Personal productivity is highly variable. We want to stick to that diet or exercise program. We want to get through our To Do list. We don’t want to forget to pick up the kids after daycare (I can tell you a story about that one when we have coffee).
Personal productivity starts with how you start your own workday.
If you are like most of us, you start your workday by reading your email. The next thing you know, it is mid-morning. Where did your precious time go?
Let’s face it. There are a lot of distractions for your time and attention.
I hit my own Restart button a few years back. I dissected what each one of my days “looked” like. I was not pleased.
Like you, I tended to read my email first and get sidetracked by someone else’s drama. Like you, I was always running late: for the next meeting, the conference call, for planes, trains, boats and buses.
My own personal productivity needed more than fixing. It needed to be completely Reset.
Here’s what I now do each day:
Personal Productivity Tip 1: I start my day by making myself my top priority. I’m not being selfish. If I’m not in top-form by the time I hit the virtual or real streets, I don’t offer top value to my customers. It starts with a healthy breakfast (really, no kidding) that’s full of affordable fuel that’s not a bunch of crap carbs. This fuel gets my brain firing and sustains my energy level. Do you think your perpetual latte consumption is good nutrition?
Personal Productivity Tip 2: I focus on my top priorities first. I avoid getting distracted by all the To-Do’s that can be accomplished later today or even tomorrow. These usually are someone else’s To-Do’s anyway. My own top priorities are related to strategic objectives I must accomplish to achieve positive business outcomes for myself and my customers. Once I tackle the most important ones, accomplishing the rest fall into place like dominoes.
Personal Productivity Tip 3: I take breaks every 45 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly. I set my iPhone timer. When it goes off, I have accomplished the task I was working on. I put my hands over my head, get up from the computer, and engage in a physical activity. A short walk, taking the stairway instead of the elevator. I change my physical and mental position. It’s a refreshing way to reboot. You’ll be surprised at the business solutions which pop into your brain.
What are your own personal productivity tips?
Babette N. Ten Haken, is a management consultant and business coach. She helps startups and small-to-medium manufacturing and service companies who have difficulty with unpredictable revenue streams. Her book on communication and collaboration strategies and tools, Do YOU Mean Business? Technical / Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, is available on Amazon.com.