Here’s five productivity ideas to get your 2014 pointing in the right direction.

  1. Do it now. This is a simple yet highly effective tip I picked up from David Allen. He describes it as the ‘two minute rule’. Basically if a task is going to take less that two minutes, just do it. Don’t be too literal here. If it’s a five minute task and you have five minutes, crack on.
  2. Get tasks out of your head and into a trusted system. We are typically comfortable with the need to use a calendar to manage appointments yet the number of people who I talk with who do not have a consistent tool for managing their actions is surprising. Relying on the mind to manage the volume of items is a high-risk strategy. There are a number of high-tech and low-tech options for you to consider. Perhaps the lowest tech is a paper and pen…
  3. Make it fun. Introducing an element of fun or competition into your mundane and routine tasks can make them more appealing to do. For example listen to music whilst doing housework or seeing how quickly you can cut the lawn then challenging yourself to beat your time at the next cut.
  4. Get even better at what your great at and outsource your weaknesses. I’m not suggesting you ignore your development needs. Far from it. You can however spend too much time on activities that drain your energy, demoralise and actually leave you with an end result you don’t like. If this is you, then think about how you could outsource a task. If cutting that lawn really isn’t something you want to do, could you pay a gardener or give an opportunity for a niece or nephew to earn some extra money. Or could you exchange one of your talents with someone else. Spend some time really thinking about this. Get imaginative with your approach.
  5. Get a healthy support team. Really successful people are always backed up by a terrific support team. Always.  What’s the health of your support team like? Carry out a review and identify the areas that could use some attention. Then commit to do something about it.  When I talk about health that means being proactive. Only pulling on the network in times of crisis is less than optimal.

Give some or all of the above a go.  Let’s make 2014 your best year yet.

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