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Machen MacDonald: 6 savvy time savers

I received a lot of positive feedback and requests from last week’s column on the six productivity hacks.

You made it clear you wanted more.

Since this article is about hacks and saving time, I’ll just jump right in. Here you go:



1. From his book “Getting Things Done,” David Allen suggests the 2 Minute Rule.

When action items come flying at you, post them to your action items or to-do list for later execution rather than using up psychic ram trying to figure it out now.




However, if the item will take you less than two minutes to complete, then do it right then.

If it’s an email you can easily respond to in 20 seconds because you have all that you need to respond, just do it.

2. One of my favorites and one I continually work with is: Fire your inner perfectionist.

More time is wasted trying to make something perfect when it is already good enough for the purpose needed or perhaps most likely it is excellent as it currently is.

We can be our own worst critic. This takes some lightening up on our part as we continue to do our best.

3. Set periodic declutter segments throughout your day.

What happens when you have too many programs open on a computer? It slows way down and may even crash.

We function very similar to a computer. If we have too many projects open around us it sucks up our energy to focus and be efficient.

Set a timer for 10 minutes at set points throughout your day just to tidy up your work space and put things back to where they belong.

You will get your focus and renewed energy back.

4. Get distractions and potential interruptions out of your immediate environment.

Often when I visit a client’s office, it’s no wonder why they are always feeling like they can’t get on top of their projects.

They have way too many distractions that pull their focus and attention from what they should currently be doing.

Notice where you typically find yourself wasting time and remove the temptation from your visual proximity.

If you can’t make headway with it, then file it, toss it, or repurpose it.

5. Enroll in Windshield University

If you spend a good deal of time in your car to and from work or to sales appointments, you will love this.

Chances are you are already doing this. You can get books in audio form to which you can listen,

For instance, David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done,” mentioned above, is available.

Be productive while learning to be productive. There is an abundance of free material you can download into audio form and listen to in your car. In just a matter of months you can learn a whole new language.

6. Start saying “No”

This is obvious and worth mentioning. People get caught in saying “Yes” to way too many requests.

In an attempt to fulfill their people-pleasing addiction by rescuing others from their lack of planning, they end up scrambling to get their own important stuff done that actually serves their cause.

Be clear on your mission and vision. If the request is not in alignment with either, it is then a clear “No.”

Be polite about it and help the requestor still get their needs met by referring them to someone who may be better served to address their request. Here’s to your productivity.

Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

No. 1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.


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