Smarter, Better, Faster: At Work
Posted by ashley lake on April 25, 2012 at 9:45 AM
It’s Wednesday. One of the tougher days in the week. You’re tired from the beginning of the week, but you can’t really look forward to the weekend yet. It’s a day when you should be productive, but most of us hit a mid-week slump. I get it.
So how do you bust through that wall to channel Kanye and do your best to work harder, better, faster, stronger? Steal these productivity tips and plow through that daunting to-do list.
Spell Out Your Tasks
When you write your daily to-do list, give yourself clear and explicit orders, not reminders. So instead of “Email the client,” write, “Call Sarah at Client Company to go over progress on this project.” You will never wonder what the task means when you look at the list later, and the simple directions will prompt you to actually get it done.
Cut Down on Your Distractions
Don’t keep treats in your office if you don’t want people stopping by. Buy cute but uncomfortable furniture so visitors won't linger. Don’t keep you gchat open if you know you need to concentrate. If the Internet is your issue, try my favorite trick: Use Online Stopwatch to time yourself. Set the countdown for 55 minutes, work that whole time, then reward yourself with 5 minutes on Facebook.
Don't Let Calls Eat Up Your Day
When you’re on a conference call that requires you to look at something on-screen, keep a laptop right beside your desktop. That way, you can do other work if the conversation turns to a subject unrelated to you.
Yeah, you heard me. When you get a meeting request, ask yourself, “What's the point of the meeting? What will we get out of it? Does this need to be done now?” Those questions help you determine whether the meeting can wait or whether it needs to happen at all.
Text or Chat Instead of E-Mail
Give clients your cell number and ask them to text you instead of call or e-mail. You can respond faster via text, even while sitting in meetings. If you have an inner-office chat system, use that when asking your co-workers questions. You can have a quicker dialogue (and keep everyone’s inbox clean).
Put Out Fires Quickly
If someone grabs you as you’re heading out the door, say that they have the time it takes to ride the elevator from the office to the lobby to tell you what the problem is. When people know they have a time limit, they speak fast.
Don't Drag Out Deadlines
When faced with a tough decision, give yourself 48 hours to resolve the problem—long enough to prevent you from making an impulse decision, yet also enough time to weigh your options. It's easy to bog yourself down and waste precious time on all the pros and cons and what ifs, but when you have only 48 hours to decide, you focus on the big picture.
So do you feel inspired to tackle your day? Add your own productivity pointers in the comments below!