6 Actionable Tips to Increase Productivity Now

August 31, 2015

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Wouldn’t we all like a full day to be 25 or 26 hours long? We always want more time because we feel as if we are not productive enough with the 24 hours we do have. It’s a feeling that I share with you.


In 2015, there is an app for everything that could help us become more productive. However, there is still one thing holding many of us back from becoming as productive as we’d like: our habits.


Here’s a quick and effective guide that’s sure to help you increase productivity. Enjoy!


Automate Social Media

According to survey results from last year, we spend, on average, 40-plus minutes a day on social media. The key word is average – there are those of us that probably spend over an hour a day on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and others.


As important as social is to your business, you should not be going overboard with the amount of time you spend on it. Try Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Facebook’s own “post later” to get social done in less time.


I personally set up a large portion of the Facebook posts for the coming week during the weekend directly from our Facebook page.


increase productivity with facebook post schedule


I use Buffer and Twitter once every day to set up times to share content. Just like that, I spend at most two hours a week getting our content on relevant social media networks.


Bottom Line: Start off by automating your posts, and if you have time later on in the day, then take some time to visit Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to add more content.


Block Out Unnecessary Websites

How often do you find yourself spending too much time on a website with funny stories or watching funny videos, when you are supposed to be working? Probably more often than you’d like. This is an issue that anyone that sits in front of a computer eight or more hours a day faces.


Luckily, my friends, there are simple solutions that enable you to “lock-out” these focus-killing sites. Try one of these!



A bonus tip to increase productivity: put your phone on silent and then stash it in the bottom drawer of your desk. Every 90 minutes take 10 minutes to “check-in”.


Bottom Line: Our attention span is very short (shorter than that of a goldfish), so you owe it to yourself to do what’s needed so you can succeed.


Time Everything

I was always taught that failure was not really “failing” if I could gain experience or learn a valuable lesson from it. In regards to productivity, a “failure” is spending twice as much time as you should on a certain task – and not learning how to spend less time on that task.


How can you not “fail” at productivity? Start timing your tasks, and here’s how you should follow through with this.


Create a spreadsheet for every day of the week and inside of it add the task, the hour you did it, and the amount of time it took you. Do this for two-three weeks. Now you have your benchmark “time” for your various tasks.


Now that you can see with your own eyes how long each task takes you to complete it, you can begin the fun part of increasing your productivity. It’ll be interesting to see what day of the week you work best and at what hours. Try one of these!



Bottom Line: If there is a way to improve the manner in which you are doing something, then do so!


Creating the Right To-Do List

To-do lists are great – if they are created the right way. I used to just list everything down on a piece of paper and mark things off as I’d go. The only problem was that I wasn’t finishing everything or it was taking too much time.


The solution? Learning how to create a to-do list that actually converts into successful task completion. Easier said than done, right? Wrong. Here’s my guide to creating successful to-do lists.


1. Create it the night before. Do you ever have trouble falling asleep because you are thinking about the next day’s tasks? Get it done the night before and start your do knowing what needs to be done.


2. Create a square – and divide it into four. Why are we dividing it? I like to think of tasks as falling into one of four categories: Important for today, Important this week, daily tasks, long term. Highlighting different tasks with different colors within each area is even better!


3. Time limits are a must. Differentiate between scheduling your tasks by hour – not recommended- and putting a time cap on the tasks. Our days are dynamic, hence scheduling what needs to be done at 10 AM and what needs to be done from 12:00-13:00 can lead to setting yourself up to not complete your tasks.


On the other hand, limiting the time you spend on new product photos is a productive thing to do. Perfection does not exist, and we can find ourselves chasing it in everything we do, and in the end, nothing gets done.


no perfection to increase productivity


Bottom Line: Prevent from putting all your efforts into one task. Make sure you get everything done, and if you have time, then you can go back and finish it.


Shorter and Fewer Meetings

None of us really love meetings, but they still end up taking way too much time! If you have not cut down on the number of meetings that you are taking or how long they last, here are some friendly tips to help you cut back on them.


At Asana, they have company-wide policy called “No Meetings Wednesdays”. Their reasoning: “makers suffer greatly from interrupts in their flow time”.


In order to keep your productivity at its apex, add a time limit to them too. Try one of these!


The value of your meetings:



Manage your meetings:



It doesn’t have to be face-to-face:



Bottom Line: You need to know how much your meetings “cost”. After you do some cost/benefit analysis, you’ll see yourself coming away from meetings happier and with more positive results.


Delegate

No one can be good at everything. Warren Buffett, for as great and successful as he is, does not do all of the analysis on the stocks he considers purchasing. No president and not even the most freaking successful ecommerce merchants that go from 0 to $ 100,000 in sales in a few months do everything by themselves.


“I find that many entrepreneurs are trying to do everything when it would be cheaper and more time-efficient to delegate, even if there are monetary costs associated with that.” – James Altucher


If a day was not limited to 24 hours, six or seven of which are used for sleeping, then I’d say you don’t have to delegate. However, because we are human, and due to the fact that time is limited, you need to start delegating.


So where can you find someone that can get the job done? Try Fiverr, Upwork, Outsource, or find a niche specific site for freelancers.


Bottom Line: It’s impossible to do everything (unless you’re Batman) so get a little help that’ll go a long way.


Just like that you can start getting more done each and every day. Not only will you get more done, but you’ll get it all done without having to sacrifice quality – which is something you should never do! Do you have any tips that have worked for you? Are these tips helping you? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below so all of us can increase productivity levels.

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