Want or need to learn how to be more productive so you can get more quality work done? Here are a few productivity tips from top productivity experts. They took their own advice before giving it out. If it worked for them, it can certainly work for you.
1. Meghan M. Biro: Be Recognizable
Biro is the founder and CEO of TalentCulture, a virtual community that offers professional advice, support and networking opportunities for those trying to successfully navigate the work world. Biro advocates for the recognition over rewards approach when it comes to honoring the achievements of others … and yourself.
“Recognition can be as simple as a shout out in a group email or as subtle as a heartfelt handshake,” she wrote in Entrepreneur. “The difference here is it takes an emotional action on the part of the manager to recognize the actions of the employee.”
If you need an incentive to keep yourself on track and working hard toward your goals, take the time to recognize your own achievements before others have the chance to do it for you (you have a better chance of getting a congratulations from yourself than you do someone else). Recognizing your own productivity will make you feel good, and hopefully inspire you to continue along the same path.
2. Farnoosh Brock: “Be In Love or Don’t Bother”
Brock is the mastermind behind Prolific Living. She lives by the work motto, “Be in love or don’t bother.” If you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing, she advises, don’t bother doing it at all.
Some are quick to slam the idea of using passion as a driving force for productivity. It isn’t that passion alone is going to carry you to success on its own, but instead that if you work hard and you constantly put passion behind the work you do, you will accomplish more, and it will be more worthwhile to you.
3. Yaro Starak: Adopt the 80/20 Rule
Starak is the founder of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. He tells his readers and fellow entrepreneurs to follow the 80/20 rule, which in a nutshell states that a smaller ratio of work ends up producing a larger ratio of “results.” This can be applied to business goals and outcomes, and often is, but it can also be used as a measure how much personal energy and worth you are investing in your work.
“By the numbers it means that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs,” he wrote in a blog post. “It really doesn’t matter what numbers you apply, the important thing to understand is that in your life there are certain activities you do (your 20 percent) that account for the majority (your 80 percent) of your happiness and outputs.”
Living by the 80/20 rule in terms of productivity means you invest more time into the activities that will result in the most value for you. For example, you don’t want to spend all your time answering emails: you would be much better off forwarding your emails to an assistant who can prioritize them for you while you work on forming individual relationships with potential advertising partners.
4. Mark Shead: Organize Your Office
Productivity 501, run by Mark Shead, is full of productivity tips for techies, travelers, offices junkies and more. One important tip he has for his readers is to pay attention to how you arrange things around your office.
“Sound can be a big distraction in a home office,” he said, “so think about whether or not you are trying to set up a workspace right next to a squeaky furnace fan or some other distraction.”
This is just one of many examples of how much difference a well-designed office space can have on your ability to be productive.
5. John Lee Dumas: Find Apps That Work for You
Entrepreneur On Fire host John Lee Dumas knows a thing or two about media and technology. He’s no stranger to the various software and apps that make his job easier in more ways than one. Sometimes optimal productivity requires some extra help from the online tools at your disposal. He knows from experience.
Dumas told Time Management Chef that Schedule One software is his go-to time saver for scheduling dozens of interviews for his daily podcast. This app in particular not only schedules appointments, but keeps track of and manages follow-ups and reminders so the scheduler only has to iron out the details once.
Not every productivity app or piece of software will work for every single person or business. The software and apps you use all depends on your specific blocks to productivity and what’s going to help keep you focused, efficient and consistently on-task. Experiment with and use the tech that enhances your productivity and/or the productivity of your business as a whole.
6. Craig Jarrow: Start Early
The blogger behind Time Management Ninja is an expert in time management and achieving success. His blog has been featured on numerous credible sites and is known for its applicable advice for employees, business owners and everyone in-between to better manage their schedules and get more done. His best advice? Start working earlier than you think you need to.
“The early bird is always more productive,” Jarrow wrote in a recent TMN post. “It is easier to get things done before others are even awake. If you think you can’t get up earlier, try even 15 minutes… to get ahead of your schedule or commute.”
Even if you aren’t a morning person, getting work started before you find yourself trapped in a flow state of un-productivity will help you accomplish more in the long-term. Slowly ease yourself into getting an earlier start so you can quickly turn it into a habit.
No matter your productivity struggle, there is a way to work through it. Try some of these expert tips to figure out the best ways to block out distractions, get more value out of the work you do and love your outcomes every time.