10 surefire ways to increase productivity

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Everyone wants to increase their productivity so they can have more time to do the things they really want in life. It’s no secret that traditional jobs are asking more and more from us in terms of workload and hours worked. What if there were simple ways to increase productivity immediately? Would you give them a chance or would you pass them up? I know I am always trying to get a lot done because of  the way I have designed my life. Here are a few simple methods that will increase your productivity as soon as you implement them.

  1. Talk less

You have two ears and one mouth so you can listen more than you talk. I know that saying has become cliché, but it is still true. 61% of people admitted to wasting up to an hour each workday with unrelated tasks. How much of that time do you think was spent in idle chit chat?

  1. Funnel correspondence to email

People talk too much and half of what they say is fluff. In order to combat this, send them to your inbox. If someone calls me I will simply say I am busy and they should send me an email. If you need a script to help you out, you can take a look at one here.

  1. Batch check email

Email is probably one of the most distracting things that we can ever engage in on a daily basis. I have a bad habit of checking everything that comes to my inbox. I now unsubscribe from miscellaneous newsletters religiously and only check my mail once a day. Check your email at most twice a day and never check it first thing in the morning. People who check email as the first act of the day are 33% less productive that those that batch check email later in the day. This may be one of the single most important things you do in order skyrocket your productivity.

Miscellaneous fact, employees spend up to 2 hours of an 8-hour workday checking email and other correspondence.

I was having trouble with this for a long time because one of my business endeavors was actually selling to people. The faster you reply to someone’s email inquiry, the more likely you are to close the deal. Eventually, I got into other lines and it worked out ok for me.

  1. Cut out meetings as often as possible

Meetings are a waste of time for everyone involved. When I was still in university, I had the privilege of being the head of the student administrative body in my college. We would have meetings for hours on end where everyone felt they needed to express an opinion. I got less done in those meeting than at any other period in my life. In a study by three consultants from Brain, it was discovered a weekly executive meeting consumed 300,000 hours a year.

Due to my poor experiences and information like that, I avoid meetings with more than two people like the plague and if I am dragged to a meeting I try not to stay for more than fifteen minutes. Anything left undone is taken care of in a subsequent email.

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  1. Use automation technology for repetitive tasks

I am surprised at how many people don’t automate repetitive tasks. Some great software that saves me time, in addition to the outsourcing I do, are Hootsuite and Buffer. For tasks that are outside the realm of social media there is still a way to automate it or outsource it. For instance, if you take payments online and deliver a digital product, websites such as E junkie are the ideal automation hub. You can set everything up with a few clicks and have what I like to refer to as an automatic income stream.

One of the many I use for this Blog is called If This Then That, it shares your posts all over the internet as soon as you publish it. All you need to do is set up the rules and give it access to a few of your accounts and you are good to go. Set then forget.

  1. Outsource all but the most sensitive tasks

There is no way everything you’re doing is the best use of your time. Just because you are able to do something does not mean that should be doing it. You can strike up a conversation with every person you meet on the street, but you don’t because it’s not the best use of your time. Why then do you attempt to perform every task that you have the ability to?

Put an hourly rate on your time and cut out any tasks that are beneath your pay grade and outsource the rest. I am a fan of virtual assistants for both business and personal tasks, but you may have a different preference. This is not being stuck up or conceited, this is knowing the value of your time and acting accordingly.

Your Man in India (they actually have a subsidiary called Getfriday for international clients) handles business and personal tasks while Brickworks handles only business tasks. There are also domestic virtual assistants, but you won’t get as much bang for your buck. Elance and IVAA are great places to find virtual assistants from all over the world.

  1. Organizing ruthlessly will increase productivity

Get your life in order, when you are unorganized it clutters the mind and slows your actions. Clean up, organize your files and experience the world of higher productivity. Unfortunately, there is no online application to clean up your office and organize your files. If you would like to get rid of paperwork then I have something for you. Evernote is an inexpensive application that will allow you to store obscene amounts of data.

All of your invoices and receipts can be photographed and uploaded to their servers and literally available anywhere. They also have a comprehensive search function that will let you find anything very quickly. Dropbox will allow you to do the same thing. I am in love with dropbox right now, I think I have shared over a terabyte of data this year through the application.

  1. Remove ineffective people from your life

One of the more difficult tasks that you will have to engage in but it is necessary nonetheless. If someone is ineffective then they need to go or at least be relegated to the background. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for this course of action. The top companies in the world cut the bottom 10-20% of their staff every year and the effects are reflected in their bottom line. If you are recalcitrant about making a clean cut with people in your life. I gave a short outline about This is going back to Parkinsons Law

  1. Forsake multitasking

Multitasking is the bane of increasing your productivity. Whoever introduced the erroneous belief that multitasking helps us should be shot and quartered. It actually creates the opposite outcome and makes it hard for our brains to work effectively. It can take as long as 45 minutes for the mind to calibrate itself fully to a new task. When you are doing something, do it until you have finished. Ride the wave all the way to the end.

  1. Set tight deadlines

This is going back to Parkinsons Law. The amount of time it takes to complete a task is directly related to the amount of time that has been allocated to it. For instance, if you give yourself a week to write a five page proposal then you will take a week. If you give yourself three hours to write a five page proposal then you will finish it in three hours. The key here is to create a sense of urgency with your activities.

Conclusion

These are ten surefire ways to increase your productivity by at least one hundred percent. That is if you actually decide to follow them. I am able to do much more than the average man because I believe in outsourcing and automation. Design a life that you are happy to wake up to every morning rather than one that you are always trying to escape from. Remember that the goal is not to increase your productivity by small increments but to skyrocket your productivity by leaps and bounds.  Make it 10x Grant Cardone style.

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