I had the pleasure of attending a seminar today from a fellow faculty member of the Institute for Management Studies (my husband John Stack is the Chair of the Denver chapter), JASON WOMACK. Here are five awesome ideas I gained on how to boost your productivity:
1. If a meeting suddenly gets canceled, what’s the first thing you usually think? “Ooooh I can catch up”! Instead, Jason suggests you can never get caught up. Even if you “do email” all day on a Sunday, you’ll never get caught up. Instead, you should get ahead with any unexpected “found” blocks of time. Work on a long-term project and make progress—not just maintain.
2. Technology is massively key to personal productivity! Here are some great resources Jason offered: www.usemyiphonebetter.com and Speedkeys. Also use Signatures in Outlook for standard letters, replies, and information. Put signatures in your iPhone as well to quickly respond without typing.
3. How can you create more productive days at work and in life? Jason asked the audience to “Write down at least five words that you would use to describe a “Productive Day.” Then he asked for their words. Some words that stood out include: sleep, knowledge gain, no regrets, creativity, energy, family dinner, purposeful, fun, completion. We didn’t hear “Empty my inbox” or “Finish everything on my to-do list.” Also ask your team members what their words are, so you can support them in making that happen.
4. Every night before you go to sleep, write down
- What did I finish today?
- Who can I acknowledge today?
- What am I grateful for?
Then tell yourself, “You’re done.” Rather than thinking about what you need to do; think about what you’ve done. This practice helps you “turn it off” and sleep better.
5. The reason people interrupt and say “Gotta minute?” is that they don’t have a system to hold the information. If you can capture and “save up” several interruptions (such as in Outlook Tasks, 3×5 notecards, or Evernote shared notebook), you can cover them all at one time. The next time you think of something to ask someone, use these filters: NOW (mission critical—interrupt this minute); NEXT (save up for your scheduled 1-on-1 meeting later this week); or LATER (something that might blow over or may not end up being that important—put it on your task list for a week and decide if it’s still a priority to consider for a future meeting).
If you send an email to [email protected] and put “email tips” in the subject line, Jason will send you some great new ways to use Outlook to be productive! Be sure to check out his website and pre-order a copy of his newest book, Get Momentum, which hits bookstores in 4 weeks!