1. Create specific end times for certain small tasks related to a larger goal. Take your important next goal and break it up into 3 smaller bites that are an hour and a half long. Write them on a piece of paper. Set a timer, and jot down the actual progress after each block of time.
2. Avoid meetings; when you must meet, make it effective. It can be best to say no to meetings up front. Just say, “Sorry, I can’t make it. I’m tied up with a project right now.” And that’s always true. There are always projects you could be working on that are more important than a meeting.
3. When meetings are necessary, require an agenda to be set before the meeting. Having a defined set of objectives to accomplish in a group setting is respectful to everybody’s time and can help things move along more smoothly.
4. Write out 3-5 of your most important tasks for the next day, and when you sit down the next day to work do nothing else until you’ve finished these all important tasks.
5. Do something you’re passionate about. If you really want to do something, you’ll work like hell to get it done. You’ll work extra hard, you’ll put in even more hours, and you’re less likely to procrastinate. It’s for work that you don’t really care about that you procrastinate.
6. You’re only productive if you are doing work that moves you towards a goal. Eliminate non-essential tasks from your to-do lists, and start to say no to new requests that are non-essential.
7. “If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate.” -John Maxwell
8. Listen to audiobooks. Reading can be great for self-improvement, but sometimes the time is just not there. Find books that relate to your greatest major aims and look for the audiobook version of them. Listen in transit or when you are doing visually oriented tasks.
9. Take breaks. Reward yourself with some time after getting a couple significant chunks done, and consider taking 1-2 specific days off during the week even if your tendency is towards working all the time. Taking a step away can very much enhance your work when you come back to it. Also this is good for being less anxious.
10. Simplify. Get rid of excess possessions, activities, responsibilities. Ask yourself, “Is this vital or just nice?”
11. Get a reminder app, or use your phone’s calendar for everything. Always carry a pen and paper, and write everything down. Don’t trust your brain to remember anything. By not relying it on it for simple memory tasks you can free up space for creative thinking.