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Paradox1's avatar

What are some tricks and "systems" you have found help you to achieve high levels of productivity?

Asked by Paradox1 (1167 points ) October 15th, 2011

Okay so loving your work certainly helps. What are some other means or “tricks” you personally use to “get down to business” – that is to get work done. Work being defined as anything that requires considerable effort and that you are not easily drawn to.

For example, I once read about a special system people can use (with the help of another) to vastly increase their chances of overcoming addictions. It had to do with being “paid” in tickets for certain behavior and getting to choose a reward, or something like that. I can’t find anything about it now though it may have had a specific name. But I am wondering if there is anything perhaps similar in nature to this to help one achieve maximum productivity. I am also wondering if you might share any personal quirks or rituals you all go through before, during, or after your work to make it more likely you will succeed. Another example of one thing I do is disconnect completely from the internet when I am writing or doing accounting work so that I am not tempted to check Fluther, for example, until I do a certain amount of work prior.

What things help you achieve maximum productivity and efficiency? Also what things help you work longer, harder, faster, and smarter?

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14 Answers

janbb's avatar

Simple method, but “to do” lists really help me get the muddle out of my head so that I can start attacking projects systematically. When I leave work for the week, I jot down what I want to start working on the next week.

janbb's avatar

Also, when I take a break from something I am writing, I will write out a few words or a sentence of the next part or paragraph so I know where I was headed with it. (Both of these things being said, I waste a shitload of time on the computer.)

laureth's avatar

I don’t know if this is specifically what you want, but you might be interested in Lifehacker.

YARNLADY's avatar

To me, it’s simply a matter of pride. I get great pleasure in doing a job as thoroughly and accurately as possible. Skipping steps or cutting corner prolongs the work, and is counter productive.

Blackberry's avatar

Passion and motivation for being in a different place in the future. You just have to want to change and be different.

critter1982's avatar

I find that real productivity starts with 0 interruptions. When people are at work they can get bogged down by M&M’s, and the life of multi-tasking, but this generally drives lack luster productivity. To get things done and to do them well you need a dedicated place and time where you can sit down and do your work with no interruptions which even includes self driving distractions like fluther :). I find I do my best work on planes because there’s usually no email, internet, managers, meetings, co-workers to interrupt you in the middle of production.

RocketGuy's avatar

I put each task on a Post It note and stick them in order of priority. Then I toss when the task is done.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I once worked full time while taking full credit loads at school and it helped me to have my clothes to wear laid out the night before along with breakfast and lunch planned. The car was always gassed up, back in the days when I wouldn’t ride below half a tank and I gave myself extra time for travel or just to show up early. There’s a good feeling being early more time than late.

This has worked in times when I’ve had new job pressure, multiple jobs to juggle or whatever.

blueiiznh's avatar

My Recipe
Good sleep
Good organizational skills
A sense of internal happiness
A sense of worth.

Those 4 tend to be able to do it for me.

tranquilsea's avatar

I roll up my sleeves and get busy with whatever I need to. In the midst of any one job I work out the most efficient way to do it and make the necessary changes. If it is a job that repeats I’ll standardize my shortcuts.

thesparrow's avatar

I’ve been getting things done since as long as I can remember. There hasn’t been a time in my life where I wasn’t motivated to do something worthwhile, including school, my creative writing, socializing, etc..

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes, to do lists and all those things. Goal setting (short, medium and long). Goal setting is important to me because it helps keep me on track but it also reminds me I am getting things achieved when I do have moments of doubt.

I also use a program called Rescue Time. It tells me how much time I have spent doing productive and non-productive things. A little box comes up if I spend too long doing non-productive stuff. I also get a report at the end of the week. It just helps me to keep an eye on how much work I am doing (from the perspective of doing too much as well as too little!).

I also close the door to my office so I am not disturbed and get some of my writing/research work done. Otherwise, people just come in and drop in for impromptu meetings and it throws my time management out the window. This is a really important thing for me. I hear from colleagues all the time “but xxx gets in my way”. My bosses won’t care about xxx when I come to sit down for my annual review. It is my job to make sure I get a, b, c and d done and xxx, has to be managed.

Work-life balance. I factor in time for my family, friends and the like. I don’t keep set hours either. So, if I want to go to lunch with a friend, I do, but I can make up the time later on my work stuff. Work-life balance is so important to me in terms of feeling valued and healthy and just okay with myself.

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thesparrow's avatar

@Bellatrix That sounds like a great way to manage your time. You seem to be doing well. I definitely want to split career and family but possibly with more emphasis on family (maybe because I’m female). We’ll see.

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