3 Magic Keys To Blitzing Your Task List

3 Magic Keys To Blitzing Your Task List

Being super productive is a pre-requisite these days, so why do people still struggle?  It’s not a school curriculum subject or part of the company’s orientation training, it’s something that all of us have to deal with – in all different ways. If you want to save a massive amount of time now, I’ve got 3 magic tips that have changed the way I work – forever. Most people write task lists, it could be a simple pen and notepad or an elaborate online software program.  Whatever it is, it’s usually not the tool that’s the problem; it’s the amount of things we expect to get done. That used to be me, my lists would typically be anywhere from 10 to 20 items long with absolutely no regard for how long each item would take me to do.  I didn’t think to allow for the inevitable interruptions, which would totally derail my day. So by the end of the day when my score was 3 out of 20, how do you think I felt? I felt every day was unproductive and I just wasn’t moving forward. In my quest to become more productive, I tried many different techniques and software.  At the end of the day it came down to 3 powerful things: Focus – focus is everything.  Focus is a skill that can be learnt but it does require some discipline.  We all have a barrage of information, opportunities, entertainment, and other people’s problems coming at us from all directions all the time.  We can’t possibly deal with all of this so some things; in fact most things...
How to Maintain Small-Business Productivity During the Holidays

How to Maintain Small-Business Productivity During the Holidays

The holiday season is almost upon us and very soon celebration invites and thoughts of who’s hosting Christmas dinner become top of mind.  The demands of the festive season become greater as the countdown begins.  As your mind drifts into thoughts of a white Christmas, reality bites – there’s still work to be done. Here are some tips to maintain your small-business productivity and prepare for the new year ahead. When all around you is chaos– keep your cool and stay focused. If you don’t already have a daily planning ritual, it could be a good time to start. During the busy holiday time, more than ever you need a daily and weekly plan to maintain your focus in order to complete what needs to get done. Start by scheduling your priority tasks into your calendar. Schedule shorter batches of time to allow for the smaller less important tasks to get done. Take advantage when your clients slow down during the holidays. Not every industry gets busy around the holiday season, in fact many shutdown altogether.  If your clients slow down or shutdown make sure you use this additional time in your week to work on important projects and other work that may have been neglected. If things are really quiet, why not dedicate a day to clearing out your office space, de-cluttering your desktop and organising your computer files. You’ll start back to work after the holidays feeling motivated and ready for action. Planning is critical to success, put aside some time to reflect on achievements, set goals and plan for the following year. Get prepared early on....
How To Set Up Your Office for Success

How To Set Up Your Office for Success

Whether you are setting up an office in town or dedicating a part of your home to an office, your work environment will be crucial to your productivity, happiness and overall success.  If you are setting up a new office, you can decorate your office over time, but it’s important to get the basics right from the start. And if your present current office consists of hand-me-downs and boring furniture dating from the previous millennium and is making you miserable, then you are due for a totally fresh start! Here’s how to make the most productive use of your office space and turn it into a functional and healthy environment. Determine your needs and create a space that is right for you Some people need complete silence and Zen-like serenity in order to concentrate on their work, while others work best in a vibrant atmosphere that exudes high energy. If you are easily distracted, make sure that you have some privacy at your work station. If you have to interact with colleagues while working, a screen or wall divider might be a good option. Make sure that your office furniture is adjustable to your height and body measurements. Have the right tools for the jobs you perform. For example, if you spend a lot of time on the telephone in your job function, invest in a hands-free headset. For a more personalised space, bring something in your favourite colour into your office space and maybe a special photo; remember not to overdo it as these items will end up cluttering your desk.   An ergonomically correct workspace Ergonomics is...
The Best Time to Get Organised for the New Year is Now

The Best Time to Get Organised for the New Year is Now

I’ve put together my top 7 tips to help you to do just that before the holidays hit and all the Christmas chaos takes over.  It’s always worth while to spend some time planning out your year in business.  Put aside a few hours to plan out what needs to be organised in your office, write down everything then start to list priorities and the order in which you will tackle each task.  For example, the filing cabinet will need to be organised before you can attempt the filing pile! The next step is to allocate time to complete all your organising tasks. You will most likely need a day or longer depending of course on how much you have to do.  It may seem daunting, however try to complete everything within the time frame, otherwise life will once again become busy and the remaining tasks will remain uncompleted.  Remember that by allocating time to organise your office regularly, the task will be more manageable. To start off on the right foot for the year ahead, follow these top tips…. 1.    Declutter your office or workspace.  Even if you loathe cleaning and tidying I promise you that blitzing your work space for even one hour will breathe new energizing life into your plans.  Throw or give away what you no longer want or need. You may even find a few gems to fill some Christmas stockings. 2.    Release old stuff that didn’t work this year or you just don’t have the enthusiasm to do.  Yes this includes all of those half done projects that seemed such a good idea at the...
The Sheer Waste of Time in the Typical Business is Enormous

The Sheer Waste of Time in the Typical Business is Enormous

Why are 10-hour days the norm for business proprietors? Perhaps because the typical business owner can fritter away half of his or her day doing bits and bats, but nothing that moves the business forward.  Doing non-profit tasks are important, even vital, to the functioning of the business. However, done to the extreme, they become detrimental to the success of the business. You may not be surprised to learn what the biggest time wasters are… but take a fresh look.  Evaluateyouractivities and what effect they have onyour business. Now realign these activities to your business goals Internet surfing Very few of us realise how much time we spend browsing. Social Media Spend your energy on communicating with the people that matter. Evaluate and measure your return on time invested.  All social media interactions are not necessarily created equal. Meetings Always, always question internal meetings. Before you schedule a meeting, recognise the enormous cost of pulling you and your team away from their regular workflow. Communication Tools – No systems in place It’s not the tools themselves that’s the problem, but rather the attention to them.  If a communication medium is breaking your concentration, it probably is hindering you more than it is helping.  Not having some sort of system to deal with interruptions — such as email, text, calls, IM messaging and the daily barrage of information — means a huge time drain. Multi-Tasking Constantly trying to do everything at the same time. Computers can do this very quickly – people can’t. Being Busy Vs. Being Productive When you’re busy, it may look like you’re getting lots done, but...
Starting Fresh! Time for Some Organising

Starting Fresh! Time for Some Organising

Mini Office Makeover Feeling overwhelmed at your desk? Stressed when you sit down? Not as productive as you should be? It might not be you – it could be a messy desk or workstation influencing your mood. Unorganised files, fighting to find things and paperwork piles not only affect how you work, they can also cost you time. Find out how to make work a little easier for yourself just by organising a messy workspace. Give your workspace a mini makeover – you’ll love the feeling of a fresh look and feel! Start Fresh! Every good makeover starts with a fresh approach! Get things under control with a couple of days of solid commitment to your makeover. Clean the crumbs and dust off of your desk Disinfect your phone and mouse Go through your desk drawers and throw out dried up pens and highlighters If you have files that haven’t been used in a while, archive them into storage. Check with your company about document retention policies and how to handle confidential data. Take inventory of all the things currently on your desk and decide whether or not you really need them to be there. Figure Out Your Favourites You need to look at your work habits to identify the tools and information that you use frequently and want to access quickly and easily. If you’re a big user of letter openers, staplers and highlighters, keep them easy to access. If you constantly use your telephone list, keep it visible. Keep the items you use less frequently (like staples, or a notepad you use for monthly meetings) in less...