Each day, make a list of things you want to accomplish. Not “big picture” goals, but small concise tasks. Every time you complete one of these items, strike it off your list. At the end of every day, examine your list. What have you achieved? What’s working and what’s not?
Some people advocate that you begin working on the most challenging task first. That doesn’t work for me. I like working on the easiest tasks first – I really love marking off what I’ve accomplished! I like seeing that I’ve gotten things done. But if you do face a large task, don’t put it off and wait until the very end of your day.
Remove distractions. Turn off your computer. Stop checking your e-mail every three minutes. Turn off the radio and don’t answer your telephone for a given amount of time. Voicemail does exist for a reason. Be organized! Create a workspace with everything you need in one place. People who work at home waste time running around looking for everything (I know… I’ve been there).
When talking to people on the telephone, take detailed notes of your conversation. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted trying to recover or remember details of a specific conversation I had.
Learn to say “no”. Sometimes, even answering a phone call can derail you. You don’t need to be connected every second. Say no to things that are going to disrupt your day and your flow. A lot of people try to multitask, but you may end up doing several things poorly at once – instead of accomplishing one task solidly.
Increasing one’s level of productivity can and will help increase one’s self-worth. You’ve won if you’re crossing off tasks! You’re that much closer to completing your road map. And at the end of each day, you’ll feel good about what you have done.
Stephen Key is a successful award-winning inventor who has licensed
over 20 products in the past 25 years. Along with business partner
Andrew Krauss, Stephen runs inventRight, a company dedicated to educating inventors about selling their ideas and the skills needed to succeed. You can ask questions and get advice on the inventRight forum, check out the resource center, and listen to the weekly radio show on inventing. Get In The News, list your invention to have media outlets find you for news stories.