Friday, 7 June 2013

How to Increase Your Productivity

Time is Money
Are you sometimes wondering at the end of a working day what you have actually achieved? After all, you were so busy
  • replying to emails
  • going to meetings
  • researching on the internet (yeah, right :))
  • organising your files and dealing with colleagues (resolving their issues and queries, not yours) 
that you have lost sight of getting the real things done, the one's that generate new business, more income and also fulfil your creative and intellectual potential.

Here are 7 tips inspired by the Tarot to help you regain focus and supercharge your productivity:

King of Swords, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
1. Set your daily tasks. What do you need to achieve today? Take just a few moments at the beginning of each working day to make notes of what you want to get done to get you closer to your goal. 

Be like the King of Swords: clear thinking, sharp, objective, logical, taking control.

2. Limit your social media engagement. This is one of the major distractions that stops most people from getting their work done.

Most employers have banned their staff from accessing social media during work time, but if you are self-employed, then you need to apply firm self-control. You know deep down that online chats and reading people's self-centred status updates gets you nowhere.

Two of Wands, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
If your marketing depends on social media, consider automating it. Check out Hootsuite and SocialOomph to schedule your professional Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn updates.

Use their free service to reduce repetitive social media marketing. You can create draft updates, which can be scheduled repeatedly; you only need to invest 5 minutes of your time in the morning for daily updates, or 10 minutes to auto-schedule your updates for the whole week.

Set a timer, if necessary. That's all! No more getting lost in cyberspace for hours.

Be like the Two of Wands: plan your time constructively, implement new systems to increase efficiency, focus on your creative ambitions and result-orientated activities.


Eight of Pentacles, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
3. Single-task. There is a wide-spread misconception about multi-tasking, which implies that the more stuff you are trying to complete in the shortest amount of time makes you a very productive person. Not true!

Human brains are just not wired to do different things at the same time. Ultimately, the quality of your work will suffer.

For example, reduce your multiple open windows on your computer to just one. Shut down your email client, so you are not getting distracted by incoming emails, while you focus on just one task to get it done.

Be like the Eight of Pentacles: keen on quality, accuracy, mastery, single-mindedness.


Hermit, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
4. Clear your computer clutter. Do you have hundreds of email and document folders on your computer? How many emails are still in your inbox?

Maybe you are proud that you have managed to neatly categorise all your emails and documents into numerous folders, but can you remember what they all actually contain?

Chances are, a lot of those folders are no longer required (when did you last look into some of them?), or their contents is out of date. Instead, they are staring you overwhelmingly in the eye, and it is killing your productivity. Time for a cull!

Be radical; just like you de-clutter your wardrobe at home once or twice a year, do the same with your digital possessions you keep on your computer. Empty your inbox.

Be like the Hermit: reduce all that stuff, create space, simplify, back to basics, regain clarity, breathe.


Empress, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
5. Take regular breaks. Skipping lunch doesn't prove to your boss and co-workers that you are a hard and dedicated worker. In reality, it is a sure way to feeling drained more quickly, you lose concentration, get stressed and then make mistakes.

A ten-minute mid-morning break (make yourself a cup of tea, have a biscuit, pop to the loo) allows you some mental rest. A half-hour lunch break away from your desk helps you recharge your batteries for the afternoon ahead.

Not having a break reduces your productivity in the long-term. The world won't fall apart, if you don't respond to emails or finish that report in record time.

Be like the Empress: take care of your needs so you can take care of your work in return, keep a healthy work-life balance, treat yourself with a small reward for being productive for a specified period of time.


Queen of Wands, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
6. Don't be controlled by others. Have you noticed how other people seem to think that their status, work and deadlines are more important than yours? "This is urgent! Can you action this asap." "Drop everything and sort out my problem right now to avoid disaster."

These are the people, who manipulate you into deferring what is important to you to follow their own agenda. You need to discern between what is important and what is urgent. Often, other people's urgent isn't your important. Get it?

Don't get sucked into their world, otherwise your list of "urgents" can easily grow, and you just end up neglecting your own important work. Don't tolerate time-wasters.

Be like the Queen of Wands: assertive, in charge of your responsibilities, determined, prioritising, bold.


Nine of Cups, Aquatic Tarot, www.aquatictarot.de
7. Enjoy the work you do. Last but not least, if you don't like your job, it will affect your productivity, especially if you succumb to the resulting negative vibes like being moody and frustrated.

Most people aren't working in their dream jobs, but it is still possible to make the most of what you have.

Set yourself some exciting goals, beautify your workspace, be cheerful and show enthusiasm (even if you don't feel that way), be positive (after all, it could be worse!), look for training opportunities, so you have the chance to better yourself.

Be like the Nine of Cups: happy, grateful, light-hearted, joyful, pleasant, nurture friendships at work.

What are your favourite methods to improve your productivity? 


If your procrastination is driving you mad, or your workload is getting on top of you, let the Tarot help you get some clarity and focus:

Shuffle your deck and ask: What can I do today to improve my productivity?

Draw one card - up to three cards at the most. What are they advising you to do?

Warmest wishes,

Christiane



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16 comments:

  1. These are very wise words. I think I will take these cards and put them out on my dresser top so that every morning I can remind myself of these messages. Thanks

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    1. Great idea putting the cards on display as a reminder! Thank you so much for your comment ;)

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  2. Thanks for the great ideas. I really need to work on #4. I make time to clean up my physical desk from time to time, but not my files.

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    1. It's made a difference for me, Megan ;) Thanks for stopping by ;)

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  3. What a great take on business! I love this, it's beautiful! Thank you so much!

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    1. You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by ;)

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  4. FYI, there's a multi step authentication process for commenting on your blog which might be turning people away from commenting.

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    1. Thanks for letting me know! I didn't realise, so will look into it straight away.

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  5. I'm afraid I don't know anything about Tarot; but your productivity suggestions are very helpful. I struggle with clutter; and hadn't made the connection that clutter in my email and electronic files can be just as significant as clutter on my desktop or my file drawers.

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    1. Clutter can be your worst enemy even on your computer...it's like baggage you keep carrying around, giving the feeling of burden and overwhelm...reduce it and you will feel lighter and more focused on what you need to do. Thank you for commenting! ;)

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  6. Excellent productivity tips, Christiane. I love how you also match each tip with a card and short list of important highlights. Thank You so much!!!

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    1. You're welcome, Angela. Glad you enjoyed the article ;)

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  7. Christiane...you are so creative and clever in the way you use the cards..inspiring! :-)
    Irene Lopez

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    1. Thank you, Irene! Great to meet you :)

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  8. I really enjoyed seeing the links between your tips and the Tarot, not knowing much about it myself.

    I am very strict with my working practice (as an ex-office manager of 10 years and from experiencing burnout during that time) so I think it is great that more people promote better ways of working in different and new ways.

    Well done :)

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    1. Yes, you can use the Tarot as a tool for self-development and learn so much from it. If someone is stuck in their working life or experiences burnout, connecting to one's spiritual side with the cards can help turn things around. A little bit of woo can go a long way ;)

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