The last month I have spent a lot of time reflecting, prioritizing, and slowing down.
I had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and bicep right before Christmas. Four weeks later I’m still in the sling and expect to be for several more weeks. I can type and write again with both hands, but the recovery process is exhausting and painful. I need to be much more organized to accomplish my daily goals, both professionally and personally.
Here are a few ideas that have helped me stay on track. Hopefully, they will help you increase your productivity each day:
- Block your time every day, Create a schedule for your entire day. This can include time for projects, creativity, meetings, lunch, working out,etc. You will be amazed at how being held accountable for your time decreases the wasted space. I was already on my second 13 week Best Self Journal, which had already started to transform how I approach each day. (More on this in a future post, after I finish my second journal).
- Schedule more challenging projects for when you are most productive. If you do them in the morning, then you avoid the procrastination bug in your mind until that work is done. And if you need extra time, you’re not scrambling at the last minute.
- Check your email just a couple times a day, at set times. It will allow you to focus on your current work. A University of California at Davis research study shows that it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus your attention every time you get interrupted. That’s a lot of time! The other advantage to this is that people learn to become accustomed to your response time.
- Make a list. Whether you do it in a daily journal like Best Self, Evernote, or a notebook— or any combination of these— keywords can remind you of the small tasks that you might forget to do.
- Pick up the phone— set up scheduled or standing call times. On complicated projects, I find that one 10 minute call can resolve an issue quicker and with less frustration than 20 emails.
- Take a break. Research shows that you should take a break between projects, to eat, to work out. I often find that while away from my desk I have my most creative ideas.
- Show gratitude. Expressing thankfulness at the start and end of each day Is a positive and expanding force. It makes us remember the small moments.
I’ve have consciously practiced each of these ideas over the last month,. I find that each one has helped me be more productive, proactive, mindful, and satisfied at the end of the day. I hope to continue to engage in each of these practices throughout 2018, not just while I’m in recovery.
The journey continues. Cindy