1. Organize your Files
It’s very easy to let your computer files get out of control. Keeping them organized in appropriate folders will save you many hours over time and will make it much easier for you to complete projects efficiently. Organizing your files should become second nature.
2. Organize your Emails
Emails should also be organized into appropriate folders. I always save my emails including sent emails in case I ever need to refer back to them. I like to dedicate a folder to each client or project and I also have folders for other thing such as receipts for items I purchase for work.
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Having your paperwork organized will make your life easier as well, especially during tax season. Get a file cabinet or two and organize all your paperwork once a week into labeled folders. Printing out your emails is also good idea just in case you accidentally delete an email and can’t get it back.
4. Clean your Computer
Apple computer users may have it a little easier on this one but regardless everyone should be keeping their computers in tip top shape. Keeping your computer virus, spyware and clutter free is essential to increasing productivity.
Some products I like are Bit Defender Antivirus, Webroot Spy Sweeper and Ccleaner. Don’t forget to defragment your computer and back up all your files at least once a week as well.
5. Clean your Workspace
I am a strong believer in working and living in clean environment. A clean environment can greatly reduce stress and will make you feel much better. I like to clean my office little by little so that it never gets out of control and I tend to do more extensive cleaning every week or so. I also like to keep a good eye on all my supplies such as printing paper and ink so that I can restock before I run out.
6. Keep a To-do List
This is one of the most important ways to being extremely productive. I keep a to-do list on a notepad and on my computer, which I update all day long. It helps me prioritize things well and I feel good when I cross things off after completing them.
It helps when you add things such as numbers or dots next to items on your list in order to help you keep track of what’s most important to complete next.
7. Keep a Notepad at all Times
I also recommend always having a notepad on hand. You never know when you are going to think of a great idea and its always nice to be able to write down notes when you get phone calls from clients and such.
8. Get on a Good Sleep Schedule
Staying up late to get work done is sometimes necessary, but most of the time you should try and get a good nights sleep. A good sleep schedule will keep you feeling refreshed and full of energy which will help you get lots more done each day!
9. Master Keyboard Shortcuts
Learning keyboard shortcuts for programs you use can save you lots of time once you have really memorized them. Most programs come with a list of shortcuts in a booklet, but you could always lookup lists of shortcuts online if needed.
10. Install Browser Add-ons
There are a lot of cool browser add-ons out there for browsers such as Firefox that can help you be more productive. Some of my favorites are Stumbleupon, SEO for Firefox and ColorZilla. Keep an eye out for our extended list of Firefox add-ons for designers coming soon.
BONUS 11: Have A Business Plan
If you are truly going to BOOST productivity then you need a business plan.
A business plan ensures all business activity is aligned to a defined outcome (Vision Statement) with objectives or targets for each year defining the stepping stones to success. Then add in brief strategy statements that define the business experience and action plans that define the work needed to build up the business.
However this boost productivity step like the other 10 is pointless if there isn’t a commitment to do the necessary work to create the productivity. So having action plans is one thing, implementing against them on the basis of building a business based on continuous improvement….that’s where the power of productivity is really embedded!
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