LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- THV 11 is working for you this morning. Here are five actions you can take today to make you twice as productive as your colleagues, and get more accomplished from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor.
1. Avoid meetings that lack an agenda. Meetings can only be productive if people know why they're meeting in the first place. An agenda provides focus and purpose. The lack of an agenda guarantees aimless conversations that waste everyone's time.
2. Never pick up on an unknown caller. Unless you're working in tele-sales or product support, there's no reason why you should ever take a call from somebody you don't know. After all, when was the last time you took an unexpected call that was truly important?
3. Turn off your voicemail. Voicemail messages consume your time, especially if you have to replay them. Change your outgoing message to say you don't use voicemail and provide your email address instead.
4. Hone your e-mail program's sorting rules. It takes time and energy to sort through and respond to a long list of disconnected messages. Most e-mail programs allow you to route different types of messages into folders.
5. Periodically disable email and texting. When you need to do creative work or absorb complex information, the last thing you need is your computer and phone chirping and beeping for your attention. Whatever it is, it can wait until you've finished the task at hand.
6. Take a five-minute walking break every hour. The human body is not designed to sit for hours at a stretch. Attempting to do so creates aches and pains that zap your energy as your body tries to compensate and heal them, so get up and move!
7. Brush off social butterflies. They love to chit chat that takes up valuable time in your day. Just tell them you don't have time. Be rude if necessary.
8. Eat high-energy fuel. Sugar can give a quick energy boost but it leaves a bigger dip after. Heavy foods also leave you tired.
8. Make decisions quickly. You can spend too much time obsessing over a decision or second-guessing yourself. But you're always better off making a good-enough decision quickly than not.
10. Disconnect entirely for 12 hours every day. When you stop trying to be productive when you're eating and sleeping, you'll be far more productive when you're actually working.
(Source: Yahoo! Small Business Advisor)