Today, I am going to be discussing how I get more work done and get the best out of me.
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If it seems like I’m self-promoting, it’s only because I have a tried, tested and hugely successful formula as far as productivity goes. Most of it comes from stuff I’ve gathered over the years from people I’ve worked with; some of it comes from people I’ve watched.
One of the most important women in my life is my PA. She is such a wonderful support and inspiration, but why I would bring her here is because we have a slogan – There’s always work to be done.
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We are entrepreneurs, at least in the ‘loosest’ form of the word. And because we understand that, it’s like we cannot afford to take a moment off work or lose sight of the goal. There’s always something to do.
And yet because we’re human, there are times we’re too tired or too stressed or too jaded or too listless or generally too ‘too’. Sometimes we’re just not inspired to do anything; even watching TV seems like too much stress. We cannot seem to get ourselves together; we cannot seem to move from point A to B as easily as we did yesterday.
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Yet there’s work to be done. How do we do it?
How Do I Get More Work Done?
If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? This sounds like another of the many sayings I throw around in here, but it’s nonetheless true. Before I start any project, whether personal or paid, I usually have a picture of what I intend to achieve with it – to generate conversation or make a bestsellers’ list or just to increase my account balance. This is important because it helps keep me in check and on course; I know when I’ve started missing the point.
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Always have a timetable. Always. We all know things hardly ever go according to plan, especially when we’re dealing with factors entirely beyond our control. Having a plan means you know your destination and you at least have an idea of how to get there. And while things will happen that will make it necessary for you to adapt, a plan means you’ve thought about what you want to do. A plan shows you have dedication. A plan means you intend to do it no matter what.
This is important to your productivity because it keeps you fresh and aware. As a creative, I require lots and lots of silence – even when I’m working. I like to turn my phones off so everything is controlled and at an even keel. There are no surprises; no unpleasant interruptions or conversations for that matter. It’s important to keep yourself in a place, at least mentally, where you can work.
As much as you can, step away from your work. Distance yourself from it, at least mentally so you can look at it objectively and with a fresh pair of eyes. Once I’m done writing a project, I start a new one immediately or go away and then come back and look through the work again. In that short away time I have seen new things that would influence my view of the work. I spot mistakes, rewrite paragraphs, adjust images, etc. This is all because stepping away gives me a fresh perspective.
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I have a sleep problem; I’m a mild insomniac. If I’m lucky, I get up to four hours of sleep on a really good day and that’s something to celebrate. I have learnt to channel that into my work so I get quite a bit done. However, something happened recently that helped me realise I’m sleep-deprived. Rest is crucial especially when you do a lot of mental work. Lack of sleep dulls your edges, makes you careless and interrupts your concentration. It’s almost like getting drunk without the alcohol. As much as you can, close your eyes. Sleep. Nothing is worth losing sleep over. Whatever it is, it can wait.
If you’re someone who doesn’t believe in a greater being, just skip this part. I believe because, like Stephen King once said: It makes my life easier. I believe in saying a word before I start my day. I get clarity and it keeps me balanced for the most part. Prayer does for me what meditation does for other people. It clears my mind of clutter and gives me a clear direction. More than anything else, it puts me together and I start my day intentionally. There’s nothing better for me.
I’m sure there’s a lot more – but those are my top things that help me get the best out of myself and out of my day. Why don’t you share some of yours? I sure would like to read them in the comments!
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Photo Credit: Chopra