Why Not . . . Be More Productive? Part Trois
Wednesday October 5, 2011

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Being productive.  We all strive for it, but sometimes we get in our own way by either committing to too many responsibilities, trying to multi-task which results in nothing being done well, or simply not exerting enough energy because we aren’t aware of our own potential.  No matter where in your approach you need a bit of polish, hopefully after the past two weeks you’ve been able to take some time and reflect upon what is working and what is holding you back (view Part One and Part Two).

To wrap up this series, I have five more tips that will hopefully help you turn any situation into an opportunity that will either help in the short term, but more importantly for the long term as you navigate toward your destination of success.


Be A Problem Solver

Difficulties are going arise, that is a given, but it is how we compose ourselves and deal with the problem that will either either help or hinder the problem at hand.  Two things to keep in mind here, many things we are capable of tackling and completing on our own even when we don’t think we can (simple plumbing and electrical fixes around the house, negotiating to lower your bills or a price on an item you simply need), but there are also times when it is wise to call someone who is an expert which will save you time, eliminate unnecessary frustrations and possibly teach you something if you observe how they handle the problem. The key is to know the the difference and not throw your hands up until you are sure you can’t take care of the problem.


Don’t Be Shy

No matter where you work, it is imperative that you be your own advocate when it comes to earning the respect and credit you deserve.  Especially when you are running your own business, you must be comfortable with tooting your own horn.  Quite often, we assume people don’t want what we have to offer, but the only reason they are swarming is because we haven’t let them know what we can provide with our specific talents and experience. Be bold and tactfully boastful and you are sure to garner more deserved attention.



One of the most helpful tools that leads to even greater productivity is to plan regular times throughout the year to assess how well you are proceeding toward your intended targets.  By sitting down twice or four times a year (maybe even monthly) and looking at what you want to achieve and what has worked so far, you can eliminate what isn’t working and make other minor adjustments. Remember no one is going to look out for you if you don’t first look out for yourself.  Decide to be your own number one supporter and great things will gradually come your way.


Revel In Down Time

Last week I spoke about creativity breaks, but thoroughly enjoying your down time is something slightly different.  Whatever vacation time you have coming be sure to take it and just be.  Don’t expect yourself to glean inspiration, ideas or complete home projects – just be.  Why, you might ask? Because we need to refuel, we need to just allow ourselves to do as we please. Sometimes during your vacations and days off you learn what intrigues you because it is not forced or sought after, but instead completely organic.  Again, it all comes down to finding the balance.


One At A Time

I mentioned in the introduction that multi-tasking is actually not a means to becoming more productive and I feel it is important to repeat.  There is a misunderstanding about multi-tasking.  There is an assumption that the more you can do at one time, the more will be accomplished in less time, but this is simply not an effective way to become more productive.  With anything in life, when we give it our entire focus, we are better able to do our best work because we are not distracted.  The same is true for any task we choose to take one – do it well so that you only have to do it once.  The peace of mind you will create in knowing you did a quality job will also provide a peace of mind that is priceless.

It is my hope that this series provided a few new ways to improve your productivity and more than anything create a more enjoyable and fulfilling life.  Nothing feels so good at the end of the day as knowing you have accomplished something you set out to do, and when you know you gave it your best, what else can you ask for? More than anything it is about being clear about what you want, eliminating the unnecessary and remaining focused until the task is completed. A simple approach that is sure to lead to success.

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