How I’m doing on practicing those “Five Expert Productivity Tips I’m Trying This Year.”


A client asked me the other day about how I’m doing on the five productivity tips I was trying this year as mentioned in my January 2, 2018 blog. I had to look her straight in her eyes and confess that I didn’t even remember what I was going to try, but I would get back to her.

Looking back at the blog I have some good news and some not so good news. As you can tell, if I didn’t even remember what I was going to practice, how in the world could I be practicing it? The good news is that some of these tips have become a habit of mine. The bad news is that I am a total failure at a few of these. The good news is, I now have a few things to consciously practice.

Here are my tips and my progress:

  1. Eat Cake For Breakfast

“It doesn’t literally have to be cake,” says Beyond the Headline podcast host Jenna Abdou, but “the point is to find a way to eat something that brings you joy in the morning.” Abdou believes this can double as a mindfulness exercise and triple as a practice for cultivating gratitude that in turn boosts your productivity.

This is now a habit. I get up early, 5:30am and exercise for about 45 minutes then I return home and practice the ritual of making a great cup of coffee and breakfast. I sit at my dining room table and savor this time without using my phone or thinking about my ‘to do’ list for the day or about my responsibilities. I just enjoy the moment and think about what I have to be grateful for. This is now a special time of the day for me.

  1. Build Your Day Around Your Toughest Tasks

Career strategist Adunola Adeshola kicks off her day by identifying her top one or two most pressing tasks. “Once I’ve scratched the most important thing off my to-do list, I immediately feel like I’ve conquered the day,” she says.

Well, I've succeeded in deciding not to succeed in this one. I still make a list of the Top 5 things I want to accomplish in the day, but I don’t always tackle the hardest first. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve decided it works well enough for me. I’m letting this one go.

  1. Turn Off Push Notifications

This has been one of the best things I have done for me this year. These were a major distraction for me and mostly caused anxiety and distraction.

This is a knock it out of the ballpark success! Not only have I turned them off and kept them off, but I also turn my phone off at times and put it in another room to insure I can remain focused.

Push notifications for email, texts, social media notifications, the news, the weather, are detrimental to our productivity argues Dan Ariely, James B Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University, North Carolina. Recent studies show that 50 percent of Americans keep their phone near them during every moment of their waking hours, and 50 percent of them check their phone at least several times an hour. A recent study he conducted found people were much more likely to make errors and not pay attention to their main task if they were interrupted by notifications from their phone.

  1. Clean it Up (This is a yearly repeater that I will succeed at this year!)

I cringe at the lack of success I’ve had with this intention. I swear one of those little night creatures comes in and messes my office up at least three times a week! I know, when I have a clean workspace (infrequently), it significantly reduces my stress. Decluttering both our desks and our digital desktops helps with certain anxieties we might feel about unfinished projects.

I will to do this and succeed at this task. Notice the positivity there.

It’s been recommended that cleaning the desk for five minutes at the end of your work day helps maintain order and refocuses your energy on what’s important.

I can do this!

  1. Everyday, Find a Way to Give Something to Somebody

(I love this one and I know that when I do this, it just makes me feel happier and helps me want to do more.) 

This has become a great habit of mine. Love to do it in person, but even if I just get on a social media site and encourage someone, it makes both of us feel good.

Now I can tell my client where I’m at with my productivity practices. Two habits created. One done early on and never will return. One never to do. One to focus on. Tell me how you’re doing on those productivity tips you wanted to change. Gotta go and clean.

1 comment

Jackie Arthur

I can picture you in your #1 task looking out over the water. I'm glad you don't take it for granted and that it starts your day off so well.
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