Personal Productivity – Boost it in 15 Minutes

No matter what you do, one day will never be more than twenty-four hours. No matter how long your to-do list grows, you have exactly the same amount of time to get things done as everyone else. If you want a shot of getting it all done, you need a system that is flexible so that it works for your life, but is effective in that it keeps you productive. The PAR System is that system which will bring you elite productivity that you can work into your life.

The PAR (Process + Attitude = Results) System is based on two very simple principles. First, write everything that you have to do down in a notebook or planner and then recopy your list every morning. Secondly, after you have your list, prioritize what needs to be done and do it first. That is it. If you can master those two skills, you can do anything you put your mind to (and then write into your notebook).

Why these two principles?

First, write everything down so that you do not forget. During an average day, you are going to be bombarded with information and questions and stress. No matter how good you are, things slip through the cracks. Without a system, you may forget that you promised to do something for your boss or that you have a deadline tomorrow for a project. However, if you stay disciplined about writing down tasks into your to-do list, your notebook will be your brain. It will keep track of things that you do not. Then, as you recopy your list, you can get the memory jolt you need.

Secondly, prioritization is important because it keeps you from spinning your wheels. Ever had one of those days where you work and work and work and feel like you got nothing accomplished? You probably feel like that because you did not accomplish any of your priorities. Sure, things may have gotten crossed off your list, but they were not what really needed to be done.

It is also important to stick to your priorities after you have set them. Everyone who tries the PAR System should trust themselves enough to know that the priorities they set for themselves right after they have recopied their list are the proper ones during the stress of the workday.

With that being said, there are, of course, things which happen (family emergencies, angry customers, etc.) that will cause shifts in priorities. This is unavoidable, but the PAR System addresses it using the first principle. If sometime pops up that needs to be dealt with, write it down on the to-do list, make a note that it has priority and work on it until it can be checked off.

There is more to the PAR System that builds off these two principles including setting goals and living your dreams, how to tell what is truly most important, and how to reward yourself for achieving your goals. However, none of these things matter without a mastery of first writing things down, recopying them every morning, setting priorities and following them through.

Above all else, I wish you good luck and Godspeed as your follow your path.

Personal Productivity Strategies – The Importance of Productivity

Have you ever seen your work output rocket up in certain surroundings, decline rapidly when in the wrong mindset and dramatically shift depending on external circumstances?

Productivity isn’t something that just comes to us, it’s a completely dynamic effect that requires a great deal of thought, planning, and most importantly, optimization.

The importance of productivity is well documented, with many of the most important and successful people, whether professional, athletic or creative, employing productivity strategies, specific surroundings and other changes to boost their work output.

The importance of productivity really comes down to competition. When you’ve got a limited period to work within, it’s absolutely essential that you make the most of that time.

Even if you’re determined to work at your own pace, there are always milestones to meet, deadlines to stick to, and other people to work with. Productivity is so essential because it forces us to find new ways to optimize our work style and work at 100% capacity.

Need a simple change to your routine that will boost your productivity? Perhaps the best way to boost your productivity is to simply find a time of day where you excel, both in motivation and in actual measurable output.

For some, that’s the standard 9-5 schedule. For others, however, optimum efficiency comes late at night, very early in the morning, or often split into two clear cut sessions throughout the day.

The importance of productivity optimization is that it allows us to find these key times – known as ‘circadian rhythms’ – and work with them to create maximum output.

For many professionals, that output is far more valuable than the time invested in it.

Thus, by mastering productivity techniques, creating a productive setting, and working without distraction you can achieve more, invest more time in the things that you love to do, and master your domain more effortlessly.

Change Habits to Improve Personal Productivity in 2012

For many of us, the New Year means setting new goals and objectives both personally and professionally. We start off the year with high expectations for ourselves and of all the things we are going to accomplish. We get off to a fast start and then…life happens! The constant noise of each new day and the unforeseen circumstances and events of life cause us to lose focus and set aside all of those things that we said we wanted to accomplish.

Before you know it, a year has gone by and very few, if any, of those initial goals or objectives are checked off as “done,” that is if you can actually find the original goal sheet in your cube or office! Sound familiar?

Well this is a new year and a new opportunity to not let that happen. A new opportunity to change your habits, become more disciplined and hold yourself accountable for achieving your goals. The key to all of this is managing your time more effectively. Below are a few tips and techniques to help you get better control of your time so you can accomplish more and meet your goals.

Create Your Own Strategy Map

Although this is not a traditional time management tip, it is critical to shape everything you do. When you create a strategy map, you define your MVV’s (mission, vision and values.) This can be personal or career based. Staying true to your MVV’s, determine your strategic goals for the year. I would recommend only four or five. Once you have these goals, determine the activities you need to engage in to achieve those goals. Lastly, translate those activities into measures and have targets for those measures so you can hold yourself accountable.

The result of this exercise will be a one page diagram that summarizes what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you’re going to do it and how you’re going to measure it. I have my strategy map as my background on my laptop so that every morning it’s the first thing I see. This helps me to immediately focus my day on the things that matter most.

For a sample strategy map, please contact me and I will send you one as well as directions on how to complete it.

Break Down Activities Into Smaller Chunks

One reason we don’t achieve our goals is because they are too big so we don’t even try. For instance, if my goal is to write a book this year, that goal may feel overwhelming on the surface. If I break down that goal into writing one page a day, it seems much more doable. If I do this, I will have a 365 page book written by year end. The key is to break large goals into smaller ones. This gets you started on a positive note which creates momentum along with the desire to continue.

Manage Two of your Biggest Time Wasters

Easily two of the biggest time wasters in the workplace are email and meetings. Look at your emails and ask yourself, “Did I really need to receive this email?” or “Does this email help my achieve my goals?” If not, start the purging process. Ask to be removed from unnecessary distribution lists and tell people to only copy you on things that require your attention. Also, remove yourself from newsletters etc. that distract you from your stated goals. At the very least, route those messages into a folder, “To Be Read Later.” Over time, you will greatly reduce the volume of email which frees up time to do more important things.

Meetings are an even a bigger waste of time, in most cases. If a meeting does not connect to your job duties or goals, don’t go. There is nothing wrong with refusing to be in meetings that are not productive. At a minimum, it may spark a discussion to change a meeting to become more relevant. You may not be able to get rid of all your unproductive meetings but you will be surprised at how many you can get out of that are not worthwhile which frees up time to do other things that align with your strategic goals.

Return to Batch Processing

This may sound counterintuitive in today’s real time environments but studies have shown that what we think of as multi-tasking at work is actually switch-tasking, meaning that we are switching our attention back and forth between different things. There is a cost each time we switch. There are many exercises available that prove this theory. So instead of switching back and forth from answering email, doing research, answering the phone and instant messaging, turn everything off but one thing and focus on that until it is done. Then move on to the next thing and completely focus on that. You will get more done, faster and with higher quality.

Some people have mastered this by only answering email at 10am and 3pm. The rest of the day, email is shut down. They answer message in batches and are much more productive than switching back and forth between different tasks. This also applies to the phone. Forward your phone to voice mail and answer messages at certain times of the day. You will be amazed how much more productive you will be.

Plan for Tomorrow at the End of Today

One simple yet powerful technique is to plan out tomorrow’s work before you leave today or before you go to sleep at night. You will think more clearly than the next morning when the noise of the day can get you even before you start. Planning the night before with a clear head will greatly improve productivity tomorrow.

My Challenge To You

Some of you may think some of my suggestions are crazy or unrealistic in today’s fast paced world. In some cases that may be true but in the vast majority I bet that is not the case. My challenge to you is to just try them and see what happens. Even though you probably can’t eliminate all worthless meetings, what if this helps get one or two off your calendar. Wouldn’t that be worth a try?

Maybe you can’t answer email only at 10am and 3pm but why not shut it off for an hour and focus on only one thing and do it well. My guess is that the world will not explode if you aren’t on email for one hour.

How about breaking big goals into smaller ones that can be done in one day? Isn’t that worth a shot?

Please send me a note to let me know how these tips have helped you become more productive and focused. Just know I won’t respond until 10am or 3pm!!

Five Holidays And The Recommended Personalized Products

April will be flooded with numerous celebrations. Thus, these occasions provide these brands the license to sell products and services to people that they don’t really need.Yet, as a good business institution, you should know your customers certainly well. You should know how what they want and what they really need. Undoubtedly, they are your boss. They are the kings and queens that you should follow. Giving these people the things that they don’t really need can also make colossal impact on how these people look at you. They might think bad about you for affording them diverse promotional products that they don’t really need. So to avoid getting to that scenario, here are the list of holidays this month of April and some suggested promotional products that people can really adopt in their daily lives.

Car Care Month

Car care month will be held within the whole month of April. As a business concerned about the welfare of you consumers, bestow them something that they can exhaust for car care. You can hand them promotional products like air fresheners, bumper stickers, license plates and frames and many other auto accessories.

International Guitar Month

April is also the month when musicians unite and sing in harmony. Beyond doubt, this is also the remembrance of the International Guitar Month. You can draft promotional products that are related to music and guitar like customized picks that are used for plucking. You can also hand out song books with accurate guitar chords that guitar newbies will positively appreciate. Undoubtedly, dispensing such customized products in line with the celebration of International Guitar Month is a perfect rhythm.

National Humor Month

April is also the suitable moment to laugh and pay tribute to humor. You can dispense items that you can avail of for prank like cookies, boxes and other fun promotional products for National Humor Month. In addition, you can also carry simple gifts like shock pens to execute funny pranks and jokes.

National Poetry Month

You can unearth the inner poet in you by celebrating the National Poetry Month. You can adopt custom printed t-shirts, notepads, pens and mugs to imprint your own poems that you can share to people to enliven them to appreciate and love the art of poetry.

National Garden Month

The month of April is also the month when garden enthusiasts rejoice. These affair deserves nothing but plant and flower inspired promotional materials like tote bags, flower pots and gardening tools. This can also be the optimal holiday that we can relate to the fete of Earth Day which is also celebrated within the month of April.

These are five of the month-long celebrations and the recommended imprinted products that you can avail of for your marketing strategies. There are other functions that will be held on April that your company can take advantage of. Go ahead and think of useful things that you can give away during the fete and win the hearts of your potential customers.