It’s amazing how quickly the days can fly by without getting anything meaningful done. Especially since right now so many of us are working from home and we don’t have anyone that can see if we are wasting our day away.
I’ve been working from home for 10 years now, so I definitely know what it feels like to see that it’s 8pm and I realize I didn’t do one meaningful thing.
So I’m no expert on always being productive, but I can tell you that it is something that I am making a concerted effort to be better at every day. I have even more motivation now that my wife has a great career, because I know how hard she works and I want to make sure I’m at least trying to be as productive as possible.
-Make a reasonable to-do list.
Don’t put too much on your plate. Sometimes if we have too many things that we say we are going to do, we quickly realize it’s not going to happen and we often bag the whole day and forget the entire list. I use a Post-It Note and write down 2 or three things I for sure need to get done and maybe a couple things I can work on if I get time. I just cross them off when I’ve done them and then toss the note in the trash when everything on the note is complete.
Write down your big, long term goals and keep them in a place you can see every day. For example, one of mine says “Make Nanohydr8 a success!” That is something that I have thought about and know exactly what it means, but it for sure isn’t something I can just sit down and get done today.
-Do small Tasks That bring You Closer to Your End Goal
So “making Nanohydr8 a success” is my long term goal, but each day there are little things that I need to get done if that is ever going to become a reality. Those are the tasks that I write down on a daily to do list.
So right now, I have specific aspects of the business that I am focusing on. Within those aspects, there are simple tasks that I for sure can complete within a given day. Those are the things that I try to focus on completing, but I also like to have my end goal somewhere I can see from my workplace. This way, I have a constant reminder of what I’m really working for while completing hundreds of tedious tasks along the way.
-Designate Specific Hours for Work Only
For some of you, it means you might need to turn off some of the notification settings on your phone. It’s super easy to get distracted if your phone lights up every time someone likes one of your pictures on instagram, every time you get a new friend request, or random news or sports updates. All those little things are productivity killers and are almost never something that can’t be checked on at the end of the day.
-Set Reminders to Follow Up
One of the great things about technology is that it’s easy to set reminders for meetings or calls that you need to make later in the day, or in the future. I use Siri to set reminders all the time. I have so many random tasks that aren’t a part of my daily to do list, that these reminders are the only way that I don’t forget to do them.
-Take Advantage of the Most Productive Time of Day for You
You might be a night owl, like me, or a morning person like my wife. I am most productive if I do all the tedious things, that don’t involve help from other people right when my wife falls asleep. Lucky for me, I can do most of those things on my phone. So I will reply to emails and get some basic reading and analytic work done during this time. One of my business partners gets up at 4 am. So he has three to five hours to be productive before anyone will be interrupting his flow!
This doesn’t work for me, but this guy gets A LOT of stuff done everyday and is one of the most productive people I know. The point is, figure out what time works best for you to isolate yourself from completing tasks and that way you can leave the rest of the time to schedule meetings, phone calls or other things that need to be done during the day.
-Clear Your Space of Clutter
Your physical environment directly impacts your work. The more organized and less cluttered your work area is, the more you will be able to focus on your work and not be distracted by random things that are stacked up on your desk.
-Schedule Time for Exercise
Of course I’m going to tell you that exercise is important. There are so many benefits to daily exercise. The studies are endless. Nothing kills productivity more than getting sick or feeling chronically tired and fatigued. Exercise is proven to not only make you feel better about yourself, but it strengthens your immune system, decreases anxiety, and improves focus. Set aside a time every day to work out. Even if it’s just going for a brisk walk, make it happen, every day! Of course, a Nanohydr8 shooter will make your workout even more productive and will enhance all the other benefits of exercise as well.
-Avoid Meetings that aren’t Necessary
Some people love to meet face to face or schedule meetings because it gives them the false sense of productivity. One thing that I have loved about COVID is that business meetings over the phone have become so much more common and acceptable. If the goal is to just hang out and get to know someone, then a face to face meeting is great. But if there are real things that need to get done, then avoid lunch meetings and any other meeting that isn’t absolutely necessary for you to look someone in the eyes and be able to discuss very specific things.
You’d be surprised how much more you can get done in a day if you aren’t driving to meetings or spending 30 minutes with small talk in every office meeting before you actually get to the point. This might seem anti-social, and it kind of is. But if a meeting is task oriented, a phone call with a follow up text or email with a list of action items that you plan to do and what you expect of each individual in the meeting, is super productive and easy to follow up on. Some meetings are necessary, but never schedule or agree to a meeting unless you know that is the best way for you to use that time. Save those hours for the people you actually want to be hanging out with. Like for me, if you aren’t the wife or one of my kids, and we are meeting face to face then there must be a dang good reason.
-Be accountable to Someone You Respect
Share your goals with someone and ask them to hold you accountable. It is very helpful for me to share my long term goals with my parents because I know how much they support me and I know how much I like them to be proud of the things that I am working on.
As for the shorter term things, I share those with my wife. That way, she can ask me at the end of the day if I was able to do the things I’ve told her I am working on. Vocalizing your long term and short term goals gives them power and they become more real. We all need some encouragement, so hopefully you can all find some people that will be willing to support you and help push you to achieve the things that are important to you.
These are just a few things that came to mind. There are many more. Start with a couple of these and I know you will be more productive. Good luck, now go out and get to work!
Founder/ CEO Nanohydr8