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10 Ways to Be More Productive in 2018

KIC CEO Kathryn Kemp Guylay and Associate Director Leigh Barer had a blast interacting with a fun group of entrepreneurs, business owners and innovators on January 25th in the KIC conference room.

Here are the 10 “productivity hacks” that we discussed:

1. Eat that frog.  Popularized by Brian Tracy, this concept is that you get up first thing in the morning and “eat the frog” our “frog” (a metaphor for your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it).

2. Schedule your day.  Do this at ahead of time, at least the night before, and try to automate things like scheduling meetings which often takes a ton of back and forth (and wasted time).  Kathryn recommends a tool called Acuity that has saved her life! 🙂

3. Remember Parkinson’s Law.  A task will expand to the time you allot to it. Read more about how to use the law to your advantage.

4. Create More Space for Deep Work by Managing OPA.  Kathryn suggested managing the times that you spend on email, social media, or returning phone calls.  Why?  You may allow yourself to get sucked into Other People’s Agenda. Then you might not get to those “important, but not urgent” (to use Stephen Covey’s terminology) things that can really move your career and life forward.  We mentioned an application called Rescue Time.

You can also create more space physically clutter clearing. Read more about how Kathryn gets rid of 243 items at the start of each new year (to allow room for the new to come in).

5. Try the Pomodoro technique. This time management system is mentioned in the blog post above under tip #3, but this article goes into more depth and has a video for those of you that prefer to consume content via video.

6. Write it Down. Based on David Allen’s work (Getting Things Done), the idea is that if you get all of your to-dos and ideas down in a system that you trust, you free up energy and time to do higher productivity work. Kathryn suggested Google Docs with tabs like “critical now”, “opportunity now” and “on the horizon”.  Depending on your spirituality and whether or not this idea resonates with you, she suggested creating an additional list called “God’s list” where you “put your order into the universe” but don’t actively manage it.

7. Assign priorities to your items on your list.  An overly long to-do list can be stressful and distracting in and of itself, so consider breaking things down into sub lists (1, 2, 3) or (A, B, C) and get all the 1’s or the A’s done before you move on to the bigger list.

8. Build Your Community.  Mastermind groups and accountability-buddies can be extremely helpful when you need to stick to a timeline or deadline.

9. Step away from the desk.  There is science behind walking meetings and why they work to increase creativity and ideation.  The fresh air and mood boost is why the KIC holds Chance Meetings on the Mountain every month!  (Mark your calendar;  our next Chance Meeting on the Mountain is February 26th (meet at the top at 10:30am).

10. Let go of tension (or the banana).  Kathryn told the story of the monkey’s in Borneo that give up their freedom because they are so intent on holding on and not letting go.  It can be the same with tasks;  if we can’t give up some of them, we might end up losing our freedom. It is a pretty dramatic story, but the group seemed moved by it.

We were so happy that you could join us at the KIC for our workshop! ~ Kathryn & Leigh

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