Tomorrow is the first day of September marking that the year is two-thirds over. It seems like just a few days ago I was pondering and contemplating all that I needed to do in 2017. Now that it is two-thirds over I need to personally evaluate what has happened in the first two-thirds and what do I need to accomplish in the last third of this year.
As I look back over the first two-thirds of the year, I am grateful for the many things I have accomplished, as well as recommitted to push through and finish a few other projects. One reason for reflecting on the past few months is it is indeed easy to forget that a lot has happened. I have also received another opportunity to stop and say thank you to the Lord for His goodness and grace. One thing I’ve become aware of as I’ve looked over the past few months is that not only have there been accomplishments, but a lot of stuff has happened that I had no idea would occur at the beginning of the year. Time is marked out by minutes, hours, weeks, months and years. Like road signs, they serve as reminders and warnings and keep us moving ahead.
With only four months left in 2017 now is the time to make a serious concerted effort to accomplish things that I need to finish. To accomplish them I will need to be intentional and determined. Allow me to offer a few suggestions that might help each of us jump start and get things done the remainder of this year:
- Get up an hour earlier and use the time to work on one thing that if accomplished will move you forward.
- Work in blocks of time. Either use an egg timer or an electronic timer many of which are free from the app store.
- Turn off your email notifications. Check your email two and no more than three times a day. Then follow David Allen’s two-minute rule: if it can be done in two minutes or less answer the email now, if more than two minutes, delegate or bunch them together and schedule a time to do all of them at the same time.
- Plan tomorrow tonight. This one thing has made an enormous difference in my productivity. I never fly blind into a new day. I know what I need to accomplish each day.
- OHIO is a helpful tool to help me to remember an important truth: Only Handle It Once.
- Always batch mundane and tasks that are routine and do not need deep thought. At times when I’m stuck or tired, I click off these activities still accomplishing necessary things that I must finish today.
- Change locations. At times I go to a coffee shop or public library. Especially, this is important if I need real uninterrupted time to complete a project. The change of scenery seems to serve as a constant reminder that I have something important that I must finish now.
- De-clutter your workspace. I never leave anything on my desk overnight that I can take care of before I leave my office. I am much more productive when I have a clean and organized work environment. One of my daily tasks is to have my inbox at zero and my desktop free of clutter.
These are just a few of the many things that I try to incorporate into my day. Feel free to experiment and try new productivity tips. I have tried dozens, some have worked for me some have not, rather than feeling guilty if it doesn’t work for me I discard them and keep moving.
Now may be a good time to try a new productivity tool that might help get some things done before the end of the year.