01 Sep Wanna Be More Productive? Take Time Off!
Ok. I know this sounds a bit like an oxymoron to suggest improving your productivity by working less, not more, but stay with me here. I was as stuck as a person can be on a big project that had a looming deadline fast approaching. The more I worked on it, the more stuck I got. So, instead of powering through, I went river rafting. That was about as far from work as I could possibly get. No cell phones. No e-mails, and no ability to even think about the project as I was holding on for dear life in class 4 rapids. (It was my first time river rafting.)
And after the river trip, I took a nap and in fact, didn’t check my e-mails or open up the file for the project until a few days later. And guess what. WIth a rested mind (and body), I wrapped up the project in 2 hours. I had energy. I had focus. And I was waaaaaay more productive in those 2 hours than I had been for the past few days trying to crank this project out.
And in fact, this past August, I changed things up a bit and set very firm boundaries around work. And took my evenings and weekends back. Blocked out times without checking e-mail. Batched my work according to tasks. Limited distractions and took walks in the park. Read a few books. Heck, even though I was working this month, it felt kind of like a vacation because I kept a relaxed yet focused pace.
And guess what happened here as well. I got more work done in less time because I could think! I was effective and efficient because I have been rested, balanced and energized.
This is a lesson that I seem to have to learn over and over again, but I can tell you with 100% confidence, that this is the way to go.
Here are some great productivity tips for you to try:
- Make a reasonable to-do list that is humanly possible.
- Highlight the absolute essential items that you must tend to for the day.
- Give yourself time off. In other words, have a life.
- Make sure your battery is charged. Running on empty is no fun and in the long run, simply doesn’t work.
- Stop multi-tasking. You will just slow yourself down.
- If you really can’t get your work done in 8 or 9 hours, then it’s time to re-evaluate your job demands, see who you can deligate to, or start changing your time lines.
- Make the time to take care of yourself. This includes getting enough sleep, eating well, exercise and do things that you love to do that have NOTHING to do with work.
Trust me. If you apply these things, you will be more productive. Give it a try.
And tell me your top 3 strategies to up your productivity and keep your sanity and actually enjoy your time away from the office.