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How to be Productive Today

My Productivity Test

Will you be productive today?

I’m doing a test today. Let’s call this a productivity test. I have a lot of writing, posting, errands, and fund raising to do. These are musts. There is no easy out. No one I can push these tasks off onto. No scapegoat here, just me.

I have two choices to make. Get my work done or not get my work done. I know which one is best, but just knowing what is best for us, does not always cause us to take that path. After all there’s Angry Birds, Words with Friends, Twitter and Facebook updates.

Since this is a very important day in which I need to be productive. I’m going to do the following to see if my productivity increases.

Five Ways to be Productive Today

1. Pray

Since I am a Christian. I will pray to God, the father of Jesus. If you are not a Christian, you may do something different here i.e. take a moment of silence, have a centering thought, chant, etc. Whatever you do here, get yourself focused on what matters.

Today: I am going to do this every 30 minutes during my work day.

2. Check Email Less Often

I admit to being addicted to email. I check it quite often. I don’t have any chimes or bells or whistles notifying me of incoming missives from very important people who are dying to use my services, have me speak or be my friend. But I do often go back to a tab on my browser opened to my mail client. I love people and I love to converse. Therefore, my love of receiving emails.

Today: It will be hard. But since I know I have no earth shattering emails coming my way, I will check email today only at 1 p.m. and at 4:30 p.m. This will be the hardest thing I do all day, but I this is one good way to be productive today.

3. Stay Calm

Sometimes the stress of a busy day can cause one to be unproductive. Get rid of the stress. Of course, do it in a healthy way, don’t hit your boss or make a voodoo doll resembling him or her (well, if you do go the Voodoo route, put the doll in a locked drawer). Do something like working out at lunch time, playing racquetball, go for a walk, tell or listen to some good jokes.

Today: I am not going to let any outside circumstance that is beyond my control, control me, my thoughts, or my actions.

4. Focus on the Little Things First

I know this often goes against conventional thinking, but I’m a bit unconventional. Plus, this is just a test for today, I may change step #4 on my next busy day to be exactly the opposite. I think if I tackle the most difficult tasks, my energy could be zapped and I may be unable to finish the small tasks. More importantly, if I accomplish the big or difficult tasks first, I may become satisfied with my accomplishment and allow the other tasks to go unfinished. This is especially important for people who are their own boss or if you have a boss who gives you free reign to go at your own speed.

Today: I am writing blog posts first, definitely one of the easier tasks of the day. In my effort to be a more regular blogger, I should start each day like this and then have the choice to write less when I do.

5. Cut Out the Clutter

Working from home is one of the easiest places where clutter can cut down on your productivity. Clutter is a stress inducer. Don’t believe me? Try to have a productive day with a cluttered work area and then try to have a productive day when your work area is spotless. With less clutter, you will spend less time searching for lost or misplaced items. You may know already that not only can phsyical desktops be cluttered, but computer desktops too. Even an iPhone can be cluttered with unnecessary apps. Whatever form uncluttering looks like in your life, do it, before trying to have a productive day.

Today: I am going to finish uncluttering my work area. It’s not too cluttered now, but it could be better. One place I won’t go today is my home office. By the time I could unclutter that place, my chance at having a productive day would be over.

As I write this, I’m finding out some of these steps are easier to follow than others. That’s what happens when you work out of your house.

Please share some of your productivity hints. I’d love to read them.


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