Hold Yourself Accountable for Improving Your Productivity

By becoming aware of how you spend your time during the day, you can zero in on the activities you need to do more or less of.

I consider myself to be reasonably productive. I crank out an average of four feature stories each month for CIO.com, in addition to weekly blogs. I'm proud of what I produce for the site, but of course, I'd like to do more (so would my boss, heh).  Who doesn't want to increase their productivity? 

In the noble spirit of accomplishing more, I'm eager to implement the time management and productivity enhancement tips I wrote about in a story I posted today, Time Management: 6 Ways to Improve Your Productivity

Jason Womack, the workplace performance expert I interviewed for the story, offered a bunch of useful tips intended to help you make the most of your precious time. Womack gave me one recommendation that I didn't include in my story (because I wanted to keep it to two pages and 1,000 words), that I include here, as a "bonus" tip. His advice? Hold yourself accountable for improving your productivity. 

Womack proposes the following process for holding yourself accountable: 

At the end of each day, for 20 days, write on index cards what you did with your time that day. You might note the people you met with, the projects or tasks you completed, or what you learned. 

I admit that the exercise sounds a bit like elementary school work, but it's intended to make you aware of how you spend your time. Identifying what you did each day for 20 days provides you with what Womack calls an "inventory of engagement" that you can use to identify what you want or need to do more or less of.  

What do I need to spend less time doing? Sitting on my rear-end on the couch in the evening, eating Twinkies and watching episodes of Psych

Psych stars James Roday and Dule Hill

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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