Productivity is steadily decreasing in the United States, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Have you noticed this trend with your staff? How about with your own work? It's easy to get distracted by side conversations or emails popping into your inbox. Here are 5 tricks you can incorporate into your daily life to increase your productivity today:
1. Create a To-Do List
Let's start with the basics. Have you ever felt like the tasks you need to do are scattered? Maybe you have one item on a sticky note, another in an email to yourself and another in your head. Make sure to have a consistent way of accessing a daily to-do list, whether it is always written down on paper or on your computer in a specific place. Once you have your to-do list, rank the items in order of priority. Each day, do the most important thing on your list first and then move down from there so that you make sure that essential tasks get finished.
2. Schedule Your Time
Once you create your to-do list, schedule your tasks throughout the day in your calendar. Estimate how long each task will take you and work through each item on your list according to which time it is slotted for. When something is scheduled in your calendar, you are more likely to take it seriously and actually do the task.
3. Check Your Email
Most of us check our emails throughout the day, starting first thing in the morning. Cut out checking your email right when you get to work and replace that time with creating your to-do list. Once that is finished, just as you've scheduled time in your calendar for your to-do list, schedule time to check emails as well. When you're answering emails as they come in, it interrupts your thought process and makes it even harder for you to get back to the task you were doing before the email arrived.
4. Problem Solve
Don't force yourself to problem solve the very moment an issue comes up. If it isn't a problem that needs to be solved right away and you can't figure out a good solution in the moment, don't be afraid to step away from the situation for awhile. Many times we spend an hour spinning our wheels, but don't come up with any solutions. Instead, remove yourself from the environment by going for a walk or moving onto the next task. Once you stop thinking about something, oftentimes solutions will reveal themselves to you.
5. Turn off Phone Notifications
Most of us have our phones within a few feet of our desk, so when we get a text message, an Instagram notification, or a Facebook message, we see the notification come in. This can happen so many times a day that we often barely notice it, but the reality is that it is a huge distraction and causes us to get out of our flow. I suggest turning your phone on silent and putting it out of your immediate line of sight so that you aren't tempted to check it every few minutes.
What are your favorite productivity tips? Let me know in the Top Health Club Owners & Managers Facebook group here.
VP, Global Sales at ClubConnect
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