THE BLOG
01/19/2016 03:52 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Increase Productivity in 20 Easy Lessons

I wish she/he would be more productive. I'm sure we've all heard this directive before. It might have come from a husband, wife, employer, manager, teacher or a mentor.

Productivity is an all purpose word for getting a lot done. It can be as simple as a housewife paying the bill on time, or a husband fixing the roof before the seasonal rains, or a school age child studying consistently before a test. What ties the examples together is that these people are doing something productive.

The definition of productivity usually means a measure of the efficiency of a person or company. To put it another way: ratio of outputs to inputs used in the production process. Or it can also mean how much effort the ordinary person applies to a task or group of tasks and how efficiently and effective that work gets accomplished.

Katharine Hepburn said: "If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior."

If we are truly honest, everyone can benefit from a change in attitude and, therefore, a change behavior. We all want to be the best that we can be, to be the most productive we can be and we want to make ourselves and everyone else happy.

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The following are 20 easy lessons will increase your productivity:

1.Make an appointment with yourself every day.
It's hard to get going in the morning and have clarity. So the key to being productive every day is to make an intention the night before to schedule an appointment with yourself first thing in the morning to assess what has to be accomplished that day.

2. Organize, organize and then organize.
Organizing is sorting through the most important items and prioritizing what you have to do throughout the day. Segment your tasks - an hour here, two hours there and make an intention to complete each task completely before starting the next.

3. Get rid of the distractions immediately.
Removing distractions from your immediate environment - the TV, radio, computer, iPad/tablet, and most of all, your smart phone -- helps you completely focus on accomplishing the day's tasks. Clear the decks. Don't let interruptions like Facebook and Instagram and idle conversations run your life -- people, places and things get in the way of clear thinking and direct communication.

4. Set ground rules.
Setting ground rules begin with the intention to establish distance from yourself and see what's in front of you. Step outside yourself and ask the right questions. Then you can do the most important work with efficiency and focus.

5. Turn on Awareness.
Getting rid of distractions and setting ground rules gives you full opportunity to stay 100% present in your environment. That's when you are most productive. The present moment tells you everything you need to know about where to go next.

6. Get to know yourself.
The key to being the best in work and in life is to know yourself. Self-knowledge leads to authenticity. An authentic person is one who knows the importance of balanced energy, creativity, and the ability to face challenges with calm insight.

7. Recognize your vulnerabilities.
Vulnerability means to be openly, emotionally honest. Getting in touch with your own emotional palate can lead to a more productive and creative life. Recognizing vulnerability also expands your imagination and increase openness to new ideas.

8. Have confidence in everything you do.
A confident person is one who knows his/her strengths and weakness and how to minimize the negative aspect of life. Can you do the task, complete the job or get things ready on time? The answer is always yes because the positive responses lead to greater productivity

9. Move your body, move your mind.
After you meet up with your mind and prioritize tasks, meet up with your body and move the energy around by breathing deeply. Keep a straight spine for balanced energy. Stretch when you feel like it and your mind and body will fully connect.

10. Expect excellence of yourself.
The mantra of excellence is: if you are going to do something, do with the idea that you are excelling beyond what is expected, with an intention toward quality -- one perfect stitch at a time. When you expect that of yourself, others will notice.

11. Be enthusiastic.
A generous amount of enthusiasm increases your productivity as well as the joyful quality of your life. Enthusiasm is infectious and people will begin to gravitate towards you.

12. Offer encouragement to yourself and others.
Whether is it the home or work environment everyone wants to be supported by the encouragement of other people. Productivity increases when you feel appreciated and when you appreciate yourself. You'll be the rock star you were meant to be.

13. Own your work.
When you set the stage for being productive, you take on the challenge of owning your work with purpose and joy. No matter the task -- difficult, challenging or easy -- stay present within the boundaries of your determination. Show up and bring all of who you are to every project or task you do.

14. Make sure you have an abundance of gratitude.
Whether you are doing things you like or dislike, have an attitude of gratitude. Especially give gratitude for the activities that disappoint or are negative. Often the negatives provide the learning experiences for increasing productivity.

15. Manage your work and life with healthy habits.
Successful, productive people have one thing in common: they manage their time habitually, throughout the day, week and year. Healthy habits increase productivity. Identify learned behaviors that need adjustment, determine your assets and strengths, and put your problems into context.

16. Prepare for everything, even small things.
Preparation increases productivity. The more you learn about yourself or your business, the more ownership and excitement you'll develop over time. You'll begin to feel more confident, and confidence will increase productivity.

17. Influence others.
The way to influence others is to lead by example. If your life is productive and your attitude is positive and joyful, if you have the ability to turn the negative into a positive, others will see you as a role model for living a healthy and balanced life.

18. Make sure everyone is taken care of first to prevent interruptions.
Sometimes it is necessary to take care of interactions or other business in your environment before getting started with a task or a project in the home or at work. Clearing the decks will make you more productive and more consciously focused.

19. Experiment with your life -- don't get stuck in the comfort zone.
Comfort zones feel good. But why is it so important all the time to know what to expect? Being stuck in your routine creates a lack of stimulation and enthusiasm. Do one thing a day that challenges you and your productivity will soar.

20. Meditate 10 minutes a day and your productivity and will soar.
Calm the mind with meditation, and in time, you will see subtle changes in behavior - increased clarity of thought and a more pro-active and attitude about your life.

Getting a lot done in a day is terrific; however, completing tasks with a great attitude can translate into excellence, which brings greater accomplishment and joy throughout your lifetime.

Joan Moran is a keynote speaker, commanding the stage with her delightful humor, raw energy, and wealth of life experiences. She is an expert on wellness and is passionate about addressing the problems of mental inertia. A yoga instructor, Moran is the author of her wise and funny memoir, 60, Sex, & Tango, Confessions of a Beatnik Boomer. Her new book, I'm the Boss of Me, Stay Sexy, Smart & Strong At Any Age will be out in January 2016.

www.joanfrancesmoran.com
Twitter: @joanfmoran