My friends, today, I feel compelled to write on this topic of productivity. One of the reasons being, it comes up a lot in my coaching sessions and more so now in these months, given we are getting to the end of 2018. At the beginning of the year, and probably even mid-way some of us set some strong powerful goals to accomplish by the end of the year.
I’m sure many of you are getting closer to achieving the goals. However, if you are struggling and need a little push to get there, allow me to offer you a few tips to increase your productivity so you can use the next couple of months to get where you want to be. These tips are practical, tried and tested and on many levels they may seem simplistic or even boring but give it a shot and see where you get in the next few weeks.
Identify habits that don’t serve you: Let me ask you this - When was the last time you took stock of your day? Have you had a chance lately to just sit down and look at the various things you do everyday? One of the first things to do when you want to increase your productivity is to get self-aware and identify habits that don’t serve the goals you’ve set. Let me give you an example. Perhaps at the beginning of the year you set a goal to get fit and healthy. If that still remains your goal, it’s a great time to take stock of where you are and identify the habits currently associated with accomplishing that goal. Now if you find that somewhere down the line your habits shifted – you stopped going to the gym, or doing your meal preps then its important to take note of that. Once you’ve identified and written down all habits that are not serving you, then set clear boundaries and re-introduce habits that will get you closer to your goals for the year.
Set a Timer: Sounds simple right, that’s because it is. This is an effective tool I use to complete tasks now. A tip I’m proud to say I picked up from my teenager. If anybody is organised it’s my girl. We got her an Amazon Echo last year and I’ve constantly seen her use Alexa to set timers for her work and tasks. So I decided to do the same, just in my case I use my phone. Here are a few ways in which I use a timer to help increase my daily productivity. Checking emails. If you are like me then you have an inbox that is flooded with messages. Earlier I would spend hours trying to sort my emails but now I set a 20 minute timer 3 times a day to check, respond and clear messages. Once my timer goes then I move on to the next thing. The best part is I get through so many emails in those 20 minutes. I’ve started using a timer for many other tasks too. If I decide to write a piece for my blog or produce content for my podcast then I set a timer for 60 minutes to get some solid chunk in. I’ve found that my work starts getting more productive if I know I have a certain about of time to do it. In that time I decide to write, I switch off from all other distractions.
Frame Your Day and Make Lists: I thrive on this one. In my past blog posts and episodes on the podcast I’ve spoken about the importance of setting a morning routine, framing your day and setting strong intentions. A useful tip is to set 3-4 daily intentions or priorities that will get you closer to your goal. Once you set the intentions, make your daily to do list. I often use a simple notebook to write down my daily intentions and lists but there are apps and other tools you can use too.
Set Deadlines: If you are serious about achieving your goal, then set a deadline. Don’t leave things open- ended. They are likely they will remain unfinished and will leave room for excuses. One of my favourite sayings is, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” That statement has three parts: 1) the goal, which is what you want to achieve; 2) the dream, which is what you think you can do; and 3) the deadline, which means you will accomplish what you set out to do. So setting deadlines aren’t bad. They help you organise your time and help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it. And meeting deadlines successfully is one of the best motivating factors out there.
Get an Accountability Partner: Once you’ve done all of the above – identified habits that don’t serve you, re-introduced useful habits, framed your tasks and set deadlines, now its time to find an accountability partner. Working with a coach or a change work professional is awesome. They are non-judgemental and hold the space and accountability whilst you work towards your goals. If you are not able to work with a coach, look for an accountability partner like a friend, mentor or colleague who can keep you motivated, highlight your blind spots, stay focussed and give you honest feedback.
That’s it from me my friends. I hope these tips serve you and inspire you to go out there and complete all the goals you set for this year. I’ll leave you with this quote - “The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”– Michelle Obama
I'm Poornima Nair, Certified Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Founder of Live Authentic Coaching and a Mentor with The Cherie Blair Foundation. If you are curious about coaching, interested in being nurtured, inspired and pushed to your edge, to discover and create the relationships, career, lifestyle, finances you are longing for, please reach out to me for a taster of what great coaching does to foster the clarity, mindset, qualities and skills that will allow you to breakthrough.