Improve your productivity at work

Glen Stansberry, productivity blogger and the brains behind the LifeRemix network (a network Unclutterer proudly belongs to), authored “80 Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day” Tuesday for American Express’ OPEN Forum website. The article gives tips and insights from 19 small business and productivity writers and consultants on how to get more done without having to clone yourself.

Some of my favorite tips from the article:

Jonathan Fields, JonathanFields.com
“Exercise – It sounds counter-intuitive. You have to spend time exercising. But, research has shown that exercise boosts cognitive function, creativity, problem solving and productivity. In fact a NASA study showed employees who exercised daily worked at 100% efficiency after 7 hours, while those who didn’t saw a 50% drop, meaning it took them twice as long to accomplish the same thing. So, exercise, in effect, creates time.”

Jonathan Salem Baskin, Dim Bulb
“Finally, a technique I learned in a high school mechanical drafting class was to group like-executed tasks together, so don’t just staple once but try to take care of any immediately obvious stapling needs. If you open your online calendar to add an appointment, check to see if there are others to add before you close it out. The time you don’t spend doing these repetitive tasks will be extra time to focus on the work that matters.”

Jeff Cornwall, The Entrepreneurial Mind
“Too often, entrepreneurs do not prepare their employees before delegating to them. This results in the classic case of ‘it is quicker to do it myself’. By investing the time in simple training, communicating a clear explanation of expectations, and documenting the basic process for them to follow, delegation will quickly become a way to free up time.”

Becky McCray, Small Biz Survival
“Use checklists. Make and use checklists of daily tasks. This saves you time in two ways: you will work more efficiently with a checklist in front of you, and you will spend less time trying to remember what still needs to be done. You can read more of my explanation of a social media marketing checklist here.”

I also enjoyed the obvious, but extremely important tip Glen shares at the end of the article:

Improve your typing speed. Think about how much time you spend in email and other forms of online communication. Improving how fast you type could potentially add bunches of minutes to your day.

You may not agree with all of the tips provided, but you’re sure to garner at least one or two gems from “80 Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day.” Additionally, I liked the article because it introduced me to other articles, blogs, and writers on productivity.

10 Comments for “Improve your productivity at work”

  1. posted by Ronique Gibson on

    Thank you for the helpful tips! I especially like the comment about like-executed tasks together. I think many people go to the copy machine 10-20 times a day. If they would save 5 to 10 trips to do all at once, think of how much production could have been achieved. Every time you get up – your concentration is broken – I know from experience!

  2. posted by Mike on

    One must be vigilant, however, not to let too many tasks get into “almost done” mode because one is waiting to coordinate a subtask that applies to a bunch of them and there are only one or two ready.

  3. posted by Todd Eddy on

    Haven’t read original article so these may have been mentioned.

    First one which is pretty obvious, don’t do personal stuff at work. Don’t go on facebook, stay away from youtube, don’t constantly check your mail, etc. You can easily get tied up in doing personal things and before you know it you’ve lost an hour of work. For example I only have a work laptop, no desktop. I keep all my personal things in separate applications. Like for mail I use apple’s mail app and for personal email I use thunderbird. This way if I get a new message alert I know it’s work related (so long as I keep thunderbird closed)

    Another which I really need to get better at is learning to say no. If you are in the middle of something and someone drops something on you don’t immediately drop what your doing to do it. Obviously sometimes things do come along that are more important but most of the time I can get away with saying “I’ll look at this when I’m done with (whatever)” and usually they will understand.

  4. posted by TanyaZ on

    To add to the typing skills – keep up with new technology. Not only it will free up time for you, it will make you more employable.

  5. posted by Carley Knobloch on

    Batching tasks is one of my faves… and I’m a compulsive checklister! I loved reading all these! One thing I have on my side is I’m a super-fast typer… my kids are like “WHOA!” when I get rolling, and I just bought a Mavis Beacon game so they can start brushing up on their skills! It is a killer skill to have.

  6. posted by Jumping Jacks Increase Productivity At The Office | Lifehacker Australia on

    […] Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day [OPEN Forum via Unclutterer] […]

  7. posted by Rae on

    Taking the time to organize your workspace and procedures is the biggest time saver. The folks who say ‘I don’t have time to get organized!’ are the ones who would most benefit from it. Last time I had a regular cubicle-type job my boss knew that the last half hour of my week would not be ‘productive’, but that I’d be the employee most raring to go first thing Monday morning.

    The exercise tip is also excellent. When I find myself drooping at the desk I’ll stop the work timer and go for a walk. I come back as refreshed as if I’d taken a nap, even more so.

  8. posted by Cheryl Paris on

    I am so glad you have mentioned such great tips here.
    If you fail to plan you plan to fail. We need to organize ourselves in real life else it is difficult to be on top of things.

    Thanks so much!
    Cheryl
    Cheryl Paris Blog

  9. posted by personal development guru on

    I find that exercise helps so much in every thing. I feel so much better about myself and my life after leaving the gym!
    Thanks for the post, I’ll try some of the other things as well, hopefully they help out.

  10. posted by Laura on

    Excellent tips, so true about the point on delegating, I’ve learnt that myself, it’s worth investing the time with staff and it strengthens team spirit too…I can’t imagine how much time I’d waste if I weren’t a fast typist…

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