10 Ways to Improve Personal Efficiency

1. Focus on three main tasks of the day, week, and month

Start the working week with the question: “If today was Friday, what three things I would like to see already done?” For example: “A prepared presentation for the board of directors” or “I for a week I went 20 km”. At the beginning of each day, formulate the answer to a similar question every day. Ideally, goals per day must be consistent with goals for a week.

On Friday, conduct an analysis done in a week and how things are going in different spheres. Identify three areas in which things go well, and three more “problematic.” The next Monday when planning for a week, consider this.

This approach can be used for long-term planning. It allows you to concentrate on goals, not on means of achieving it, in other words – to be flexible in its approach, but to keep in mind the priorities.

2. Visualize your plans

Many think that long-term plans are a list of tasks in Excel. However, plans can be not only recorded, but also drawn. And not necessarily on paper – you can just imagine.

Start every day to give as brightly as possible a positive result of what you have planned. And do not forget to occasionally visualize global plans. To plant a tree, to build a house, to grow a son is great goals, but it is better to imagine in advance that it will be – a cherry or a birch tree. Rather grow up!

3. “No” to procrastinate

How does the working day usually begin? Come on, turn on the computer, read the news, tape on facebook, brew coffee, chat with your colleagues. Sometimes it’s tricky to dinner, and then our effectiveness begins to decline. By the way, the exact opposite happens during the holiday. The first time you continue to inertia check phone, respond to letters, etc. Relaxing is just as difficult as getting started.

The recipe is this: we form a conditioned reflex – we create an associative connection between a certain unique (which is very important!) Action and the beginning of an active working day. An event that you will be associated with just beginning of work and nothing else (for this reason, a cup of coffee, for example, is not suitable only if you do not drink one cup of coffee and only on working days and only before the start of work).

What can this be? My friend, for example, whenever he approaches the office, listens to the Star Trek soundtrack. His brain has already learned that after this music is intense work, so when he hears this “signal”, trigger neural connections and it quickly adjusts to the working rhythm.

4. Meditate

It is very important to be able not only to quickly get involved in the workflow, but also quickly relax. How to have a good 20 minutes rest in the middle of a day? The answer is meditation. In many people, this process is associated with complex eastern practices that are not readily available to the mortal. In fact, everything is not so hard. Download, for example, the Headspace application, which will help you practice meditation in about a month with your daily practice and develop a habit of meditating on a regular basis. You can do this in a car, in the office, after dinner in the park on the bench – anywhere.

Meditation allows you to completely restore strength for 15-20 minutes to prolong the working day. And not only. It helps to concentrate better, and thus improves the quality of what you do. On the therapeutic level, meditation relieves stress, improves sleep and mood. On a deeper one, it brings opinions in line with reality, which has a profound effect on life. But this is quite another conversation

5. Eat one “frog” a day

Each of us has a list of unprofessional cases – in one of the popular techniques on efficiency they are called “frogs”. Well, for example, report to the boss. Or wash the dishes. Does not matter. There are always some tasks that need to be addressed, but I do not really want to. This is a “frog”. Typically, they do the following: put as much as possible on “then”, and then again on “then” until the boss does not ring himself or end all clean dishes in the house. Agree, not the most productive approach.

Fighting with “frogs” and reducing the negative effect of the need to do this can only be one way: “eat” one day and certainly in the morning – at the beginning of the working day. First, when it becomes a habit, you will not be so tormented each time, forcing yourself to do what you do not like. And secondly, you will reduce the time of torment to a minimum: it is tired in the morning – and threw up the mountain from the shoulders.

6. Turn off irritants

How many times, while sitting at a meeting or listening to a lecture, did you miss an important thought because you read your mail on mobile? And how many, working on a certain task, responded to the call and began to discuss fundamentally new issues? And how many of them were really important and demanded an immediate reaction? No one is against training a brain for a quick transition from one task to another, sometimes it is critically necessary, but most is not needed at all. We simply do not know how to organize the work process properly and focus on priorities. And therefore all the time distract.

Performance can be greatly improved if you have a clear rule: do not answer calls, e-mail, messages in the instant messenger immediately upon receipt. Learn to ignore them. Forward uninterrupted calls and cases to the TO DO folder. Boil it all once or twice a day. If your work directly depends on such messages – then four times a day. Set up your mail, phone, and more so that you are only concerned about really important and urgent calls and messages. If you are not a call center employee, this approach will only improve your productivity.

7. Concentrate on “Tomatoes”

Another very well-known and easy to implement method of concentration and time management – Pomodoro (they say that when developing it, the author used a timer in the form of tomatoes). Its essence is simple: we work 25 minutes and rest 3-5 minutes, after each fourth working interval we rest for 15-30 minutes. This technique allows you to focus on a specific task and solve this problem in a shorter period of time.

Ideally, it looks like this: we write a list of “tomatoes” – the key tasks of the day, and then every other time we work on one of them, after – necessarily rest. I think that such an approach is more suitable for those who are engaged in some lengthy business, without leaving the workplace, for example, programmers who write the program, or accountants who compile the report. Although small tasks can be grouped into blocks, for example, “respond to all short e-mail per day”.

Here it is very important the right understanding of rest – it should fundamentally differ from the work. If you, for example, are sitting at your computer, then the rest in no way means that you open a game or log in to facebook. You have to get up and do something completely different – take a walk, do a charge, call your wife, etc. And then return to your “tomatoes”.

8. Make a “unicorn list”

This is a popular method of memorizing information. It will help you keep everything you need in your head and remember what you need in time. Works like this: you need to make for yourself two or three basic lists of ten or twenty points each. A classic example is List Unicorn (this is called the first thing in the list to be remembered), where each of the points is associated with a specific number from 1 to 10. Unicorn (one horn) – the first one, followed by a socket (two holes), a tricycle (three wheels), etc. The second list can be constructed from different parts of the body from top to bottom: head, eyes, neck, shoulders, etc.

After you have defined the list, proceed as follows: remembering some amount of information, we divide it into parts and associate each part with a certain element in the list (with mandatory visualization). This is very convenient when, for example, you are preparing for a speech and “tied” each of his thesis to a certain object in his “unicorn list”. Images crop into the brain more than words, so they are easier to remember, and with them and their corresponding information.

9. Use B-ALERT

Absolutely simple implementation and a very effective system for improving personal effectiveness. Each letter in the abbreviation of the title corresponds to a certain action that needs to be performed on a daily basis.

B – Blueprint, or plan: fixing the evening all the most important the next day.

A – Action – action: consistently performed.

L – Learning – learning: once a day we must discover something new. Reading a useful article, listening to audiobooks, watching a video is anything you want. You do not have to spend time on three-hour lectures, you can develop when you are in traffic, etc.

E – Exercise – exercises: either gym, or just a morning charge, any physical activity.

R – Rest / Relax – rest during the day: walk, meditation, just relaxation without work and any activity.

T – Thinking – Thinking over the results of the day, visualizing the future, planning long-term goals.

You can add to B-ALERT something that is important for you. For example, I wrote two more letters: G – Gratitude – time to express gratitude to someone or myself, and L – Laughing – laughter for maintaining a positive mood for life

10. Analyze the day that ended

At the end of each day, you need to allocate 5-10 minutes of time to analyze everything you’ve had and do not have time to do today, and how good it turned out to be.


Udovenko Aleksandr