Growing Your Productivity Garden (Part 2)
Now that you’ve planted your productivity garden, it’s time to take steps to help it grow. It’s interesting that vegetables harvested from gardens and farms are called “produce”, with the emphasis on the “pro”. As a “pro” yourself, you can step up your own productive growth methods by trying out some new work habits and routines that many of the top business “pros” say work for them. After surveying several professional blogs and articles on how to increase productivity, here are some suggestions that most agree on, and a few that are different.
Set Up Life Style Routines – Most of the top writers, CEO’s and professionals in any field all say that keeping to their daily schedules got them to the top. They had a certain time to get up, a time to work, a time to exercise and a time to rest. Whether it’s writing non-stop for 60 or 90 minutes before a break, or longer, keep to the pattern every day in your work week.
Stop Multi-tasking – Studies now show that our distracted life styles are rewiring our brains and actually reducing our IQ. So turn off your phone or other devices that ding or buzz every time you get a message, especially if you are caught up in what Present Shock author Douglas Rushkoff calls FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
Do Email and Social Media in the Afternoon – This is another routine to keep. It’s also good to limit the amount of time you spend doing this. Set an alarm if you lose time easily. This lets you use your best morning energy for creative pursuits (unless your work thrives after five). Rushkoff says while he was writing Present Shock, he was able to train his friends and colleagues to not expect an immediate reply. This put him in a control position, rather than a reactive one, and allowed him to finish the book. He also said he pared down his social calendar substantially to allow him more time to write.
Get Up an Hour Earlier – Do plan though, how you’ll spend that extra hour, so you won’t wind up letting it evaporate into taking longer at breakfast than you usually do or extend whatever morning routine you have before sitting down at the desk.
Take Care of Your Body – Get more exercise, follow a sensible diet, and don’t forget to include protein snacks to keep up your blood sugar. Drink more water to keep hydrated, perhaps sipping it as you work. Consider taking a short nap and go to bed earlier. All of these practices will help you recharge and prepare to receive a greater inflow of creative ideas and sustain your energy. One pundit even suggests taking time to get to your top level of fitness to maximize your energy, and thus productivity, potential.
Start Something – By just starting a project, you are more likely to finish it. This is called the Zeigarnik Effect, developed by Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik. It was later proved that most people have a feeling of uneasiness until their unfinished or interrupted task is completed. Our brains are wired for completion!
Stop Something – Make a “Stop Doing List”. Look at the activities that are draining away your time and energy. Also include people. Make a plan to eliminate these from your life or transforming them into more productive and energizing experiences. Reportedly, Steve Jobs said that Apple’s success was based not only on what they chose to create, but also on what they chose to ignore.
So, have a successful growing season this summer, full of juicy “produce”. Also, don’t forget to share what helps your garden grow. Have you found something that works for you?