Cheat Sheet

Productivity For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From Productivity For Dummies

By Ciara Conlon

Wouldn’t it be nice to boost your productivity and performance at work without having to put in extra hours or break your back in the meantime? Being effective at what you do takes a little bit of planning, some basic tools, and a lot of positivity.

Boosting Performance at Work

If you want to be productive and boost your performance at work, take a look at these three simple things below that you can focus on. Paying attention to these three areas will have a big impact on your effectiveness in the workplace

  • Focus on the goals. Many people at work have trouble with prioritization. But the solution is pretty simple: Be clear about your goals, and your priorities will be evident. Plan your day according to your goals. Ask yourself which tasks will get you closer to your goals, and focus on them. When you spend your day working on these tasks, you’ll know you’ve been productive.

  • Take control of your inbox. Email can take over your day if you allow it to. Start your day in your calendar with what you have planned for the day, not with what others want you to do for them. Take control of your workday by planning your day in advance. After you’ve looked at your calendar, you can either start work straightaway or open your inbox to see whether you have any urgent requests that will take priority over what you’ve already scheduled.

  • Stay positive at all times. Having all the techniques and tools in place to be productive will only go so far if you don’t have the right attitude. Having a positive, can-do attitude is the most significant contributor to enhancing performance. If you’re positive, no task is too difficult and no problem can’t be overcome. With a positive attitude, you’ll develop better and stronger relationships with your team. Positive attitudes breed more positive attitudes, and if you can create a pleasant work environment that is optimistic and empowered, there is little you can’t achieve.

The Essential Kit for a Budding Productivity Geek

If you’re serious about getting organised, you will need to invest in some basics tools for your productivity toolkit. Your productivity toolkit consists of all the things that you will use daily to keep your work space ordered, structured and clutter free.

  • A calendar: Whether paper or electronic, you need a calendar to track your appointments and meetings and plan time for your work to do.

  • A task management app: A task management app is great for storing all your tasks to do. Choose an app that allows you to categorise your tasks into different projects.

  • An in-tray: Use your in-tray to put all your unprocessed work. Anything that you haven’t defined exactly what needs to be done with should go in the in-tray.

  • A filing tray: Use a filing tray(s) to separate paperwork that needs to be filed from actionable work.

  • Manila folders: To keep your paperwork organised, you need a bunch of manila tabbed folders. Create a folder for each project.

  • A labeller: A labeller helps keep your files looking pretty and also makes them easy to find.

  • A step file organiser: A step file organiser is ideal for your work in progress. Use it to house your current files and paperwork on your desk. Add labelled manila folders, and you’ll always have the file you need at hand.

  • A notebook: You can’t beat pen and paper. Sometimes it’s best to pick up a pen and jot down your good ideas, your plans, or the things you don’t want to forget about.

Daily Habits for Powerful Productivity

You may think that the daily habits for powerful productivity are all about scheduling and to-do lists. You may be surprised to know that some of the things that will have the biggest impact on your performance and productivity are the things you do outside the office!

  • Exercise: Exercises gives you energy, improves your mood, and helps you to focus. There are so many benefits to exercise it’s a wonder TV was ever invented! If you introduce the habit of exercise to your daily life, you’ll get way more done.

  • Rising early: The habit of rising early is a habit of most successful people. Rising early enables you to fit it all in. It’s a great time of the day to exercise, to write, or to meditate.

  • Meditation: Meditation is no longer just for monks; it has become a widely accepted habit in the workplace. Many organisations have become aware of the many benefits of meditation and recommend it to their employees. Meditation provides a calmer mind, greater focus, and reduced stress.

  • Positivity: Success begins with positivity. Having a positive attitude and a belief in yourself and your ideas are crucial for success. Believe in your ability to get things done and you will succeed. A positive attitude at work will improve your relationships and performance.

  • Scheduling: What gets scheduled gets done. Planning your work in advance is a primary habit for productivity. It will help you beat procrastination and help you get it all done. Take some time each week to plan the week ahead. Schedule time for all the projects you need to get done.