7 Tips for Staying Productive Right Now

This year, most people have been stressed (in time, and also cognitively and emotionally as well) more than ever before at home and work. After our busiest spring on record helping clients, we recently brainstormed the best techniques we use internally for staying on track professionally right now:

  • Start each day with some clear tasks and goals; intentionality (these may come from the end of the previous day, or be anew, but it gives us clarity, and purpose first thing in the morning, but always remember a cardinal rule: don’t get disappointed if you don’t achieve your goals that day, there’s always tomorrow, and that disappointment is only used well when redirected into positive energy and resolve for another tomorrow)
  •  Focus on only a few tasks at once if possible – this is difficult, but nevertheless important: we all get interrupted countless times a day, but it’s our resilience to stop each interruption neatly and then return to our task at hand that sharpens our success (both our personal feelings of it, and our accomplishments other see as well);
  • Take as many small wins as you can – similarly, when you get (distracted with) a new task that requires resolution soon and is not large, just get the task done at the moment of interruption, not deferring until later; this is because making a task list that grows with endless 5-minute tasks doesn’t help us with our much-needed sense of accomplishment or output, it only discourages us and inevitably reduces our output
  • Know how your team and supervisors are defining success right now – the company, team, and your supervisor’s priorities can all be different at any moment in time, and it’s very useful to know what they’re thinking and working towards, and most importantly, how they’re measuring success right now; if you know this, then you’re more likely to consider your day a success, and you’ll celebrate more wins collectively
  • Have 1-3 clear goals for the day – Less is better than more, but again starting your day with clarity and purpose will make it go faster and easier, and likely result in a better end to the day (more tasks done and a greater sense of accomplishment)
  • Know what the priorities are for the team around you – and consider whether you helping them today might actually be a better use of your time and dive in and help others
  • Find and express gratitude, and celebrate small and big wins – we’re not robots, and we need and deserve to bask and celebrate when we do great things (and our teammates, too!); not only is this proven to improve our mood, but it will also improve our demeanor, interactions with others, and therefore the efficacy of all of our work, ultimately helping us go home happier and with a greater sense of purpose and accomplishment

 

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Author: Reuben Brauer, CFP®

Reuben is Vice President of Financial Planning and is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner serving clients in the Denver metro area in Centennial Colorado, in San Rafael, San Francisco, and and Mill Valley in Northern California, and Omaha and Lincoln in Nebraska.