Everyone seems to be talking about productivity and getting things done.  It is understandable, after all there is a lot to get done.  Here are seven things I do to stay productive:

1  Write a list.  Presently I am using a program called “Priority Matrix”  I have used many different time and project management tools.  The point is not what is your program, but rather are you writing things done and making a list and checking them off as you go through your day?  I am a believer in checklists.

2  Identify the three items that you must get done today.  This will need to be done the night before, or early in the morning.  What are three things that will move me toward my goals and move me in the right direction.

3  Get up early.  I know the late night folks are screaming, you can accomplish the same thing late at night if you are disciplined, that is spending quality time and figuring out what needs to be done today.  You must have quality time alone.  Time to pray, read, think and plan.  It is essential to getting things done.

4  Use a timer.  I use a program called “focus booster” but you could use a kitchen timer as well.  Set the timer I never go over 25 minute increments, get started and work the entire time.  Some programs or timers will give you an extra five minutes.  When the timer goes off take a five minutes break.  During this time you can return a call or an email, or get up and move around. It forces you to concentrate and focus

5  Put your phone away while you are working.  We are addicted to our phones and communication devices.  If you are concentrating on getting one of your three must do items, then it is imperative that you work and not get side-tracked.  Turn your email notification off or on silent as well.

6  Bunch certain tasks.  Return phone calls and respond to emails in a block of time.  Correspondence seems to flow easier if you do all correspondence at one time and not interspersed through out the day. Again, this done for effectiveness and efficiency.  Use the time when you are freshest to work on items that must be done.  When your energy begins to dissipate, things like returning calls and emails can be handled in increments of time.

7  Clear out your inbox before going home!  If not you will create the dreaded email monster.  This will give you a fresh start the next day.  I know if we turn out the lights and go home we can ignore the emails just hanging around in our inbox.  One problem is with all of the gadgets we have today, the emails go with us on our phones, tablets and laptops.  So, even if nothing much got done today, at least clear out your inbox and go home and try again tomorrow.


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