Productivity Secrets Project

ultimate guide to productivity

Stephen Benjamin @ The Instigator Blog has started a group writing project called The Ultimate Guide to Productivity. Char @ Essential Keystrokes has tagged me with this. Never having been one to turn down a fun game of “TAG! You’re IT!” – I present you with one of my own productivity secrets, which really isn’t all that secret, but they are things I rely on every day to keep me motivated and moving forward.

First, my own personal arsenal of “MUSTS” when I sit down to work . . of course your mileage may vary, include: 1. Coffee, 2. Bottled Water and 3. My Phone. They may not be real productivity secrets – but I find if I sit down to work and I have my little creature comforts around me, I have less of a reason to get up and be distracted by my ‘wants’.

I would say the biggest thing that keeps me focused and motivated are my lists. I’m a big list person, and that dates way back to when I was a kid and my mother used to put a list of my chores on the fridge door telling me exactly what I needed to do before I could go out and play.

Even in this world of technology and automation – I still keep paper lists. There is something about writing it down and then crossing it off that gives me that sense of accomplishment. I have tried moving to spreadsheets, or electronic project management software and the like – – but I always, inevitably revert back to paper, pen and my favorite yellow highlighter. which I use to cross a project off my list as a final “TADA!” – it gives me extreme satisfaction. Everything I do – no matter how large or how small, gets a place on my list. I guess I don’t use an electronic solution because my paper list is always with me. It’s always, always on my desk – – right in front of my face, staring at me with that “Well? What’cha gonna do now?” look. Having my projects complied in a spreadsheet or other electronic project management program is just too easy for me to minimize the window, or worse yet — CLOSE the window and leave my mind.

It’s no secret that I am very easily distracted – so having the list right smack in front of my face is essential for keeping myself on track. Not that I don’t use electronic solutions, however – – I will put very important reminders in my Outlook calendar so that it pops up a window to remind me of the things I need reminding for.

Simply put, if its not in front of my face — it runs the very real risk of being put out of my mind.

Lists are just one of my productivity secrets. I have others, and also found some of the secrets from other participants in this project interesting and ones I can really relate to:

  • Char (the lady to initially tagged me with this) says her secret is doing what you love to do and learning the power of saying “No”. I have to give a wholehearted “Hear Ye!” on this one. Although, my own ability to say “no” has been a difficult point to reach. At first it was because I was taking on any new project that came my way because I need to in order to really grow my business. These days, I have reached a point where I am able to pick and choose the project I really want to be involved in, but my nature of wanting to help people is sometimes a barrier to my real ability to say no. However, I have gotten MUCH better and abuse myself far less today than I used to
  • Lorraine Pirihi’s number one tip is to do the most important thing first and don’t let anyone distract you. Easier said than done for me!
  • Wendy @ eMoms uses a reverse reward systemince we always will do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure, I have found that leverage is the one thing that will absolutely guarantee that I will meet my own deadlines..
  • Chris Garrett explains his productivity flow. He gets himself in the zone over there!

I’ve tagged the following folks to carry on with this project: Kathy, Aaron, Jenny, Bug and Stevie.

22 thoughts on “Productivity Secrets Project”

  1. Gee, thanks for the tag. :((
    I am one of the most unproductive people you are likely to meet, my secret being to never put off to tomorrow what you can leave ’til the day after, but I will give it some overnight thought (over here in the UK it’s nearly midnight and I have to be up in 5 hours (I’ve already procrastinated going to bed)) and see if I can come up with something to post tomorrow. Or the day after. 😉

  2. Thank you for participating and passing it along…great stuff!

    Just a quick note though, my name is Benjamin not Stephen, but that’s OK, I’ve been called worse *grin*

  3. That’s what I get for surfing too many blogs at once…I’m getting names confused! Heh. Got it corrected, tho! Thanks for the project, it’s interesting to read everyone’s reponses and secrets :)>-

  4. No comment on that one.. I plead the fifth. Although I figured you’d be all over the latest cookie conversation in my other post. :p

  5. hehe I got tagged…kinda…I gave PJMommy.Com (the url you tagged) to my friend. And got a new domain. 😀 I’ll tell her tho and make her do it if she doesn’t see it. I like your secrets tho. I should use them too. Maybe I’ll actually get something done. 🙂

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  7. There is something about writing it down and then crossing it off that gives me that sense of accomplishment.

    I actually write “make a list” at the top so that I can cross it off once I’ve taken care of that task. Sad? Maybe. Satisfying? Yep!

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