Procrastinators, smart-dressers and email essayists beware… your days are numbered!
Well, not really… But what we’ve got in store below might be food for thought for some subscribers wishing to get a lot more done during their working day. In a slight departure from our regular case-study column, we’ve trawled the internet to find you the five best “Productivity” tips ever.
1. One-minute Wonder
Emailing takes up a massive proportion of time for any manager. Often, email “chains” can drag on for pages and contain a lot of information that simply isn’t relevant to the topic up for discussion.
Our tip: Try limiting your time to one minute per email. Apart from obliging you to get to the crux of the subject, your responses will be prompter, more on-message and free from the rambling we’re all guilty of committing now and again.
2. Hit “Snooze”
As a species, humans are “monophasic sleepers” in that we normally sleep for just one block of time in any given day. And, while awake (and at work) we’re expected to stay continually alert and responsive – which can be tough.
Our tip: For busy managers, naps can restore alertness, enhance performance, and reduce the likelihood of mistakes and accidents. Is it any wonder that Napoleon, Albert Einstein and John F. Kennedy, were all renowned afternoon nappers?
3. Mental Blockage
Sometimes (many times!) we can experience mental block, especially when it comes to something that requires a little thought or creativity to get started. We stall, stare at the page and simply cannot get a move-on when we need to.
Our tip: If a walk to clear your head or a caffeine-hit to inspire you just isn’t available, simply put pen to paper and write something – anything – that can get you started on the job. Why? Because it’s far easier to improve a bad first draft than a blank page.
4. Saying "Thanks"
Sometimes we find a book or blog (or fantastic monthly newsletter) that’s got some great ideas or helpful information we can use ourselves, or share with colleagues. More often than not though, we don’t go the extra mile to connect with the original producer of the content we like so much.
Our tip: Reaching out to an author with a word of thanks, a "Like" or leaving a comment is often enough to (i) reinforce (in the reader) the message we’ve taken on-board (ii) create a connection with the author that may bear other fruit at a later stage and (iii) show others we’re “switched-on” about the subject matter.
5. If the shoe fits…
Any manager in any business is compelled to make major decisions on a daily or hourly basis. But research shows that the simple act of making one decision can slightly degrade your ability to make another.
Our tip: Try to identify areas in which you can “pare down decisions” (in the words of President Obama). One might be to simply create a “work wardrobe” that saves you the time and stress in the morning, deciding if “that tie” goes with “this suit” and “those shoes”.