Three Actions You Can Take to Get It Done

flickr: Steve Keys

I continue to struggle to get everything done each day. There’s always so much more to do and never enough time. Quite honestly, I don’t like it.

As a hospital marketing director, chances are you’re thinking that checking off everything on your to-do list each day is an unreasonable – perhaps even foolish – objective. Every hospital employee I have ever worked with leaves a large unfinished pile on her desk when she leaves each day.

But as you begin implementing social media into your hospital responsibilities, freeing up even 15 to 30 minutes a day in increased productivity will be a big help.

Here are three things that I’m doing this year that might be helpful to put a bigger dent in that to-do pile.

Write it down.

Getting Things Done guru David Allen makes a great point of this. When lots of ideas are floating around in your mind, they clog things up. You don’t think as clearly. Have a “ubiquitous writing tool” with you at all times to capture the ideas that come to your mind whenever and wherever they happen.

You can use a notebook, your smartphone, 3X5 cards, or post-it notes.

The simple act of writing something down will help clear your mind for other thoughts and ideas. And it will help you remember those important thoughts when you need them.

Clear the clutter.

Look around you. Are you surrounded by loose, half-organized folders and papers? Do you spend much of your time searching for lost information? It’s time to clear things up. Find a way to organize your papers in a logical way. Resist the urge to be a packrat. Shred or recycle anything that is not pertinent to what you’re doing now. At the very least, get those things out of sight so that you are free from all that visual distraction.

Turn off the distractions.

Constant interruptions kill productivity. I know that there are many interruptions that you have no control over, but there are many that you can control. Carve out an hour or two each day when you can just focus on your most important work without all the interruptions. For some, it means coming into work earlier or staying a bit later so you can concentrate when things are quieter.

One of the greatest distractions for many of us are email and internet. If you’ve found yourself checking your email every 10 minutes, or feeling like you’ve got to constantly jump on the internet to check something out, fight the urge. Tune it out while you’re getting your most productive work done. One innovative tool allows you to lock out the internet on Mac or Windows computers for up to eight hours at a time. Imagine what you could accomplish!

Don’t resign yourself to a life of unfinished projects. Applying these steps can give you the productivity boost you need to help you feel like you’re really accomplishing something.

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