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How to Be More Productive in the New Year and Beyond

As we head into another year, many of us are trying to figure out how we can be more productive in our businesses…and lives. As with anything, if you are going to have any success, you have to have put for the effort. Here are a few quick tips for you to stay productive in the new year and beyond.

Create and Stick to a Schedule

Though many of us have the best intentions when it comes to getting stuff done, so many fail at step one:  scheduling. Let’s get real; it’s hard to accomplish anything when you don’t even plan to do it. Each week, set aside 30 minutes or so to plan out your days for the upcoming week. Quiet Sunday afternoons are a great time to do this, but the best time is really when it is ideal for you. Just be sure to do it before your new week begins.

Work with Your Internal Clock

We’ve heard it debated many times over about who is the more productive group:  early birds or night owls. No matter who you ask, you are bound to find champions for each side. Forget what the masses say and listen to your own internal clock. Yes, some of us work better in the early morning hours, while others prefer the wee hours of the night. However, there are also those who prefer to “burn the midnight oil” in the middle of the day or late evening. The best thing you can do for yourself is to figure out your peak performance hours and use that time to your advantage.

Plan and Prepare

Plain and simple, there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that we want or need to do. This especially includes unscheduled opportunities–which can also become unscheduled nuisances, if not careful. So keep a running to-do list. This should definitely include current projects and respective action items, but it can also include your “maybes”. Maybe items are things that you’d like to do after you’ve completed planned (priority) tasks, like investigating a possible new business venture. Just be sure to work your to-do list wisely. If it is going to be effective, it should line up with your goals and strategic plans.

Make Technology Your Friend

With all of the gadgets, apps and other modern-day doohickeys, there is really no reason why any of us are unorganized. Though it can be down right draining, technology can also be heaven sent. Use it to your advantage to stay organized and prepared for optimal productivity. Apps like Evernote or OneNote can help you keep track of meeting notes and managing projects. Even something as simple as your smartphone calendar and reminder system can save you loads of time and heartache, by helping you to plan your day, reminding you to attend to important tasks and even telling you when you need to leave the office for that important client pitch.

Learn to Say No

One of the biggest productivity hindrances for any one of us is having too much on our plates. Overbooked and overburdened can push the best of us overboard. Instead of focusing on what has been accomplished, having too much to do will cause even the most positive people to focus on what didn’t get done. This can lead to feelings of failure or inadequacy, when in reality it’s neither. Learn to say no, at least every once in a while. Remember, even the best opportunities are not necessarily the right opportunities for you… at least not right now.

Productivity does not have to be a pie in sky dream. Try these tips and learn what works best for you. With some careful planning, we can all up our productivity game.

 

Do you have a suggestion for being more productive? Be sure to leave a comment and share your favorite productivity hack with the MYBB community.

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Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson

Louiseza Sanderson is a business consultant, writer and the founder of www.MindYourBlackBusiness.com. She is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. It was during her time in the military that she learned the value of hard work, community and serving the needs of others. Following her military service she earned a bachelor's degree in business and an MBA in business communications.

She began consulting with the explicit goal of providing affordable business consultation and guidance to those who might not otherwise have access. "I started consulting by 'inherent accident'. I've spent my whole life gathering information, in hopes that it would benefit someone," says Sanderson. When it comes to working with her clients, she believes that the key is to find the human factor. By doing so, she helps her clients to find the best solution for their business, by first figuring out what is best for the person. Her hope is to help such entrepreneurs, small businesses and non-profits who share her vision of giving back-- be it through job creation, innovation or a cause.

As a consultant and business owner herself, Sanderson came to realize that while there are many resources for small business owners, there were very few that provided a platform for micro and small Black owned businesses, as well as the information germane to them. These are the mom and pops, solo-preneurs and other businesses and organizations that are really the heart and soul of the local (Black) community. She shares, "The vision of Mind Your Black Business is the culmination of what I am most passionate about and what I do best--helping others to achieve their dreams and helping small businesses grow."

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