Increase productivity by taking one extra step

One evening, after finishing up with the daily social media chunk, I went to  my work shop to have my pruning shears ready for next morning gardening.

As I shuffled through shears I’ve found a really old one, which I haven’t seen for years. Just touching it put me back almost forty years in time.

 

[content_box_light_blue width=”75%”]I was in the kitchen. My grandmother was preparing dinner. My grandfather was sitting at a small table honing his pruning shears and talking to me.

– You know my boy,  tomorrow I go to the grapes for pruning (he was a grape farmer with several piece of land with wine grapes to which he always refer to as “the grapes”) . I want to start early so I having my things ready for the early start, you should do the same when you will be working.  [/content_box_light_blue]

This sweet memory flash just made me realize what an ancient and very simple productivity technique I have learned from my grandfather and applied to my daily work years later.

Increase productivity

There are plenty of articles, discussions around and about productivity. People searching for the Holy Grail of time management and the “Ultimate Efficiency System”. I am not sure if those exists. But there are habits and processes to increase productivity. As Jessica Donlon (@jessicadonlon) pointed out in a recent article about to-do lists, our life arranged in endless lists and process flows. Our basic natural needs – from the bottom of the good old Masslow’s hierarchy like sleep, food, reproduction (office sex) – break those flows.

To get back on track faster after these distractions I suggest this:

[content_box_red width=”75%”]Make the last move of a process the first of the next one.[/content_box_red]

It might seems bold and meaningless so let me give you some examples you must have heard before:

  • Travel. On the following morning you are off to an important meeting with a rather early flight. You pack your bag before you go to bed, right? (And prepare the coffee maker so you only have to push one button, otherwise you won’t find your bag…)
  • Office work, end of the day. Clean up your desk and have the paper work of your first task for next morning ready.(Ok, if you went green and paperless already, schedule a task in your calendar with links to the electronic documents)
  • Cold calling prospects. After the call make notes about the call and the customer AND schedule an appointment in  your calendar for the follow up call. (Not necessary if the prospect strongly requested to get removed from the database…)
  • Writing. Let’s assume it is not in your scheduled writing hour(s) but some impulsive flow you caught on but have to brake for something scheduled. Before you leave, try to make notes of what else did you want to write about  and what is your plan with this writing. (About 50% of the time you won’t remember even with the notes, but worth trying.)
  • Yearly business planning. When you are ready and broke it into action items set up a task in your calendar in three months ahead to review the plan. (Give it some attractive title like “Let’s see how much I’ve overdone” or “On the road to abundance  Q1” and include link to the file. )

You might say that I have some pretty sick mind to link all this things back to my grandpa’s old shears but in my thinking it is all the same. Finishing or pausing a day, a task , any activity with the continuation in mind.

[content_box_red width=”75%”]What is your trick to re-start after distraction?  Please share with us bellow.[/content_box_red]

Image credit: Dreamstime.com