After a - in my eyes - very productive week for us I come back to the blogosphere to find that Adam - Monk at Work - Kayce tagged me (and Dawud, Dave, Char and ChrisG) with Ben Yoskovitz Group Writing Project Meme to write The Ultimate Guide to Productivity.
The 'rules' are simple (I'm listing two, see Ben's post for all):
- Write a post on your best productivity tips. Challenge yourself by picking your single best productivity tip (although this isn’t a requirement; you can give us more if you want!)
- Include links to other people that have written posts, or include their tips in your post with proper attribution.
Productivity = producing something, anything in fact. Not copying (IMHO), so rule 2 comes in handy: in order to produce your best tip on productivity you have to 'study' others who have taken up the gauntlet of this project already (best tips found during this search are at the bottom of this post).
My best tip? I've been pondering about this question since I found out about this project. Sticking to your hedgehog-concept came to mind (keep doing what you do best), getting organised also and planning your activities around your personal 'work-best-at-specific-times-of-the-day notion. And a recent post by Kent Blumberg on Focus is a great tip on its own too. We all know these kind of productivity tips and we all try to keep true to them.
I'm at my best when I am having fun, when I enjoy what I'm doing. I try to have fun every day (and I work 7 days a week), every hour of the day. I've also learnt to try to make fun of most menial tasks every business/job brings with it.
How to have fun?
- Find the right tools for the job, any job. Think handy software programs, proper equipment, the right procedures and systems. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing what to do but you're grinding to a halt because you lack the proper tools.
- Get the right advice or know who can help you tackle a task or plan. Ignorance isn't bliss. Knowledge is. And advice is all around, it can come in the form of books, blogs or pleasant, rewarding and very enjoyable monthly lunch-meetings with my mentor (and we both have fun: teaching - learning - understanding). All you have to do is ask, then know what you like and like what you know.
- Have clarity in character (thanks Adam, you have found me the perfect word for this - clarity): don't do things that go against the grain of your character, it will only frustrate you in the end. And frustrations aren't fun.
Not just clarity in your own character, but also your partner's or team members. Small example: last week after the exhibition my partner Ton mentioned the difference between him and me reacting to people stopping and looking at our displayed samples of wooden flooring. He would stay back until he felt this person required more details or info, while I 'jumped' everyone who stopped and looked. "Not everyone is really interested," he says. "No, but everyone might be interesting," I say.
Asking me to hold back goes against my grain (extrovert), asking him to 'jump' everyone goes against his grain (more introvert). We wouldn't have fun, now we did.
Of course this has to do with your goal, with your hedge-hog concept, but it goes deeper. If your business goal isn't fun or enjoyable to reach something essential is missing and you won't even enjoy reaching it. And besides - having fun has a tremendous effect on your health (personal health, but also business health, customers love dealing with happy suppliers)
So my best tip has to be: make sure the work/task/profession you have is that what you like doing best, what you enjoy most, what brings you the most fun.