February 11th, 2019
Author: Veronica Grosek, Executive Director
Good morning, Members and supporters!
February has officially arrived, and with it were the very first hints of springtime (…ok, it only lasted for a couple days, but still)! Now is the perfect time of year to re-assess our goals as I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, but more specifically, I want to focus on our day-to-day productivity.
There are countless ways to manage your day – whether it involves balancing your home and work life, or trying to be as productive as possible running a business. Below you’ll find my top five tips and recommended tools for increasing daily productivity and balancing everything we have to juggle in life:
Top 5 Tips for Increasing Productivity
1. Project Management
Everyone knows it’s tough to keep track of countless sticky notes and reminders jotted in notebooks. I recommend browsing around for a project management app that works for you – the one I use daily is called “Trello” and is completely free. Project management apps help us organize our thoughts, create follow-up reminders, checklists, and generally just get things done!
2. Social Media Management
It seems like everyone is on every social media platform these days, and it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them! Consider using a social media management tool to help schedule posts for an entire week at a time, or even an entire month. There are a variety of free and paid options available – we utilize “Buffer” because it’s free for up to ten posts on each platform and incredibly easy to use.
3. Time Blocking
There are a lot of practices we can adopt to be more productive that do not require technology at all, one of which is “time blocking.” Essentially, time blocking is the process of combining similar activities into a group and scheduling a specific recurring time to take care of that entire group. For example, I schedule a 1-hour block of time on Mondays specifically to take care of accounting tasks. This lets you really delve into a subject and complete it in its entirety, without wasting time bouncing between numerous activities.
4. Power Hours
Power Hours are a tried and true technique for completing a task efficiently, without distractions. Set a timer for a specified amount of time and dedicate yourself to one task until the timer goes off – close all other applications to avoid distractions! I like to set a timer for thirty minutes and respond to emails, then close my inbox for awhile after the timer goes off so I am less distracted during my next task. You can also schedule a series of power hours with breaks in between if you have a particularly large project.
5. Breaks and Rewards
Finally, I’ve found it is important to plan breaks and rewards for myself when applicable to maintain motivation and avoid that “burned out” feeling. For example, even if I have a busy day, I will still set a calendar reminder every couple hours to take time to go for a quick walk, make some coffee, or read a non- work-related book for a few minutes. Giving your brain a rest is a healthy practice that results in greater productivity overall. Rewarding yourself for completing a task can have a similar effect and encourage efficiency.
Take some time this week to try out one or two of the above tips, and also be thinking of other ways you can increase your own productivity and streamline your daily operations. If you have your own tips or tools, we’d love to hear about them! Contact us anytime at (605) 347-2556.