Getting back in the groove after the lazy days of summer
Summer is now over. We may be physically back at work, but getting our mind in the groove after being in a kick back and relax mode in the summer sun can be challenging. Whether you're looking to increase your personal productivity or your teams, below are my top 10 favourite ways to reignite your productivity and your team in the workplace:
1. Reignite the spark: Have a September kick off meeting. Bring everyone together and review your vision, objectives and goals. Remind everyone of their focus and use this meeting to ignite the passion of the team. This is one of the few times I actually endorse updates at a meeting. It's a perfect time to get everyone back on the same path leading them towards common goals.
2. Say no to say yes: Re-evaluate everything you're doing, from projects to daily tasks. Do these things still make business sense? If yes, continue doing them. If no, delete them from your list to free up valuable time and energy by focusing on things that truly matter and will bring you closer to your goals.
3. No meeting Monday's: Give the gift of no meetings on Monday. Why Monday? This is a great day to organize yourself for the week and focus your attention on accomplishing important tasks without interruptions. As well, doing it on a Monday, psychologically, sets you up for success for the rest of the week. Just think, as of day one of the work week you're already productive and proactive.
4. Tame the email beast: Establish a rule that people are NOT to respond to email immediately but have a 24-hour window to reply. Emails are the number one productivity time suckers. Once you get sucked into email, your whole day can zoom by you leaving you wondering what exactly you accomplished in your day. Take away the pressure of immediate response and limit your email time to once per day. If someone really needs you they will text, call or ping you.
5. Block off your power hour: Block off time in your schedule to get major tasks, like a report, done at work. Turn off all communication devices at this time and put up a "do not disturb" sign or hang your PowerHour door hanger to ensure you have no interruptions. Book off two or three power hours per day. Make it a rule that nothing can disturb this time, that means no people dropping by and no procrastinating.
6. Positive thoughts: When getting back into the groove after being away we realize that we have a lot of catch up to do. This can get overwhelming and stress can start to kick in. When this happens, negativity can creep into our thoughts and this can have a huge impact on our productivity. Carry a journal or have whiteboards strategically placed in the office to combat this. For ever negative thought, write down two positive thoughts on the same subject. By turning things around to see the glass half full, we tend to see more opportunities which leads to an increase in our productivity. Mind over matter really does matter.
7. Walking meeting: Exercise makes us think better, work better and become more productive. When you have meetings, try doing a walking meeting. It's productive on many fronts, first it gets you off your seat and moving. As the old adage goes healthy body, healthy mind. Second, you'll be prepared for these meeting since you're walking, you don't have the luxury of having your computer in front of you. Third, seeing a different scenery can spark new ideas and imagination, all great things for business productivity.
8. Cleanest desk challenge: Clutter is distracting. When things are cleaned and put away we're able to focus and when we focus, we're more productive. Have a fun contest in your area, department or the organization to see who can keep the cleanest desk. The key is to have before and after pictures.
9. Standard activity checklist: Checklists are a great way to perform tasks that you constantly execute. They ensure that you conduct tasks in the same manner each time without forgetting anything important. This ensures that you're not only productive but that you're standard in your approach leading to reliability of your actions.
10. Stop the multitasking madness: It has been proven over and over again, multitasking doesn't work. If you have a task to do, give it all your attention and get it done. Take this approach when crossing things of your to do list. You'll notice that you get more done when you focus on one thing. Not only do you get it done, but you get it done well because you're not distracted.
Like working out, when you stop going to the gym you lose the great habits you acquired, but not for good. When you finally make the decision to go back to the gym, you find that your comeback is easier because of your previous experience. The same holds true for productivity. Now that the summer is almost over, it's time to get back into the disciplined routine you had prior to the summer. I promise you will be back in the groove and on track in no time flat when using these great ways to reignite your productivity.
What tips or trick do you use to get back into your productivity groove?
To read more of Adriana's Efficiency tips you can visit her blog:
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