TeamStrength CEO’s Favorite Productivity Tricks

By Susan Schilke; March 1, 2016

One of our goals at TeamStrength is to help leaders ‘Take Aim!’ and achieve more for themselves and their organizations.  Over the last five months, we’ve shared an amazingly comprehensive list of ways to become more productive from lifehack.org.  These ’50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better and More Easily’ featured ideas from some of my favorite books on personal effectiveness, like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Power of Less, and Eat That Frog.

Because the list was so comprehensive, we broke it into 5 lists of 10 ideas, and this month, we’re sharing the entire list of 50 to finish up.  And over the course of the last five months, I’ve asked TeamStrength CEO and Key Executive members to share which items on the list could most add to their own effectiveness.  Here were their top selections:

#1.  Most Important Tasks (MITs) A reminder take time the day before or first thing each day to identify 3 most critical things to do, and do them first.

eat that frog#12.  Eat the Frog:  Do your most unpleasant task first – get it out of the way and celebrate having it done (versus dreading having to do it!).

#23.  Roles:   Set your goals based on the different roles you plan in life – executive, coach, member of the leadership team, husband/wife, parent, son or daughter, etc.

#24.  Flow:  Create the conditions to get absorbed in your work and be most effective by eliminating distractions and working uninterrupted.

#33.  Monotasking:  Related to flow, this is a reminder that we can’t really multitask and are much more productive if we give ourselves longer blocks of time on a single project before moving to the next.

#43.  Unschedule:  Schedule enjoyment and personal time, and leave blocks of work time in the remaining time – then fill it in on your calendar and reward yourself after a block of quality, focused work.

#48.  Do Your Worst:  Relieve the pressure of being perfect and start ugly… then go back and make it better.

Though not mentioned as often, these were other top ideas for members:

#19.  Covey Quadrants:  Spend time on the important, not urgent tasks to be most effective.

#20.  Handle Everyone Once:  Apply this to your email list – do it, schedule it, defer it or get rid of it.

write it down#31.  Write it Down:  Use your notepad, computer, Outlook or Evernote, but don’t rely on memory!

#36.  Unclutter:  An organized work space lets you find what you need and unclutters your brain, too.

#37:  Visualize:  To borrow again from Covey – ‘begin with the end in mind.’

#39:  To Don’t List:  What do you need to stop doing that’s unproductive.

Use the whole list or this modified segment from some of the most effective people I know to find and integrate new ways to increase your own effectiveness.  Today’s business environment demands the most from all of us, so use these ideas to Take Aim!