I have a lot of fun advising businesses and implementing systems for growing a business. I have to do what I preach to make it valid and help organizations buy into a better reality. There are some things I take for granted because they are habits. They are habits I worked hard at, but as with all habits, they become ingrained and automatic over time.
In the old days, your work contribution could be camouflaged by and diluted by a group which you operated in. Today, we are all exposed and accountable. We either deliver and get things done or we don’t. I have found that it’s even more important to focus on productivity to increase my output as well as opportunities. It’s hard to reach for new things when we are bogged down by the old.
Here are some of the daily productivity habits I work at to keep me and my team operating at a high level:
- Keep a Zero Inbox. This means that I move the hundreds of emails out of my inbox and into the next step. The next step is the trash (the majority), my archives or an action list. Time works in waves. When there is a down wave, I look at my deferred actions and work through the list. I have to respond anyways at some point.
- Capture Ideas Immediately. Ideas are funny. They come in waves also. When I catch one, I get it into my Google Tasks lists wherever I am at. I lose valuable ideas if I don’t do it. I also use Evernote to capture and drive actions from resources I find.
- Use Cloud Computing. I have worked from the highway, mountain tops and the beach. My systems are in the cloud. The internet is my computer. My business systems and my personal work is in the cloud accessible from any mobile or computing device. It is both convenient and strategic for collaboration. No IT headaches, no crashes. Just getting work done.
- Clear The Deck. I am a minimalist. I don’t keep anything on my workspace. I delete my desktop items. I always seek to purge and get rid of things. Anything that does not help me push forward becomes a distraction. This can happen peripherally as well. I find it creates focus on the work at hand. Fewer things, not more, will do wonders. Every thing you let in your life has to be managed, even subconsciously.
- Make Decisions. Life moves at light speed. I make decisions and live with the outcomes. I force myself to make decisions all the time. This helps me to get clear quickly and have peace of mind. I am not preoccupied by perfection or fear of failure. Decisions free up mind space and move the ball forward on project work quickly.
I am always a student. Examining my habits continually helps me to continue to get better as a leader and knowledge worker. If I am not productive, then opportunities are missed.
The feeling of a clear mind and elegant execution makes work highly enjoyable for me.
What are some productivity habits you have?