the Game. I know from the amount of hours I’ve been spending at my desk that I’m putting the hours in but how Productive and how valuable are those hours?

I thought I’d take the opportunity this week to motivate myself with some awesome time management and productivity tips and tricks that will hopefully help me avoid wasting time on “non-productive” tasks and only focus in on those that really make a difference.

Just Start
In my search for ways to increase productivity I found a guest post over at Lifehack.org written by Kim Roach from BuzzBlogger. In it she outlines 50 ways to increase productivity and as I read down through the list I am drawn to No. 8 – Just Start.

I know I am guilty of procrastinating and often put things off until the last minute. Often these tasks aren’t half as hard as I have imagined them to be so I need to take charge, make a plan and then execute it. Often starting is the hardest part of this process but once done you get on a roll and could be surprised by how much you accomplish.

Plan Each Week in Advance
We know how important it is to have a long term vision for your goals but what about the short term? How about each week or even daily goals you have to achieve?

Well Susan Regier’s article at Evan Carmichael’s Blog emphasizes the importance of weekly and daily planning. At the beginning of each week sit down and prioritize your tasks and organize each day for the week ahead. I rely on this technique a lot to keep myself focused. It’s easy to have a 3 month goal to aim for but it’s the little things that we do on a daily basis that ensure that we achieve these targets.

Prime Time
This is an interesting concept that Brian Tracy talks about on his blog whereby you allocate your time so that you are able to work during your Prime Time – the time of the day when you are at your most productive. This is different for every individual and it’s important to figure out when you are at your most productive and then target that time to work on your most productive tasks.

I know for me this is the morning, I love getting up early and getting stuck into work, but not so much in the evening. I do try and fit in an hour or two some days when I’m trying to meet a deadline but I always feel like I’m fighting a loosing battle and know that I’m not as productive as I was earlier in the day.

Don’t Multi-Task
I know this might sound a little strange given how much importance multi-tasking is given in the workplace but it could really be killing your productivity. Instead of trying to juggle a handful of things at once just take a step back and prioritize your tasks. Choose the most important and work on it until it’s completed – then move onto the next.

Niro from UndergroundSuccess  argues that multi-tasking allows you to avoid doing the high-value tasks by just jumping from one little job to the other. You can avoid thinking and prioritizing the importance of your work based on each task and it’s merits. Simply by banning multi-tasking for a week will force you to make these strategic choices and your productivity will rocket as a result.

Take Timeout to Look after Yourself
Ken from TheNetworkDad talks about this in detail and I think it’s worthwhile to highlight it here. No matter how much work you have on or how much pressure you are under you must always put yourself first.

At the end of the day “your health is your wealth” so don’t let the stresses of work life get on top of you. A few simple steps will allow you to work better and feel great :

  • drink plenty of water – it’s important to keep yourself hydrated and unfortunately a lot of us neglect this when we’re working.
  • get enough of sleep – sleep is very important for many different functions in the body so don’t think you can get by on 4 hours a night, not for long anyway! Aim for 7 – 8 hours and allow yourself the rest that you need to recover and prepare for the day ahead.
  • take some exercise – after about 6 months of getting my first desk job out of college I joined a gym. Why? Simply because I felt like crap! Sitting down for 12 hours a day is not good for you so make the time and take some exercise. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym but it is important to look after your health, plus exercise is a great stress reliever and way to clear your mind from all the travails of work life.

 

So that’s it guys just a few tips that will no doubt help you get a better balance in your work-life and get that Productivity Pump going! Even just by trying a couple of the tips outlined I’m confident you’ll see a dramatic increase in focus and motivation and hopefully overtime you’ll really up the ante and start seeing the results for all your hard work.

Have you any other Time Management or Productivity tips up your sleeve? Care to share?….Leave a comment below and let’s add them to the list :)

P.S. I’ve been busy putting together the Zero Sum List Building report which I mentioned a few weeks ago…here’s a sneak peak of what you can expect when it’s finished (Click HERE to view)

19 Comments

  • Mike Russen

    Reply Reply June 19, 2012

    Hi Noel,

    Great title “Productivity Pump” – I was at the P2S forum and saw your post about this post – great read and something all should bear in mind, about taking time out to recharge the old battereies and “little grey cells”

    Glad all going well for you :)

    Cheers

    Mike “the sun came out in Galway” Russen

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 19, 2012

      Nice one Mike – appreciate that ;)
      All is going great at the moment – just trying to find enough hours in the day (hence this post I guess!)
      Thanks,
      Noel “getting a little bit of sun in Waterford” Cunningham

  • Paul Conway

    Reply Reply June 19, 2012

    Hey Noel

    I am with you and Mike on the take time out for myself ;) So with this in mind I am off to Nice this Friday until Tuesday to just sit in the sun, read, eat and drink a some vino.

    I have got three projects on the go at present, so I need to take time out and think about prioritising as its got a bit to much for me.

    Cheers
    Paul “soon to be soaking up the sun in France” Conway

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 19, 2012

      Hey Paul,
      I’m very jealous writing this reply because I’d love to be off to Nice myself.. I absolutely love France, especially this time of year so I hope you have a great trip and enjoy the vino :)
      No doubt the break will do you good and you’ll come back super focused and more motivated than ever!
      Enjoy,
      Noel “wish I was off on holiday” Cunningham.

  • Karl Dieterich

    Reply Reply June 20, 2012

    Hi Noel,
    These are some great tips you’ve mentioned in your post.
    I’ve been so busy with moving and my kids (since they are out of school) I’ve had little to comment and make any posts myself!
    I really like the entry about not multi-tasking. That certainly goes against everything I’ve learned in Corporate America, but I think the reasoning is right on. Multi-tasking allows too much time to be spent on smaller, easy tasks instead of focusing on the big ones.

    Great post!
    -Karl

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 21, 2012

      Hey Karl,
      Thanks for your feedback, I was a little taken aback when I read that about Multi-Tasking but it kinda makes sense to me now! Focus on the big, productive tasks first and worry and the little things later – that’s my motto from now on..
      Cheers,
      Noel.

  • Dee Kumar

    Reply Reply June 21, 2012

    Everyone suffers with productivity issues from time to time, but just getting started is the one of the best ways to overcome it.

    No task is really that big when broken down, it just takes the courage to start. I’m finishing a book on the same subject and amazingly the more I write the easier it becomes to write. Getting started was the hardest bit, but now I’m actually enjoying it. Bizarre but we feel that getting started is a stress, whereas we should realise that getting it finished is a massive stress relief.

    Dee Kumar

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 21, 2012

      Good way of looking at it – always good to have a “glass half full approach”
      Often once we get started things usually gain momentum on their own as you move forward to approaching your goals.
      – Noel.

  • Gerald

    Reply Reply June 21, 2012

    Hi Noel, great productivity tips. Getting started is half the battle won. Once we start it is not as difficult as we thought and that in itself is a motivating factor. I also feel that it is very important to take a break when you are feeling overwhelmed by work. This way you can re-focus and be more productive. Sometimes we are busy but we need to ask the question, busy with what? Are we focusing on the important tasks or are we being side tracked by the less important tasks?
    Keep well,
    Gerald.

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 21, 2012

      Great point Gerald, sometime we become “busy fools” rather than “busy bees” – always good to take a breather and look at the bigger picture and focus in on what really matters.
      Cheers,
      – Noel.

  • Muhsin

    Reply Reply June 23, 2012

    Hey these are some good productivity tips.
    Thanks for highlighting the part about getting
    enough sleep.
    Sometimes I feel so tired and could not produce
    so much work and I kept blaming myself for being
    lazy.
    But now I learned that maybe I was just too overworked
    and my productivity will definitely increase if I just
    took some time to rest and return back to work the following
    day. Cheers noel!

    -Muhsin

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 23, 2012

      Hi Muhsin,
      Cool – no worries :) It’s a fine line between trying to get your work done and getting enough rest. If we keep on working, even when tired, then our productivity really suffers and often the best thing to do would be to chill out and rest.
      All the Best,
      – Noel.

  • Clare

    Reply Reply June 26, 2012

    Hey Noel,

    Great post. I try to plan as much as I can and when I stick to it, nothing is that big of a deal. We all hit roadblocks and it’s how we deal with them that helps us move forward – everything can be fixed, and yes, the more we do, the more we want to do – and the less hard it becomes. :-)

    Clare “gutted the suns gone this week in Bournemouth” Thwaites ;-)

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 26, 2012

      Your dead right Claire having a plan makes everything so much easier. I’ve forced myself into a habit of writing out my weeks task on a Sunday night. I break them down and give myself a few little things to do each day, once I work like this I find I have a better chance of staying focused and get through the work each day.
      But hey, the best laid plans…we all hit roadblocks and get distracted along the way. The best thing is to start again and get back on the saddle ;)
      Thanks for getting involved in the discussions :)

      • clare

        Reply Reply June 29, 2012

        Hey Noel,

        Yeah, I try to plan a week ahead too, I took 2 HOURS the other day to plan out my 6 month goals, 3 month goals, 1 month goals – and then broke down the most recent month into weeks and days –

        LOL I scheduled in one day per week of ‘anything I havent yet managed to do for this week’ – haha, because stuff ALWAYS gets in the way, it ALWAYS takes longer than I think – well its a pleasant surprise if not! Best wishes with everything!

        Cheers!

        • Noel

          Reply Reply June 29, 2012

          But you know what that was probably the best 2 hours of work you’ve done this week because you know have your “Plan of Attack” and a Blueprint to follow..
          And your right, it’s always good to have a little contingency in place because things get in the way, tasks take longer than expected etc. etc. It’s good to plan this in so that you can take care of these things and not fall behind (which could easily happen if you put yourself under too much pressure)

          Sounds like you’ve got everything under control ;)

          – Noel.

  • dan

    Reply Reply June 2, 2013

    hi noel,perhaps a little late to comment on your post but not seen this post till now,have to say it is actually a great post with some good pointers in it,not easy always to plan ahead of schedule,however it is always the most important thing to do,plan of action is required in every step of your life and not least in your business,although it is how you plan it,and sticking to it the most important.

    thanks for the great post!

    dan
    dan recently posted…Online Marketing Mentor- The secret to successMy Profile

    • Noel

      Reply Reply June 4, 2013

      Exactly Dan, planning is very important but it’s only when you actually implement it and take action do you get results.

      Cheers,
      Noel.

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