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How to Have a Productive 2017

At the beginning of every year it’s important to think back and check off all you’ve achieved. Give yourself a pat on the back, be proud of all you’ve accomplished, and then, look ahead. What do you want to achieve in the coming year? What are the priorities to move you and your business forward? And most important, HOW are you going to do all of this? We’ve thought back to our year here at the Hill and came up with a list of tips and actions to help have the most productive year yet!

Create short-term AND long-term goals

When setting goals for yourself and your business, it’s important to cover all bases from overall organization goals and day-to-day priorities. The short term goals help create a feeling of productivity – plus it’s satisfying to cross items off the list. These goals keep you and your employees moving throughout the day and week and ensure the small, but important tasks are done. The long-term goals push the business in the right direction and dictate the clear action plan for the organization. They tie all the small decisions together and at the end of the year – or the time frame set – it is clear whether the goal is hit and the business is moving in the desired direction.

Multi-task, but only when necessary

Decide whether you want quality over quantity for each major project and enforce it. When an employee or employer is being pulled in too many directions, work suffers. Now, this isn’t to say you can’t have a to-do list with 4 top priority items all in the works at the same time. But when you’re working on one of those items, focus. For example, don’t send emails while you’re on a conference call, keep the amount of tabs low on your browser so you’re not tempted by other projects, don’t text while you’re in a meeting. Work on one thing at a time, and do it well.

Minimize digital distractions

In the office it can be especially hard to minimize digital distractions. Most people work on a computer for the majority of the day, and it’s easy to end up on social media or reading articles when you should be checking items off of that daunting to-do list. It is ok to take mental breaks, but don’t allow them every 10 minutes. If social media is vital to your work or professional life, pick a time to check and hold yourself to that time. This feels nearly impossible, but I promise it’s not. It just takes some self-control. If you have a busy week, take social media apps off your phone. It’s an easy way to minimize this time waster.

Write everything down

It may seem simple and obvious, but keep track of everything.  Write it down, make a note on your phone, send yourself an email, use post-it notes, whatever works for you. It’s easy to have a casual conversation and a great idea to come of it, and then forget because you get pulled into a scheduled meeting or an email distracts. Along the same idea, physically writing down what needs to get down will help organize and prioritize.  It’s also important to write out goals and track the progress. You’ll be able to see the actual progress being made in a tangible way, and hopefully this encourages you and your employees.

Productivity looks different to everyone, but setting goals and minimizing distractions are easy ways to keep you and your business on track for the best year yet.  In December Forbes published a list of actual tools to help with productivity in the workplace. Goals are not achieved alone; use the people around you and all tools at your disposal.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our elevator renovation at the James J. Hill Center. This project was financed in part with funds provided by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and the F. R. Bigelow Foundation. It will greatly increase our ability to serve patrons with accessibility needs.

Please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit our brand new elevator!

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