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8 Things Productive People Do During the Workday

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Forget about your job title or profession – everyone is looking for ways to be more productive at work. It’s time to set down your gallon-sized container of coffee, toss out your three-page to-do list, and put an end to those ridiculously long emails you’ve been sending.

Experiencing a highly productive workday can feel euphoric. But contrary to popular belief, simply checking tasks off your to-do list isn’t really an indication of productivity. Truly productive people aren’t focused on doing more things; this is actually the opposite of productivity. If you really want to be productive, you’ve got to make a point to do fewer things.

Recently I spoke with project management and productivity genius Tony Wong to find out the secret to a more productive workday. He provided me with some excellent insight into what he and other like-minded productive individuals do during their work week.

Harness your productivity by taking note of these eight things:

1. Create a smaller to-do list. Getting things accomplished during your workday shouldn’t be about doing as much as possible in the sanctioned eight hours. It may be hard to swallow, but there’s nothing productive about piling together a slew of tasks in the form of a checklist. Take a less-is-more approach to your to-do list by only focusing on accomplishing things that matter.

2. Take breaks. You know that ache that fills your brain when you’ve been powering through tasks for several hours? This is due to your brain using up glucose. Too many people mistake this for a good feeling, rather than a signal to take a break. Go take a walk, grab something to eat, workout, or meditate – give your brain some resting time. Achieve more productivity during your workday by making a point to regularly clear your head. You’ll come back recharged and ready to achieve greater efficiency.

3. Follow the 80/20 rule. Did you know that only 20 percent of what you do each day produces 80 percent of your results? Eliminate the things that don’t matter during your workday: they have a minimal effect on your overall productivity. For example, on a project, systematically remove tasks until you end up with the 20 percent that gets the 80 percent of results.

4. Start your day by focusing on yourself. If you begin your morning by checking your email, it allows others to dictate what you accomplish. Set yourself in the right direction by ignoring your emails and taking the morning to focus on yourself, eat a good breakfast, meditate, or read the news.

5. Take on harder tasks earlier in the day. Knock out your most challenging work when your brain is most fresh. Save your busy work – if you have any – for when your afternoon slump rolls in.

6. Pick up the phone. The digital world has created poor communication habits. Email is a productivity killer and usually a distraction from tasks that actually matter. For example, people often copy multiple people on emails to get it off their plate – don’t be a victim of this action. This distracts everyone else by creating noise against the tasks they’re trying to accomplish and is a sign of laziness. If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favor by BCCing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, it’s time to pick up the phone. Increase your productivity by scheduling a call.

7. Create a system. If you know certain things are ruining your daily productivity, create a system for managing them. Do you check your emails throughout the day? Plan a morning, afternoon, and evening time slot for managing your email. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted from accomplishing more important goals throughout the day.

8. Don’t confuse productivity with laziness. While no one likes admitting it, sheer laziness is the No. 1 contributor to lost productivity. In fact, a number of time-saving methods – take meetings and emails for example – are actually just ways to get out of doing real work. Place your focus on doing the things that matter most as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Remember, less is more when it comes to being productive during the workday.

What’s your secret to productive workdays?

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10 Ways to Use Social Media to Promote an Event

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#1 Video: Do not just do video… Talk to the person watching the video… Especially introduce people who will be at the event.. Super critical to lower social anxiety.. And of course show the venue, map it, and provide tips on parking and sneak in specials or expected delightful surprises.. 

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#2 Prizes Yes, Tickets no.. If you want people to come do not offer tickets for free. Either they have value or not.. Prizes for just showing up.. or each ticket gets you a chance to Win, absolutely! 

#3 G+ Ads Sure… But then work that G+ page on keywords as well.. But if you do not have an established G+ account this is a waste.. As it will show you have 4 people +1’s 

#4 Interview Presenters? Heck, create Presenter Packages that incentivize speakers, from doing interviews, to press packets, to awards to speakers for just speaking. If you have a community this is critical… As for a podcast? It takes time to create, get subscribers, and if you are doing a Video, put the special content in that… 

#5 Tips blog? This is where we enter Content Marketing. I would suggest a PDF or digital print page. If the event is live person, having a document is better than a long blog format. Also, tips are great putting that into a program guide that creates immense credibility and decreases cancellations 

#6 Speaker Graphic? This goes back to the Press Kit for speakers I mentioned already.. 

#7Create a Tweet for Attendees… Keep in mind not everyone is a big Twitter follower. But having Foursquare, Yelp, Twitter, Meetup, Linkedin, and etc sharing and posting is critical. Keep in mind how you direct registration (See below #9) As for those using it to follow the event, I would again question if that is effective for your audience and your own time to man it.. 

#8 Twitter Widget? Again, Twitter is not on everyone’s radar… While it may have millions of sign-ups, many do not use it regularly.. Social Share widget is best use case… 

#9 Facebook Events.. Hmmm.. Keep in mind, that as you spread out on multiple social touch points, you may be spreading out how one perceives who is going. Say you use Eventbrite and Facebook. On your site 1,000 people sign up using Eventbrite. But only 11 followers sign-up on Facebook? To your facebook fans your event looks like a dud… Take time to insure linkage of all social sign-ons… 

#10 Facebook Ads are always a safe bet for those with money to burn. But many non-profits will not want to spend money to make money… So I would recommend looking for targeted communities that would benefit from the event. There are numerous angles to this from honoring specific communities, to discounts, to headlining those community leaders… 

Hope this is helpful, as the initial article is a bit thin on real world strategies..