My very favorite weekend is coming up – the end of daylight savings time. Â I always feel more “right” during standard time and keep my schedule in my head more effectively. Â And believe it or not, I find I am more productive. Â Why? Â Because in my head, I feel like I have an extra hour. Â It is incredibly motivating when I look at the clock thinking it will be 4:00 and it is actually 3:00. Â I have time to get the project done or take more calls, or make more calls, or whatever. Â It is a great time of year.
So what things make a difference to your productivity? For many people, we are entering the time of year they get less productive. Â The year is winding down, budget cycles are ending, vacations kick in again, etc. Â Some of these things are outside of your control. But are there things you could do now to help boost productivity when those out-of-your-control things are over?
Evaluate standing meetings – we all have standing meetings each week or month. Â Which of these actually produced results? Â I took one staff I had from weekly team meetings to every other week and it increased our productivity. Â At another job, I took the team from monthly meetings to weekly meetings and communication suddenly started happening after years of siloing.
Evaluate networking meetings – The tricky part about evaluating networking meetings is to really take a look at what’s working, what isn’t, and WHY. Â Are you more comfortable at one vs. another and therefore make it more effective? Â Or is it the people that attend?
Filing – I don’t know anyone who likes to file. Â One President I talked to recently said she shuts her office down for two days in November to file, shred and clean up the office. Â When you need something, it is so much easier to find when it is put away in its proper place. Â This goes for computer files too. Â My computer is the neatest place in my house because everything is stored in folders. Â I rarely spend any time searching for a document and almost never use the search feature on my computer. Â VERY efficient!
Archive – This also goes for everything from paper to computer files. Â If you aren’t sure if you need to keep something, check out this solution. Â I worked with an Office Manager once who would box up a bunch of stuff, put an inventory on the outside of the box with a date when it was packed up. Â Then if we didn’t open it within one year, we knew we didn’t need the stuff and it could be recycled. Â If we opened the box, we updated the inventory sheet (okay – we crossed out what we took out) and re-dated the box. Â It was brilliant! Â Items you know you need to keep that can be moved to long-term storage should go during 4th quarter. That way you start the year off with a clean slate and aren’t trying to put away the previous year. Â Computer files too – you have an archive feature in Outlook on purpose!
Now, here’s the trickiest one. Â Pay attention for one whole week to things that annoy you. Â You know, every time you go to dial the phone and your cord gets stuck around your pencil holder, or how the sun hits your monitor on certain days, etc. Now FIX THEM. Â It seems the silliest thing but there are so many little annoyances people put up with on a daily basis because when they think about them they don’t want to take the 3 minutes to fix it. Â So set aside a week, and fix them all. Â It will free up those feelings of annoyance as well as make you that much more productive.
What other tips do you have to make yourself more productive?