I’m not going to lie to you, I have days where I feel like I get nothing done. I’ve been at work all day, I’ve been in front of the computer, but I look up at the end of the day and I can’t say with any certainty that anything productive has actually been completed.
I hate those days. I work hard at limiting those days, and would one day like to work those days down to zero.
To add another wrinkle to my specific challenges, I’m a small business owner. I am a DUI attorney. I’m the boss.
That sometimes makes staying on task even more difficult. Not only do I sometimes just not feel like working, but I’ve got a million different things to do and not enough time to do them.
Believe it or not, I’ve actually been able to reign in that beast we all call productivity. And I’ve been able to do it using these three techniques.
If you are having trouble with your productivity, give some of these a try – you might be surprised by what you get accomplished.
1. Plot Out Your Plan of Attack the Night Before
I’ve got to admit, this is probably, by far, the number one way I’ve increased my productivity. By plotting out your plan of attack the day before, you have the opportunity to see what’s coming, plan ahead, identify those tasks you need to get done, and a identify an actual time in the day to do the task.
For example, as DUI defense lawyer, there are rarely days that I don’t have to go to court. This can be a big drain on my time and productivity because it can cut off something I need to do right in the middle of doing it. But, by planning ahead, I can navigate my court appearances, sticking in things that need to get done but that aren’t as time consuming or can be done in a courthouse (like reading a brief) around my court schedule. You can do the same thing
2. Turn Off Your Email
No, I am not joking. Just turn it off. Check it at specific times throughout the day, and only check it then. I can almost guarantee you you are not going to miss anything big by checking your email every three hours rather than every three minutes.
For me, email is a constant drain on my time and attention. And, honestly, most of the email I get isn’t that productive. I can probably count on my hand the number of emails I get that I actually need to respond to that day or that are time sensitive. By waiting and doing that at specific times, I can lock into the other tasks I’ve got scheduled and knock them out more efficiently.
3. Just Buck Up and Do It
Yes, being a DUI attorney is a pretty cool job. Yes, owning your own business is a pretty cool job. But there are still some things I don’t like doing (paying taxes, paying bills, for example). But I still have to do them. And the only way they get done is by sitting down and doing them. I wish life was all about fun and doing fun things, but often we’ve just got to force ourselves to focus on a task so it can get finished.
Here’s a perfect example. As a DUI defense attorney, one of the things I need to do for everyone of my clients is go through the breath test’s history to look for errors and maintenance and things like that. It is really boring and it usually takes a couple of hours per client. But, if I find something, the dividends can be great. So I make myself do it. I sit down and sift through these records. We’ve all got things like this we have to do. Quit putting it off by scouring the internet and just do it.
C. Small is both a DUI attorney and a businessman, two things that require a ton of focus and management skills. If you’d like to know more about him, you can visit his website, fightyourseattledui.com, or you can go here to read more about him.