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By applicomhq
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 15:26

4 ways to start being more productive (start with 3)

There are tons of articles and books about productivity. But if you start doing at least 3 of the following every day, you'll see real improvement

Credit: Tyssul Patel

1. Don't check your email in the morning

Ok, this is tough, you can't even start right now. Also I'm not sure you'll be consistent in this but, believe me, it's a great piece of advice. You need to plan, organize your projects, tasks and milestones so when you wake up in the morning, you already know what you are going to do. However checking your email shouldn't be the first activity. Why? Because emails are unpredictable and we don't want to waste the first part of our day, when our minds are at their best, on unpredictable stuff or whatever messages we've received.

In order to accomplish this, the first step is to start to limit checking your email to twice a day, no more: once in the morning and once at the end of the working day. I used to consider myself a kind of email-aholic so two times per day was a great accomplishment for me. The second step is to avoid checking email first and postpone this task to be later during the working day and after scheduled activities.

And remember: nobody should expect a reply in 10 minutes. So, no rush.

2. Wake up very early

You may have already heard this piece of advice. I don't know if the original author is Eric Barker, from Business Insider, but he insists a lot on this, and he is damn right! Out of all these five ways, this is the one that helped me the most. I have to be honest, I still can't do it every morning and it really depends on how regular my life is in that period. But it's a well-known fact that very early in the morning you do more and you do it better. There is a sort of self-satisfaction in working when everyone else is still sleeping.

3. Plan and prioritize in the last place

At the end of the day see what you've done and plan the next day. This way you'll understand what really matters and what does not. Most of us overload our schedule with too many things we will never accomplish as planned. Delete from the list the less important tasks. In the morning you won't be overwhelmed by thoughts that sound like: “OMG, I have so much to do! I can't even choose what to do first!”.

Hint: try to plan meetings and call people in the afternoon. People around you should learn that your time is a limited and a valuable resource, if they want it they should earn it: let's meet for a unique, specific reason and on a scheduled time.

4. Sport and fresh air

Do it for you mind, for your back and for your soul. It's a very important task, don't let other people or meetings steal it!