Productivity and time management can mean squeezing as many hours out of the day as possible and utilising time as best we can.

This article introduces us to 5 essential ways that will help increase your productivity especially if they are applied consistently and day to day.


1. Get up earlier and get some ‘you time’.
Getting out of bed 20-30 mins earlier in the morning is all you need to do to give you some quiet undisturbed time that can be used for productivity and personal growth. Whether it be for exercise, reading or just clearing your head to plan your day ahead I see this 20-30 minutes of ‘you’ time as essential for productivity.

2. Net time.
This stands for ‘no extra time’ and I admit I stole the name but not the concept from Anthony Robbins.
It basically means that you optimise any down time doing something else that helps productivity or self development.

When I drive, or run I listen to audio-books, I get through at least a novel a week, I use readers and web clippers to save things I want to read, I then have great things to read whenever I want to on a long commute.

3. Write an intelligent list.
An intelligent list is a list of your jobs to do with a difference, productivity is vastly increased by taking a basic to-do list and then taking a short time to write the next step in the process next to the to-do item. To get things done we need to think not what we need to do but how to do it and think of the next step and the process involved.
Then do as Covey advises do first things first, or as Brian Tracy puts it ‘eat that frog’ (from the old expression meaning that if the first thing you do each day is eat a live frog the rest of the day just gets easier).
After we have done the most important job we then need to concentrate on the 20% of tasks that gets you 80% of the effects otherwise known as Pareto’s principle).

4. Manage your life not your time.
We go through our working life concentrating on the urgent and important,  it’s difficult sometimes to see that we also need to re-evaluate what is important in life not just work. For productivity to be maximised we need to look at balance in life, recharging and look at what we have outside of work. We also need to look at our work and for this I quote Confucius

“Choose a job you like and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

5. Productivity is improved by developing productive habits.
A habit is something that we do automatically without thinking, a productive habit will set you up to win and maximize your productivity whilst in ‘autopilot’.

Here are a list if a few essential habits to help your focus and concentration;

When working turn your phone off and that includes vibrate, only look at your emails twice a day set a reminder to do this and clear your inbox at each session. to help you with this don’t let routine emails hit your inbox, set up filters to automatically file your mail leaving only essential items to deal with.

It’s also important to think about regular breaks, having enough water during the day next to you on your desk, eating regularly, getting some fresh air and taking exercise. This might sound like basic advice to most of us however done consistently we can maximise productivity, concentration and energy levels.

In Summary.

By doing these 5 things consistently not only do we increase our productivity we can squeeze a bit more out of each day, we can re-balance, recharge and if we develop positive habits productivity becomes automatic, I leave you with a productivity quote that hits the nail on the head.

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. Paul J.Mayer