Someone once told me that their co-worker used to take their phone with them into the bathroom to be able to take calls while they were showering. It sounds a bit silly, but I think we can all relate to doing some strange things just to get a few moments to do extra work. I know that sometimes I’m so busy, I have to comb my hair in the office parking lot because I just have to rush out the door to make it to work. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I know I’m not alone. We’re all sacrificing our personal time just to do more work, but the question is how can we get more done at work so we can get our personal things done?
I’m not an expert on productivity as you can clearly see by what I’m doing in a parking lot every morning, but below are some practical and straightforward pieces of advice that may benefit us all and get us to work more efficiently.
The funny thing is that the little stuff can be finished quickly so you can get back to the big things. With me, I get so engrossed in major projects that I forget about small, yet very imperative, things that need to get done. Emails still need to be sent, meetings need to be scheduled and birthday presents need to be purchased. Therefore, if a task only requires a few minutes to complete, get it done.
As humans, we have a drive to want to be great. But it’s essential to realize that if the things you’re doing are not your top priority then, you just need to complete the task. Robert C. Pozen, the author of “Extreme Productivity,” states in a video on his website that your top priority work should be “A” level work. Other things can be “B” or “C” level work. For me, this was one of the best pieces of advice on how I should handle my workload. Because let’s face it, we can’t do everything perfectly. With this way of thinking, I can give myself permission to be perfectly imperfect in a sensible way.
For me, writing things down makes personal deadlines happen. I personally need to see the words on paper for something inside me to click and set me in motion. We all need to create some sort of schedule, list or plan that helps us get things done in a timely and organized fashion. I need to work on prioritizing all the things on my list so that my calendar is a realistic plan of what I want to accomplish, and then rank the top priority items and do “A” level work on them.
Rest is your friend, not your enemy. We all keep pushing ourselves to do more. Yet, when I take a break or just go to bed early, I am so much more productive. I get things done faster, so that time I took to rest was not a waste but an investment in my performance.
The truth is that combing my hair in the parking lot is just absurd! I have no reason to do this. It’s just some weird thing I do to make me feel like I’m being productive. Now that I have admitted this, I need to start implementing some of my own productivity advice and create some time for myself to get dressed the right way.
What are your best productivity tips? Share them with me below!
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