Developers create ingenious web applications designed to streamline tasks and boost productivity, but the latest and greatest gadgets on the market can sometimes be the biggest distractions in your day.
Instead of searching for a new gadget to help you get more done, focus on the notion that “less is more” and find simple solutions to improve productivity during your workday.
Use these six simple tips to improve personal productivity:
- Prioritize. Take a few minutes out of your morning to sit down and list everything you hope to accomplish that day. List those tasks in order, with the highest priority items on top. Knowing your priorities can help you focus on completing the most important work first, without wasting time on unnecessary tasks. Also, keep the list in a prominent place on your desk to keep you focused.
- Stay on track. As you start each task on your priority list, set an expected deadline to stick to while you work. Putting a time limit on each task will create a sense of urgency, encouraging you to work harder in order to meet your deadline. If you finish a task before you reach the deadline, stop working on it and start on the next thing on your list.
- Limit distractions. Block out time in your calendar, let calls go to voice mail and don't check your e-mail. Consider setting up certain times of the day to check and respond to e-mail to limit distractions throughout the day. When people come into your cube, be nice, but let them know you're busy and ask if you could help at another time.
- Disconnect. If possible, leave the office and go somewhere without access to the Internet. Keep your cell phone with you for important calls and let everyone know you’re still available by phone. Limiting your access to the Internet will eliminate a major distraction and help you cross off more items on your to-do list.
- Make the most of your prime time. Everyone has a certain time of the day when we know we work best. Capitalize on that part of the day when your energy is high and you have a greater ability to think and concentrate. Tackle your most important tasks during your high-productivity time and schedule less important activities at other times of the day.
- Clear the clutter. Even if you think that your system of “organized chaos” is working, it’s not. The time you spend searching through stacks of folders and papers on your desk takes away from valuable time where you could be getting important tasks completed. When your desk is clean and organized, you’ll feel less stressed and work more efficiently throughout the day.
While the latest gadgets and gizmos on the market promise to improve personal productivity, sometimes disconnecting can be the best way to get more accomplished. When training for productivity, let your audience know that getting back to the basics may be the best remedy for getting more done.
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