I recently had the opportunity to attend a speech given by Brian Tracy, a legendary thought leader, and writer in the business world. He is a renowned speaker and is recognized as one of the top personal success authorities in the world today.
Mr. Tracy had a lot of great tips to share about how to improve your productivity at work, tips that would be useful for any business owner to keep in mind.
Here are my takeaways from Brian Tracy’s speech and how you can put them to work for your business starting today.
Ask yourself, “is there anything I am doing today that, if I could do it all over, I would never have started to do?” It’s easy to fall into a rut of doing counterproductive tasks just because you’ve already been doing them for a long time.
If your current situation gives you stress, pick this idea as a place to start. Tasks that were once a good idea might not be necessary now that you have more experience. Ask yourself, how do I drop the tasks that no longer serve my business? Be courageous and move fast.
Keep Your Momentum
Adopt a productivity mentality. You must have the drive to get results. As the great Jerry Seinfeld once said, “don’t break the chain.” Every day that you complete your most important task cross that day off on the calendar. If you keep up the momentum, you’ll eventually have a chain of days on the schedule to show your progress.
The average person wastes 50% of their workday. Don’t spend your time on low value, low return tasks. Ask yourself: Is what I am doing now moving me towards my biggest goal, or is it just a distraction?
Remember that it takes an average of 17 minutes to get back on task after being distracted. Improve your productivity by blocking social media and text messages that you’ll be tempted to check, putting your phone on silent, and getting your most important tasks done before you take a break.
Manage Your Email Time
Email is one of the most notorious distractions business people face. To combat this, make it a point to check your email only three times a day. Open it at 11 am, 2 pm, and then again at 5 pm (or whatever times work best for you.) Rule number one is don’t open your email first thing in the morning. Use that time to work on your most important goal of the day.
Let your associates know your new schedule and tell them that replies will have to wait for your designated email times. You might need to work out a system for emergencies, but by and large even urgent messages can wait a few hours for a response. You’ll notice that this change alone can work wonders to improve your productivity.
Start Working Immediately in the Morning
Plan out your day the evening before. Allow for 90 minutes of uninterrupted time first thing in the morning so you can complete your most important task of the day. Work straight through until you’ve finished the task at hand.
Mr. Tracy wrote a book on this subject called Eat That Frog. The premise is that by immediately tackling your biggest challenge of the day, you’ll improve your productivity and have the motivation to address the rest of your to-do list.
Practice the Law of 3
Ask yourself, if you could do only one activity on your long list of to-dos, which one is the highest value? Then ask yourself, if you could do two things, what would they be? Three? Once you have a list of your three highest-priority tasks for the day, stop there.
Don’t try to do everything at once: just focus on finishing these three tasks. The most value is always in the top 3 priorities.
We all want to significantly improve our productivity at work. Fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching session to discuss how to drive your productivity to the next level.