Another handful of productivity pointers

Here in the UK, it’s a 3 day week for many of us after the Jubilee celebrations. Still need to cram in 5 days’ work? Recently, I shared Five practical productivity pointers with you: here’s another batch to help you slay those to do list dragons.

First the worst*

I guess I’m not the only one who’s sometimes guilty of leaving complicated or unpleasant tasks until later in the day. On reflection, one of my clients realised that leaving the complicated task until later gives him less time to get it right, thus increasing the pressure on him: now he schedules it for first thing in the morning.

In Alice in Wonderland, the White Queen claims that she believes in six impossible things before breakfast. Why not aim to complete one tricky task before your first cuppa?

(*Did you used to chant this in the playground? First the worst, second the best, third the … what?)

60 second decision

We have access to so much information now which can sometimes lead us to analysis paralysis. Like a rabbit in the headlights, we stare at the data and prevaricate. Here’s a suggestion: set your phone timer for one minute and then go with the first decision that pops into your head. A couple of clients have tried this and report that, rather like flipping a coin, your gut reaction to that first decision immediately indicates whether it’s the right one. Either way, you’ve shaken off the analysis paralysis.

Clear that clutter

What does your workspace look like? Some people love to work amidst piles of papers and can instantly lay their hands on everything they need. I’ve met more people who don’t find that to be the case. It never seems like a priority but taking an hour out to do your filing, rearrange your environment and find that one thing you often need but spend ages looking for each time could well be an hour well spent.

Time tokens

Speaking of ‘well spent’, my clients have probably all heard me ask them, ‘if the time you’re spending on this was money, would you consider it well spent?’  Lets say you decide an hour of your time is worth £10: is the task you’re looking at tackling worth £20 of your time or could you do it equally well for £15? It’s worth considering.

Hello silence, my old friend

Most of us enjoy the camaraderie of working in teams, whether real or virtual. However, sometimes a chunk of undistracted time with no phones/WiFi/music/people can be just what you need to polish off a task. Several of my clients have worked out ways of fitting this into their diaries and feel that it helps them make progress. Could you profit from some silence?

Today’s pebble for your consideration:

Which of these steps (or any other you’d care to share) will help you be more productive today?

Do let me know,


ps if increasing your productivity is on your agenda at the moment and you feel that having a coach alongside you would be helpful, why not email me to see how we can work together?

Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

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