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7 Simple Ways to Increase Productivity

Some days I can spend several hours a day on the computer, but, one thing you soon learn is that productivity doesn’t equate to time spent. At times I can achieve more in 2 hours than I can in 5 hours. To become more productive the first thing is to become aware of how many tasks you can complete. If you keep evaluating your output, it will be easier to pick up on things that can increase productivity.

Tips for increasing productivity:

Finish a Task.

Often I find myself with several articles and tasks on the go at the same time. I like starting things but then don’t want to finish them off. The problem is that this is an inefficient way to work. If we get an article 75% finished it is easier to finish it whilst it is fresh in our memory. If we have to go back to finish off tasks we waste time remembering how we started. If we can do things methodically one at a time then it can be a very powerful way to increase our productivity. Don’t measure your productivity by tasks started, but only by tasks finished.

Have a Clear Goal.

Another big issue is whether we know what we are doing. If we have vague ideas about what we should be doing it is much easier to be unproductive. We flit from one thing to another, not entirely sure what we should be doing. If we have a very clearly defined goal then it can be like a magnet which pulls us towards completing it. Uncertainty in deciding what to do can be very time consuming. Therefore spend time preparing a plan of action and then follow it through.

The Power of Concentration.

Concentration is the art of focusing on one thing at a time. If we truly concentrate then we can be much more effective in finishing a task. Concentration means we avoid getting sidetracked by other issues. If we focus on only one thing at a time we can complete the task effectively and avoid getting sidetracked.

Simplify

To increase productivity we should always be trying to simplify.
To simplify our workplace creates greater focus. The less distractions you have around the workplace the more productive you can be. I often like writing in a quiet cafe, because there is nothing but my laptop. I need to work on creating a minimalist workplace so that I can have the same focus when writing at home. Continue reading →

The End of Email? Information Overload

Recently I wrote about the art of writing a good email

An interesting report in the Independent suggest we are being swamped by emails.

Invented in 1971 by the computer engineer Ray Tomlinson, e-mail now controls us, rather than us it. A recent study from AOL suggested that many people are increasingly addicted to e-mail, checking their messages while in the bathroom, at church or while driving. Researchers also report that between 10 and 50 per cent of work time is now spent using e-mail, which is having a huge impact on productivity.

Another study, cited in Gail Fann Thomas’s 2006 article ” Re-conceptualising E-Mail Overload” in the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, found that the average worker had 2,483 inbox messages and 858 filed ones. This is hardly surprising. Recent figures from web portal Lycos reveal that one in 10 e-mail users in Britain receives more than 200 mails every day (including spam). As Lycos spokeswoman Stephanie Sanders warns: “UK internet users are in danger of reaching overload as they struggle to deal with out-of-control inboxes.”

 The End of Emailat independent

The interesting thing is that company’s are seeking an alternative to email. One solution is to use Wiki’s where information is stored, edited and added to. This can be a more efficient way of sharing information.

How To Be a Prolific Blogger: 20 Tips

One of the real secrets to becoming a successful blogger is, rather unromantically, – hard work. The more posts you have, the bigger the chance of gaining more links, more traffic, more earnings e.t.c.

We often assume A List bloggers, get lucky, or have some elusive quality. It may be true in some cases, but for example, Darren Rowse, suggests he posts upto 20 – 25 posts per day. At the end of the year, that is 8,000 + blog entries. If you can post with this kind of quantity, you can go along way to becoming a successful blogger.

Here are some suggestions for becoming a Prolific Blogger.

1. Have more than 1 blog.

If you have only one blog it is difficult to produce 20 blog posts a day. (there is a limit to what you can write on any subject). Having different blogs, enables you to write on a variety of interests. There is a saying “A change is a good as a rest.” After writing on SEO, I can write on a completely different topic for my other blogs.

2. Don’t Waste time

The internet is ideal for wasting time. The success of forums and sites like DIGG, reddit is because we love to waste time, finding the latest news and links. However, if you want to be prolific you have to be disciplined about writing and producing comments. See: 13 tips for increasing productivity on the internet
3. Set Targets.

In the back of my mind I have a target to add an average of 10 pages / blog entries per day. Some of these will be long posts, some shorter posts. However, this target makes me focus on content and keep producing new posts. See: Make a contract with yourself

Continue reading →

Technical Tips for Improving Productivity

In a previous article I showed how you can be more focused to increase your productivity. However, another aspect of increasing productivity is using labour saving tips and tricks. There are many people who spend several hours a day on the computer, but will always maintain an attitude “I don’t know anything about computers”

It’s like spending several hours a day driving, but never reading a manual before starting. If you spend a few hours learning to drive before starting, you will crash less often and get to your destination more quickly. It is the same with the internet. Each week try to add a few things that increase productivity. Don’t forget to bookmark them (or add in a blog post like this) Some of the following may be fairly basic tips, so this post is aimed more at beginners. I will add more technical tips later.

1. Change Attitude.

Don’t be frightened of learning and using tips, none of these are complicated, none require a knowledge of C++ programming. Even my mother could do all the following (well at least the one about turning on the computer)

2. Use Mozilla Firefox.

Many of these tips are for use with Mozilla. It is really easy to download. It will take less than 5 minutes. It has more features, and provides safer internet browsing. There is NO risk involved: Click Here: Mozilla Firefox with Google Toolbar

Continue reading →

13 Tips for Increasing Productivity on the Internet

Do you find yourself wasting time reading social bookmarking sites? Do you compulsively check your email every 20 mins? Are you an expert procrastinator? – If so, there are several things you can do to increase your productivity and become a prolific blogger.

1. Set Goals

If you have 1 hour or 2 hours per day, have a clear goal for what you would like to achieve in that time. This goal may be to complete 2 blog posts and/or promoting your articles in some way.

2. Be aware of how much time you are Surfing.

It is easy to spend time searching through various sites and links on the net. However, we may be surprised at how long we can spend in these unproductive tasks. For a day or two, try to monitor how much time you spend in productive tasks and unproductive tasks. You may be unpleasantly surprised.

3. Go Straight to Useful Tasks.

Often when I switch on the computer I feel obliged to check various things first; 5 email accounts, 3 statistics programs, RSS feeds e.t.c. These are activities which are generally passive and need little effort. However, if you turn on the computer 3 or 4 times a day, it means you can be spending over an hour per day in doing these preliminary things, which are not actually productive. If you have already checked your email once, the second time you turn on your computer go straight to your task. Don’t even look at your inbox or stats or RSS feed. If you do, you will get distracted.

Continue reading →

The Art of Writing Good Emails

Keep it Brief and to the Point

“Brevity is the Soul of Wit”

– so said Shakespeare. Who are we to argue with Shakespeare?

Don’t Check Email Compulsively

Check email once or twice a day. Check email when you have enough time to properly respond. If you don’t have time you may rush a reply and not give yourself time to think. Don’t have email on auto prompt. – I.E. every time a new email comes you get a prompt, – you will never get anything done.

Be polite

Not matter who you are replying to, always try to be polite and cordial. Remember any negativity can get magnified in an email.

Don’t Say anything you wouldn’t say in Person.

The problem with email is that the personal contact is lost. Therefore, we feel detached, sometimes this can make it more willing to say things we may regret. When writing an email, feel you are actually speaking to the person.

DO NOT WRITE IN ALL CAPS

IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING. PLEASE TURN IT OFF!

Continue reading →

How to Achieve More on the Internet and Spend Less Time.

“The Internet is like trying to get a glass of water by standing under the Niagra falls.”

The problem is not the lack of water, but its capacity to drown us.

The internet has a similar infinite capacity that at times can overwhelm us. There is so much “information” – things to see and read, that if we are not careful, we will be distracted and not achieve anything useful.

Here are some tips to gain greater productivity when working on the internet. This is the first part in a series of posts to help increase productivity and efficiency whilst working on the net.

1. Check stats and Email Once a day.

This may sound quite difficult, but if we are honest with ourselves, we really don’t need to check our inbox for the 38th time today.
If you check email once a day, you can set aside time to answer all emails in a timely fashion. If you open an email, whilst doing something else, you may forget to respond, or not have time to write a measured response.

Continue reading →