What does “going #2”, clipping your finger nails, and blogging have in common? Well, when you knock these three tasks out all at the same time (like I did last night) you can proudly call yourself productive. And in case you didn’t know, productivity is as cool as a cucumber…
Here are 5 ways I try and maximize my efficiency throughout the day…
1) Keep my crap clean
One thing I noticed in college is I tend to adapt to my living environment. I had a messy roommate my sophomore year. As a result, I became messy. What was the point of keeping my desk clean, if the rest of our dorm room looked like a hurricane zone? Thankfully, Girl Ninja is a little OCD on the cleanliness factor (I think she’s addicted to the smell of cleaning chemicals). This means my work space is clean whether I keep it that way or not. With a tidy office situation, I can quickly and easily get to all the important documents, materials, and supplies I need while I’m working from home. If your desk space is lookin’ beat up from the feet up, I’d recommend you take 10 minutes or so, and tidy that sucker up.
2) Get rid of crap I don’t need
Have you ever watched the show Hoarders? It was the most disturbing interesting show I’ve seen. If you don’t know what I’m talking about here’s a picture of a hoarder’s home…
Do you see the problem with accumulating stuff that you don’t need? It makes you terribly inefficient. Is it time you go through and purge old documents? Do you need to go through your closet and get rid of the 20 Hawaiian shirts you bought a few years ago, but realized are the opposite of cool? Do you have a garage or storage unit full of stuff? If so, it’s probably time you do a little spring, or in this case, winter cleaning.
3) Take breaks
Do you remember the good ol college days pulling all nighters and working on a paper for 10 straight hours? Do you also remember how, after about 1.5 hours, your brain just kind of turned to mush? It’s because you have to give yourself breaks. If work gets so crazy I feel myself burning out, I make sure to take 10 minutes to go out and take a quick walk or something. Depending on what state you live in, you might be entitled to a ten or fifteen minute break every couple hours. If your employer doesn’t give you one, it’s time to find a new job 😉
4) Do the hard crap first
I don’t know if this rule is universal or only true for me, but I try and knock out all the hard stuff at the beginning of my work day. I’m eleventy billion times more efficient during the first few hours of work compared to the last few. I try and schedule all of my difficult meetings for before lunch, it makes the rest of the day go by quicker. Maybe it takes you a couple hours to hit your stride? That’s okay too. Whenever you are at your best, try and do the most important work then.
5) Use technology
Technology is a beautiful thing. There are countless ways you can use your computer, phone, and the internet to increase your productivity! Use “rules” in your email settings to block all that unwanted political junk mail from your Uncle Joe. Use outlook to schedule all your meetings and store all your contacts phone numbers/addresses. Use mint to track your finances. Use Google voice to manage your work, cell, and home phone calls. You can literally find some type of software to automate just about every piece of your life. And guess what?! Most of these things are free, you just have to spend a few minutes figuring out how to set them up.
There ya have it, five ways you can increase productivity. What would you add to the list? What tips/tricks do you operate by to ensure maximum efficiency? Are you multi-tasking right now by “working” and reading my blog at the same time? If you are, don’t worry, I won’t tell your boss 🙂