The fact is that if you are not productive, you won’t make money. Here are some ideas on how to organize yourself and use your time and other resources to best advantage:
1. Don’t get overwhelmed. Looking at everything you have to do at one time can be discouraging, but remind yourself you will soon have it all done.
2. Organize your workspace. You’ll spend less time looking for what you need.
3. Make sure the space is comfortable. You’ll work better when the surroundings are pleasant.
4. Double check to make sure you have what you need before you start. It will save a lot of time later.
5. Cut off contact with others while you work. This is especially important if you work at home.
6. Eliminate all distractions. That means no television in the background.
7. Eat healthy. You’ll be sharper if you get the nutrients you need each day.
8. Have a basic schedule for each day – that means no impromptu three-hour lunches.
9. Don’t skip lunches. You need the break to keep your productivity up in the afternoon.
10. Stop your day on time. Working into the night will make tomorrow that much harder.
11. Get plenty of rest. Along with nutrition, this is the best thing you can do to keep yourself productive.
12. Start the day with a promise to yourself that you will get lots done.
13. Go to your work area even if you woke up in grumpy mood.
14. Make a list. When it is all down in black and white, your tasks seem less intimidating.
15. Prioritize the list. What has to be done first and what can wait until later?
16. Be realistic. You can’t cram twenty one-hour tasks into one day.
17. Know your body rhythm. If you are more alert in the afternoon, schedule the bulk of your tasks then. If you are a pretty even individual, schedule each hour of the workday accordingly.
18. Do the easy stuff at the top of the list first. Scratching off several action items will motivate you to keep going.
19. Multi-task on the small stuff. It is okay to make a surf Twitter while you make phone calls.
20. Forget multi-tasking with the big stuff. Focus on one thing and get it done before moving on to the next.
21. Proof your work before going on. It’ll prevent you from having to do things twice.
22. Try to arrange to do like things in one block of time. Write all your blogs, then do all your social networking, then send out your emails. It’ll make life a lot easier.
23. Allow for the unexpected. Things come up, so build a few blocks of time into your schedule to handle them.
24. Handle the unexpected, then get back to the next task on your list.
25. Plan some buffer time in between tasks. It will give your brain a chance to rest and start the next task with a fresh attitude.
26. Don’t be upset when something temporarily derails your schedule. Things will work out all right.
27. Accept that circumstances beyond your control may make it impossible to do something on your list today.
28. Don’t sweat the delay, simply make that task the priority tomorrow.
29. Keep in mind some tasks may have to be scheduled to accommodate others.
30. Delegate if and when you can. Believe it or not, you don’t have to do everything yourself.
31. Scan information when possible. You’ll still get what you need, just a little faster.
32. Put things away when you are done with them. It’ll save you time when you need them again.
33. Check off items as you go. Seeing the list shrink is motivating.
34. Get away from your desk or laptop now and then. Even two minutes away will rest your eyes and keep you from slowing down.
35. Keep a second list for things that pop into your head while working on other stuff. You can refer to it later as necessary.
36. Take a break in the afternoon – a real one, not two minutes to rest your eyes. Fifteen minutes will take away a lot of stress and make it easier to keep going.
37. Bookmark important web sites; this includes your web site, your social networking login pages, and any reference sites you use regularly.
38. Archive all your web copy on a remote storage device. Update the stored data every time you make a change.
39. Make sure your hard drive files as well as your hard copy files are always in order, so you can find what you need at once.
40. Keep your office stocked with supplies; otherwise, you’ll have to interrupt your day to go get something you need right this minute and waste valuable time.
41. Do as much ordering, funds transfers, and other tasks via the Internet as you can. You save time doing your errands from your desk.
42. Keep something to drink handy. A bottle of water nearby saves time on trips to the refrigerator.
43. Schedule one hour near the end of the day as a catch up period. Any tasks that got put off earlier can be addressed during that time.
44. Prepare your schedule for the following day. It’ll make it easier to dive in when morning comes.
45. Review what you have accomplished. You’ll be surprised and pleased at everything that got handled.
46. Lay out what you will need to handle those first few tasks on the new day.
47. Check the printer for paper and ink; make sure there is plenty for the next day.
48. Organize your workspace before you leave. It’ll be easier to face in the morning.
49. Close the door, pull the curtain, do whatever you must do in order to separate your workspace from your living space.
50. Leave your work area and do not return until the next day, no matter how tempting it is to return to do one more thing.