1. Write down your "To Do" list the day before.
2. Take off 1/3 of the things that are on this "To Do" list.
3. Turn your cell phone ringer off.
4. Only check email 3 times daily. Or 5 or 4, but not 200.
5. Go to bed early (9 p.m.) at least once a week.
6. Block off some time for you. (You don’t have to announce this to the world, but this really is sharpening your saw so you’re more productive, I promise.)
7. If it’s not a "Yes I love it," then it’s a "NO, thank you."
8. Hire someone to help you. Could be a VA, housekeeper, personal assistant. You can start with once a month. I have a self-defined "personal nerd" working for me and in two weeks she has literally multiplied my productivity and success of my blog. (Thanks, Anita!)
9. If it’s a slog job that must be done, set a timer (use your cell phone alarm) and work on it for 20 minutes nonstop.
10. Make tasks systematic and automatic and a no-brainer. The way I do this with my swimming is to put it together with taking one child to school 3 mornings a week. I’ve already committed to taking her to school those days and the pool is very close to the high school.
11. Remind yourself why this needs to be done. (If there’s not a reason that works for you, why are you doing it?)
12. Schedule certain hours for returning phone calls, other hours for errands. It helps to organize your weeks by blocks for similar activities, as much as you can. Think of doctor’s hours.
13. Practice extreme self care. High-maintenance professionals are also high performance.
14. Build reserves of everything: time (by underscheduling,) toilet paper (by Sam’s Club,) energy (by taking care of yourself.) Etc.
15. Schedule your beauty/health appointments 6 to 12 months in advance. You can always reschedule but it works better this way.
16. Create and incorporate rituals into your day: for getting dressed, for work/home transition, for getting ready for bed, for week-end breakfasts.
17. Practice gratitude.
What’s your favorite productivity tip?