Five ways to increase your productivity before Labor Day Weekend


With the long Labor Day weekend approaching, many professionals will slowly shake off the fog of vacation and re-dedicate themselves to finishing the third quarter strong and accelerate into the last three months of the year.

The first (and short) week after Labor Day is almost always busy.  You’ll likely start getting even more requests of your time and energy from others.  But before that happens, take a few minutes this week (before Friday afternoon) to prepare yourself for the weeks ahead.  With a few simple steps, you’ll skyrocket your ability and readiness to get the right work done (despite the increasing distractions).

Do a project inventory and triage
Review the active projects on your plate, both right now and in the immediate future (i.e. before the end of September).  Are you focused on the right things?  Are they in the right order?  Is anything missing?  You can’t prioritize your time if you don’t start with the right focus areas.

Conduct a metrics review & reset
Look at how you’ve been measuring performance thus far (at least through the summer).  Are you on track?  Behind?  Are you watching the right metrics & dashboards?  Make adjustments now so that come next Tuesday you have clear goals, metrics and measurement mechanisms in place.

Do a calendar review & clean-up
Get rid of unnecessary meetings.  Bow out of recurring meetings that are no longer necessary or that get cancelled every week anyway.  Block time during the day and week to get real work done.  Block time for fitness and lunch too if you need it to stay disciplined about both.

Clean up your work environment (office & mobile)
Take the time to make your work environment (primarily your desk) exactly how you want it for optimal productivity.  If that means a clean desk, put away, throw away or recycle everything else.  Leave it this way Friday afternoon.  Think too about how you work remotely.  Do you have everything you need with you?  Are there tools, devices, cables or other needs that will make mobile work more productive?

Identify and commit to daily habits
This can be anything – work, fitness, sleep, social media, sales prospecting, whatever.  Determine the daily, “tiny” habits that are most important to your productivity and success.  Establish them early so you can “practice” at the end of this week before the weekend begins.

Done together and without distraction, these five focus areas can take as little as one hour but will make a world of difference next week.