1. Return phone calls and e-mails within 24 hours.
2. Don’t judge ideas too quickly. They may not be good – but take the time to determine whether or not there is a useful nugget anyhow.
3. File – monthly. Do you have a nice big pile? It’s not like wine – it won’t get better with time. So do it monthly and it’s less overwhelming.
4. Clean your office – Your work environment affects your attitude and mental capacities. Make it a place you look forward to going.
5. Read – If you’re like me you receive several industry-related publications weekly. But reading business pubs shouldn’t be considered a luxury. It’s a way to get new ideas, keep up on the trends, look at what the competition is doing. Designate a certain time each week to keep current with reading.
6. Limit Web Surfing – If you need to be online for work, pick a couple of specific times each day to have those browsers open. This minimizes the temptation to check facebook or watch a silly video.
7. TRAF – Got piles on your desk? To help get organized use the TRAF method: touch each item only once and either Toss, Read, Act or File (see 3. and 5. above).
8. Unsubscribe to e-mail you don’t want – Do you regularly delete (without reading) junk e-mails? Yet I bet they keep coming. Instead, take the time to get rid of them permanently; scroll to the bottom of the e-mail and do whatever it takes to “unsubscribe me…”
9. Have lunch with a friend – noontime meetings are popular (and so is letting the dog out). But it’s good to connect with friends to refresh and rejuvenate. A busy family means evening personal time can be rare. Occasionally use the lunch hour to stay in touch with friends and family who are important to you.
10. Put a tickler on your calendar when deadlines loom – Even if you work better under pressure, put a deadline on your calendar at least a week ahead of time (sooner for the big projects). When it pops up, it’s a good reminder and gets your wheels turning well before the due date.
Just imagine what you can do with all this extra time and productivity. Now that gets me thinking….