Earlier this week, the New York Times offered its 7th annual Small Business Summit. I wasn’t able to attend. One of the blogs coming out of the event, however, caught my eye. Brooke Howell did a great job of summarizing the thoughts of a panel on how to improve productivity. Here are seven tips captured by Brook:
- Do less. As I’ve observed on this blog several times, multitasking is a myth. At best, it results in doing a number of tasks poorly. Instead, do one thing at a time, and do it well. You’ll get a lot more done, and your work will be better.
- Categorize your days.Make some days “inside days,” where you stay in the office and work. Make others “outside days,” where you run errands, meet with clients and take care of other types of business that needs to be done outside the office.
- Embrace imperfection.When I worked at Fleishman-Hillard, our CEO once told us that there’s “A” work, “B” work and “C” work. “A” work had to be done perfectly because our reputation – and the client’s – depended on it. “B” work and “C” work had to be done, but it didn’t have to be agonized over. Do it well, but don’t sweat bullets over it. Later, I worked for a company that believed everything was “A” work. People were such nervous wrecks that they would ask me and others to read and edit their emails several times before sending them to upper management. It wasn’t a healthy environment, and it hurt office productivity.
- Be smart about checking tech. Don’t check email, voice mail and social media feeds first thing in the morning because you’ll be pulled down all sorts of dead ends and wormholes. Get done what you need to get done first. Also, check all your electronic channels less frequently.
- Change in five-minute increments. Make one change a month that will save you five minutes a day. Smaller changes are easier to make and stick to.
- Take advantage of time-saving tools. Check out Evernote, Tungle.Me, Oh Don’t Forget, Rapportive, and Google Voice.
- Get better about managing social media. Figure out why you use social media tools, develop a plan to further your objectives, and stick to the plan.
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