Two Fast-track Tips for Maximizing Productivity

Ever feel like you just can’t get enough done in your workday? You’re not alone. But, the good news is that you have the power to change that—today. Incorporate these two fast-track tips into your daily grind to maximize what you accomplish:

Create a ‘Must Accomplish’ task list.

The first step in maximizing your daily productivity is to create a list that doesn’t let you off the hook. It should not contain more than 3 items that “must” be—not should be—accomplished before the end of the day. Why? First, you don’t want anything on the list that is optional. If something is an option—you can take it or leave it. No. You want only compulsory “action” items on your list. Whatever you decide those items are; they must make a real difference in your personal and/or professional life. Also, because having 1-2-3- many tasks is the quickest way to become overwhelmed and end up accomplishing nothing, avoid any desire to add more. Furthermore, because we’re talking short term productivity, you simply don’t have time to pile on a barrage of items that cannot be easily completed within the confines of a reasonable work day.

To begin the process, cull through your laundry list of tasks and prioritize three. You should create your list the day before you plan to execute so that you are ready to immediately begin working on each task first thing in the morning. If your tasks require sub-tasks to complete (as most do) write them down. You can easily become frustrated if you realize that what you thought could be accomplished in 1 step actually requires 5. Don’t waste your time. Do a   bit of research beforehand. Get a firm grasp on what you need to do and carry out your tasks seamlessly.

Avoid distractions.

There’s nothing worse than starting a task and gaining momentum—then being thrown off track by a ridiculous distraction. It happens to everyone, so you have to guard against them in advance. How? First, remove electronic distractions available to you in your work environment. Electronic distractions include: cell phones (texting, talking and surfing the net), television, internet, and radio (especially if music will have you creating your own soundtracks!). Then, avoid sidebar conversations with colleagues at the water cooler. It’s easy to become engrossed in gossip and mindless chatter, so steer clear of people and places that will get you off track.

Additionally, avoid taking on other tasks that interfere with your ability to timely accomplish your own. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, it’s best to advise that you will deal with tomorrow or the next day—but not today. Exercise your right to say no sometimes. It works! Placing premium value on your time is an ultimate priority if you intend to make your way to success and increased productivity.

Use these two tips and accomplish more meaningful tasks everyday!

To your productivity!

Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. CS, is the Founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport. Follow her on Twitter @WSRapport or on Facebook. Photo Credit: stockimages: Marcolm via

Karima Mariama-Arthur

Karima Mariama-Arthur is founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport (, a boutique consulting firm located in Washington, D.C. which specializes in professional development. She consults individuals and organizations on the dynamics of complex communication and high-performance leadership competence.

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