Top Tips for MSPs on World Productivity Day
For World Productivity Day, I’ve collated some of our best resources on productivity, time management and more. I include interviews with some of the world’s greatest productivity mentors, so there’s a nugget here for every MSP looking to grow through being more organised.
Plus, I asked members of Team Tubb to share their top tips with you. Enjoy!
David Allen is the inventor of the GTD Method; Getting Things Done’ – a tool to improve productivity and overcome procrastination, which has revolutionised the professional and personal lives of thousands of people around the world, and he’s a bit of a hero of mine!
In our interview, David explains that GTD is all about best practices that are simple to do, but don’t happen automatically. Learning to do them consistently creates a sense of control, focus, and creates more cognitive space to focus on what’s important.
It’s about simple actions, such as writing stuff down, deciding next actions and reviewing your lists. The key is to create an external brain to externalise all the things we spend too much time thinking about. It also helps people get over procrastination.
Grace Marshall: Productivity Ninja
Grace Marshall is a Productivity Ninja and award-winning author of four books, including the best-selling “How to be Really Productive.”
Procrastination is a very human thing, according to Grace. We want to avoid things that are boring and scary. Grace says, “When we notice ourselves procrastinating, we can accept it as normal. And that takes the pressure off.”
Worrying about something hard takes up a lot of headspace and weighs us down. We need to be curious rather than fearful. How can we break it down? How can we accept that it’s new and scary but not bad? You’re stretching yourself and growing.
Sometimes when we feel like we’re procrastinating, or we’re struggling with something, and we think, “Ah, does that mean that I’m in the wrong place? Does that mean I’m not sure that I shouldn’t be doing this at all?” Actually, the opposite is true.
Team Tubb Top Tips for Productivity
And here are the tips from some of Team Tubb!
Stephen McCormick, Community Manager
1. Gamify your to-do list for increased productivity
In video games, you often have to complete a task in order to achieve a reward for the character you’re playing. In most cases, the level of reward depends upon the complexity of the task.
Back in the real world, incentives for completing your work are a great way to encourage you to get things done. If you have a list of tasks you want to complete for the day or week, you can assign a task, or group of tasks, a value.
Once you reach a certain value threshold or if you finish a major task, you should ‘unlock’ a reward for yourself.
Rewards can be anything from treating yourself to a smoothie after the gym, to having a biscuit with your cup of tea, or giving yourself time out to watch more of that boxset you’ve been meaning to get through.
Rewarding yourself has a positive effect on your mental health, and if it helps you get your to-do list done, then it’s worth thinking about.
2. Keep a pad and pencil near your quiet spaces
It’s a known fact that we do our best thinking when we’re not working, and when we’re not distracted by other things. For example, apps on our phone.
The quiet times are when we’re at our best in cases like this. How many times have you had a meeting, and discussed proposals, and then hours later, in the shower, or just before you go to bed, your mind reels off a litany of great ideas. Things you wish you’d brought up earlier in the day.
Now, I’m not suggesting you take a pad and pencil into the shower with you, but at the earliest opportunity note those thoughts down. It’s a personal choice for me to use a pad and pencil over a mobile phone app, because I find phones distracting, though there are some great apps out there if this is your preference.
Our random thoughts, or spurts of creativity don’t stay in our short-term memories for long. This is especially true for thoughts we have just before we go to sleep. In the morning, we’re likely to have forgotten them. In writing them down, we can let go of them and return to them when we’re able to put those thoughts into action.
Roxanne Galliene, Social Media Manager
A simple productivity tip: ‘Rest is productive!’ Love this saying and it’s a great tip even though it may seem counterintuitive at first. Adequate rest (physically and mentally) improves your overall productivity.
Lara Johnson, Studio Manager
Make things Manageable: Break big tasks into smaller, manageable chunks. It helps maintain focus and motivation while making progress toward your goals.
Michelle Lucherini, Operations Manager
Schedule it: To schedule recurring blocks of time in your calendar for your “non negotiable” tasks and projects. Things like checking emails, invoicing, etc. So if those chunks of time are scheduled in your diary, then you’ll always remember to do them but not get distracted during your other chunks of time.
Gudrun Lauret, Podcast and Content Manager
To combat overwhelm, take your to-do list and break it down even further. Write each task, or element of a task, on a separate post-it note. Stack them all together and put them on a corner of your desk, so you can see them when you look up from your screen.
As you complete each one, rip it off the pile, crumple it up and chuck it in the bin. It’s even more satisfying than drawing a line through an item on a longer list! Sometimes the sheer number of tasks we have paralyses us to the point where we can’t even get started. You’ll feel much more in control this way.
Bonus Productivity Tip
Oh, and I have a tip for you too! Get out the red tomato! Use the Pomodoro technique! The Pomodoro technique is a simple way of overcoming procrastination and getting started on a task. Set a timer for 25-mins and then commit to work on a task for that period of time (A “Pomodoro”).
And for the advanced Pomodoro users amongst us, we then take a 5-min break before starting on a new Pomodoro. You’ll probably find that once you get started, you won’t want to stop!
What are your tips for being more productive as a busy managed services business owner? Let us know in the comments!