Three Summer Tips to Improve Productivity: Give Yourself a Break

In this three-part blog series Vanguard Public Affairs Senior Vice President for Operations, Katherine Erickson, shares a few easy strategies to improve personal productivity. Following these three strategies can help you prepare for the challenges ahead.




TIP ONE: Give Yourself a Break

When giving you a break we don’t mean take fifteen minutes to get a snack. We mean stop being your own worst enemy. Stop defeating yourself with negative self-talk. Most of us focus too much on the negative things about ourselves and our own shortcomings and fears of failure. To improve productivity this practice needs to be curtailed.

It is nearly impossible to stop all inward negativity but we can limit it. Acknowledge to yourself when you realize you are playing negative messages over in your mind. Talk to yourself. Tell yourself that you are stressing yourself out and that you can stop it. It will pass if you recognize what you are doing and remind yourself that you have had success and achieved many goals. Tell yourself that you can overcome whatever negative outcome you fear by analyzing the situation, coming up with a plan of action and/or by asking for help. Every time you catch yourself in this negative spiral make a note or symbol in your phone, journal or calendar. This could be a letter “N” or “F” or even a percentage mark (%) or exclamation point (!). This is just a personal note to remind you to change your focus. You can track the frequency of the notes to see if you are making progress. Keep a box or folder to put positive notes or news clippings about your successes. Look those over for a few minutes. Your stress level will reduce if you reverse negative ideas and focus on positive outcomes. As an added bonus you may also be more productive!

Use your summer to focus on improving your personal productivity and you will be ready to face any challenges coming your way in the New Year.

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