Skyrocket Your Efficiency: 5 Essential Productivity Basics
DeLaine Bender CAE
June 28, 2023
Are you the unfortunate owner of a project list that never seems to get any shorter? Busy association management leaders and staff can relate to that quandary. Part of the challenge and appeal of association management is the challenging tempo and wide variety of duties in our workday, but the pace can be intimidating.
To increase your productivity and get more done each day, here are some strategies to try:
- Schedule your day: I sleep better at night when I know I’ll start the next day with an organized list of things on my plate. Be consistent in where and how you manage your to-do list or task schedule, so you don’t end up with notes here, there, and everywhere. As a remote-first employer, AMR uses the Basecamp cloud-based project management system so shared projects are organized, time-bound, and visible to the whole team. There are many excellent task/time management software options available, and the “best” one ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences.
- Prioritize tasks: Don’t just make a list of tasks you need to complete – prioritize your work so you can focus on the items that really move the needle. Start by identifying the most urgent and important tasks that need to be accomplished. Focus your time on high-priority items that align with your goals and have the most significant impact, and delegate tasks that can be done by others.
- Set clear goals: I find I can avoid being overwhelmed and stay more focused by breaking down projects into manageable chunks, which helps me avoid procrastinating on big projects. Weekly goal setting is a worthwhile technique to establish specific and measurable goals for what you want to achieve each day. Clear goals provide direction and motivation, helping you stay on track and accomplish more. No ice cream (or whatever reward you like) if you go off track with a low-priority tangent!
- Manage your time effectively: Plan your day in advance and allocate time blocks for different tasks. Try productivity techniques like the Pomodoro method (working in focused bursts with short breaks) or timeboxing (assigning fixed time slots for specific activities) to improve your time management. You’ve probably heard of Parkinson’s Law, which says work expands to fill the time allotted to complete it – so avoid that by setting realistic and reasonable amounts of time on your calendar for specific tasks and sticking to it. When the timer says stop, move on.
- Focus, focus, focus: As a serial multitasker, I can tell you multitasking does not work! Multitasking decreases productivity because you are not focusing your full attention and brain power. Make a commitment to focus on one task at a time, complete it, and then move on to the next. This approach allows you to give your full attention to each task and complete them more efficiently. Also, minimize distractions that may hinder your productivity by turning off notifications, organizing your workspace/files, and creating a productivity-conducive work environment.
Remember, productivity is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. Experiment with different strategies and techniques to find the ones that work best for you.
About AMR Management Services
If your professional society or trade association could benefit from skilled professional management support, AMR Management Services is here to help. We are an accredited, full-service association management firm supporting national and international associations clients of all sizes. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you take your association to the next level.
Degrees and Credentials:
Certified Association Executive (CAE), Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Oklahoma
Association Management Professional Since:
What inspires you about your work?
In my career, I have been blessed to work with some amazing, inspiring association leaders, who have become mentors and friends. I also enjoy the challenging, ever-changing environment of associations, and the sense of fulfillment in having made a difference in a profession or on an issue.
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