How to Really Get Things Done

Everyone wants to be more productive, but in the business world, increasing your productivity can actually have tangible rewards. Too many people find themselves straining under the pressure of expectations and deadlines, but success doesn’t have to be stressful. There are some very concrete steps you can take towards providing yourself with the motivation and time management skills you need to accomplish all that’s expected of you and more.

Make lists

For example, try making lists. Making a list of the tasks you need to accomplish for each day is probably the single most effective thing you can do to manage your time. Calenders and planners are also helpful tools, but Post-it notes are the perfect size for your pocket or wallet, and this portability helps you stay appropriately on track. Just make sure the goals you’re writing for your day are both specific and feasible. Try not to assign yourself broad, overarching tasks because this kind of intimidating language will actually encourage you to procrastinate rather than be productive.

make not a vague but a specific to do listInstead, use your daily Post-it to break harrowing tasks down into more manageable components. For example, don’t instruct yourself to “Contact clients and complete corresponding reports” if you know there’s no way you’ll be able to tackle those two dozen reports in one day. Instead, make your assignment seem more doable by writing, “Contact at least 6 clients and complete corresponding reports.” This task seems much more approachable.

Also, when writing your daily to-do list, allow yourself a couple of freebies, such as “Ask boss about yesterday’s numbers” or “Send email to accounting department.” It’s okay to write these tasks on your list even though they’re simple because they do consume real amounts of your time. Plus, crossing accomplishments off your list is a small reward that can keep you feeling gratified and motivated.

Make commitments

Another way to become more productive is to make commitments to other people. Making commitments to other people, even those who have no stake in whether or not you actually succeed, can really motivate you to reach your goals. By telling others about the tasks you plan to complete, you are making an implicit promise to yourself and to the other party.

When someone else knows about what you plan to accomplish, you feel as if they’re holding you accountable, and it makes you much more likely to push yourself. This is largely due to the fact that we despise allowing others to see us fail. So even if the other party couldn’t care less about your goals, your instincts will still drive you to prove to them that you’re a success, and this makes voicing your desired outcomes to others a very neat way to trick yourself into being more productive.

By following these tips, you’re sure to become more productive. Remember to keep your goals specific and obtainable, and always reward yourself for tasks well completed. If you feel morale declining, do all you can do give it a boost! Increased motivation results in increased productivity, which in turn delivers success.

About Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen, a business growth, efficiency & marketing consultant, provides business advisory services for clients in the Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; York, Hanover, Lancaster & Harrisburg, PA regions. Andrew advises regarding business growth, productivity, efficiency, business startups, customer service, and online/offline marketing. Follow Andrew on Google+

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