At Caffeine, we love nothing more than a tip that helps us get things done faster and better. We’ve all become familiar with the concept of ‘marginal gains’, small improvements or adjustments you can make to any endeavour which will have a big influence on your ability to get quicker to your target.
So, in celebration of our 10 years, here are 10 productivity hacks we’ve learnt over the last decade that will improve your personal productivity, cut out the distractions and help you spend more time growing yourself and your business.
- Start your day by setting your MIA; Before you do anything else start your day by asking what is your Most Important Achievement of the day. Asking yourself this simple question will help you focus, prioritise importance over urgency and avoid distractions. Once defined try and complete your MIA first or at the very least make sure you have appropriate time booked in to complete it.
- Say ‘No’ more; Say no to meetings that have little value. Say no (unsubscribe) to emails that distract and have little value. Say no (or not right now) to requests that interrupt your priorities. Say no politely, thoughtfully, with empathy – remember no one likes rejection – but say no more often.
- Plan email time; Emails are a huge benefit to the way we work but also a huge time sink that can waste effort and concentration. So turn off notifications and set key times of the day when you will review email. Set up a separate folder in your email system for emails on which you are cc-d so that they go there and not to your inbox. Remember if it’s meant for you, then it’s sent to you – not cc-d to you.
- 1 click rule; When looking at any message email/slack/text/messenger/etc. always try to action immediately with one click either a) Delete, b) Respond or c) Book in thinking time.
- 3 sentence responses; If your written response is more than 3 sentences (i.e. it is relatively complex) then pick up the phone first. Leave a message and let them get back to you. You are more likely to get a first time result rather than a prolonged email/slack etc. exchange.
- Password manager; Stop wasting time trying to remember your huge number of usually unsafe log-ins. Find a credible password manager and use it so you can access your all your log-ins every time. At Caffeine, we love Dashlane as a simple, secure way to manage all of your passwords.
- Stand up; Hold meetings standing up they will be shorter and more creative.
- Make meeting time count; Meeting time is very valuable, make the most of it by a) starting at the stated time (don’t wait for people) b) Take a kitchen timer with you agree how long each item will take and start the clock. Don’t be a slave to the timer though. If the discussion is important and you’re running over time. let everyone know and agree to continue but lose an item from your agenda or stop and pick up the discussion again at another time.
- Ask an introvert to chair; People with introversion preference are usually great at keeping an eye on time, summarising general conversation into key points, moving discussions on when they get stuck – it also gives them a clear role to get involved! Expressives can’t stop themselves contributing and Drivers annoy people by dictating.
- No time for minutes; Full minutes are time consuming to produce and no one reads them. Just log actions and key decisions, and when you circulate them put them in the body of your email as people often think ‘I’ll look at the attachment later’ but never do!
We’re always looking out for ways to grow faster.
So if you have any personal productivity hacks that will help anyone get more out of every day, please let us know!
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