There's only one secret to increased productivity

sleeping on the day job It's not often I get tagged for memes of a business nature. But spiritual business coach par excellence, Mark Silver, saw through my fluffy exterior and knew I'd have something to add to the best productivity tips in all the land, the rapidly escalating group effort to corral the best of entrepreneurial wisdom by my former Great Big Small Business Show collaborator, Ben Yoskovitz. So here goes nothin'...

You don't have to explain the beauty of a project like this to a listmaker. We revel in lists: the how-to, to-do, tip-mad fests that other people put together. We live for memes, boy howdy.

What intrigued me most about this exercise was the one limitation placed on those of us who saw fit to pick up the gauntlet: Challenge yourself to pick one. Because, of course, the delicious truth is, while there are many excellent "hacks" to improve productivity, my number one tip is to choose the one that works for you.

Yup, that's it...suckers.

No, seriously, it's deceptively simple, for it means spending some time identifying what's tripping me up at any given moment. And yes, it also means I need to reassess from time to time, because my barriers to productivity shift, as well. What trips me up Monday, lack of sleep, say, or needing an injection of Karin's fun after a weekend of too much work and not enough play, may not be the issue on Tuesday, when I'll about needing to do some of the "sprints" that Dawud Miracle mentions, or Hump Day, when I'd give my right arm for some of Monk-at-Work Adam Kayce's clarity.

Of course, I won't cop out there; I'll play nice and share One Great Thing I've found that's been working for me lately. (Which I know, I know, makes this post technically about two tips, but my #1 tip is so meta, it makes my head swim.)

Are you ready for this life-changing, earth-shattering Tip of Tips?

Keep things tidy.

Yes, literally by keeping my desk clear, or at least, of all jobs but the one I have going right that second, and my surroundings neat and the dishes done and every other stupid, mundane thing my Swedish grandmother told me mattered back in 1964, when I got fobbed off on her during my parents' second honeymoon, actually makes a difference.

Hi-Baby, the CEO. Who knew?

xxx c

P.S. They may have been tagged already, this meme's been bubbling for a few days, but I'm tagging:

  • Ilise Benun (because coaches always have the best tips)
  • Scott Ginsburg (because that whippersnapper has output that puts people twice his age to shame)
  • Rebecca Morgan (because to keep so many plates spinning, she must be a productivity guru)
  • Bonnie Gillespie (because girlfriend could write four books on productivity in the time it took me to write this), and...
  • Danny Miller (mainly because I don't think anyone ever asks him any business-y questions either, but even if he knows nothing about productivity, which I'm sure ain't so, he is one of my all-time favorite writers)

Image by mer incognito via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.