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9 Easy Ways to Be More Productive

Today you'll get some quick tips on how to become more productive.

But before we start - productivity is not about being able to get a lot more done and exhaust yourself. Productivity is about making things more efficient so you can do more of the things that you really want to do during the extra time that you will get.

Here are nine simple ideas:

1. Get ready the day before
The last half hour at work is perfect to use to plan tomorrow's key duties. Do it by grading it according to the following rule: Important – do it now, Less important – leave it for later, Not important – deal with it when you have a moment to spare.
Always take care of the things that you rate as important first and do them straight away. Many people waste a lot of time by dealing with things that aren't so important. Even more people spend more time doing stuff that aren't important at all!  Learn to prioritize.
2. Use a prioritized to-do list
This is a continuation of paragraph 1 where you grade the things you need to do in order of importance.  By doing this, you'll get a satisfying feeling of being able to check things that get done. Check!

3. Set a timer
If you usually start a project, but often get distracted, it may be good to set a timer. You get two benefits out of it:
1. You will easily see what you spend your time on.
2. The timer will help you to speed things up and learn to meet a set deadline.
Estimate how long a task will take and decide that it must be completed within that time limit.

4. Work with the right things at the right time
You should work with more demanding things during the time of day when you have the most energy. If you know you will be tired an hour after lunch, then do the things that don't require too much brain power. Plan the day after how you work best.

5. Clear out your desk
The piles of papers that most of us collect create confusion and stress. If you feel stressed by having too much ”crap on the table”- clean up and you'll be able to breathe easier and be more productive.

6. Avoid interruptions
It's hard to get anything done if you're interrupted all the time. Put a ”do not disturb sign” on the door if you need it and do something about everyone that bothers you during work hours. Tell people who want to talk to you that it'll have to wait and that you will talk to them later – and keep that promise.

7. Stop playing a superhero - delegate
What can others do instead of you? Make a list at once and free yourself  from the stress of having too much on your plate. Let other people help you to sort things out.

8. Take a break from work
A simple thing to do to gain new strength is to get up from the chair you are sitting in and start walking around a bit. I use juggling balls as a perfect way to rest from work. Short breaks eliminates those brain dead moments you have in front of your computer every day.

9. Finish something right away, even if it's just a small thing
Try to start and finish your first task for the day quickly. To be done with things motivates you to continue to be productive. A good idea is to do something that can be completed in ten minutes or less. Once you've done that, you get new energy and can continue with the next task.

Yes, I know you already know all of this, but sometimes you still need to be reminded of things you already know.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.