Eliminate Small Annoyances to Boost Productivity

1_525527379346252552737934a0We all experience them, those little everyday things that get in our way.

But you deal with them even when they set you back. I do it too.

I’m sent tons of magazines and books at work and they are good resources for story ideas. However they take up so much space.

I keep them on my desk because I always plan on looking at them. But in the end they just get in my way and slow me down and create clutter.

They topple over onto my keyboard.

They spill onto my notes and pencil and often I can’t find what I’m looking for — but there they are…under that stack of magazines.

So why don’t I just move them! Right? We’ll it’s a lot easier said than done. These types of irritants are only slightly annoying so we let them slide.

But the truth is these everyday nuisances are affecting your productivity. When every minute counts, there are plenty of ways to cut out these tiny time killers:

Caffeinate quickly: If you drink tea or coffee in the morning set everything you need to create the perfect cup the night before. It’s annoying to have to hunt for the tea leaves and the steeper and the tea kettle when you’re half asleep. Scoop the leaves the night before and leave them in your favorite cup – so all you have to do is boil water and enjoy.

Gym locker setback – I hate gyms that don’t have lockers. Carrying your clothes around with you is a huge pain. Finding the motivation to go the gym in the first place isn’t easy. But throw in an annoyance like having to carry your clothes and that could send your decision making south. It might be worth spending a bit more on a gym with a locker just to make it easier on yourself in the end.

Long lines at the store – There is nothing more irritating than standing in long lines. Especially as you feel well aware of how much time you’re wasting. To avoid the lines make note of your store’s opening hours. Going a bit earlier or later could help you avoid the lines and get through your weekly shopping much quicker. Alternatively you can do your shopping online and avoid the stores altogether. You can even use apps like Curbside to order ahead and pick it up – or a service like Fresh Direct which will deliver all your goodies right to your door.

Doing laundry – Finding time to do your laundry is something we all struggle with. Some apartments don’t have their own washer/dryer so you are forced to trek to the local laundromat or send it out to be done. But that means you have to pack up the laundry and walk it to your local dry cleaners. I’ve found an easier option in Manhattan. There’s an app called Juliette which does your laundry for you. You just use the app to tell the service to pick up your stuff. Someone will get it at 10pm and it will be dropped off to your door at 6am the next morning. So literally while you sleep – your annoying laundry gets done! It costs a bit more, but it saves me time and makes my day so much easier.

Losing key items – Looking for lost possessions is a huge time suck. It worth taking some time to organize your home so that everything has a set place. By leaving your phone and keys in the same place everyday you’re less likely to misplace them. You can also group items that you frequently use together. I designed my closets with this in mind.

How do you avoid small annoyances in your life and get more done?

3 replies
  1. Martin Aue
    Martin Aue says:

    Well, thankfully, there are plenty of low-cost ways to get your business operations in gear and get your team in order. The Internet always seems to be churning out ways to speed up efficiency and streamline logistics, so there’s a nearly endless well of popular and critically lauded apps that will offer you an avenue to boost your output and kick your days into high gear.

  2. Theodore Nwangene
    Theodore Nwangene says:

    Little things can really make us sad and thereby slowing our productive sometimes and its always better to prevent these things as much as possible.

    Just like yourself, i also have a clustered desk often time and seriously, this can get you confusing sometimes and at the end of the day, you won’t be able to get anything done.

    Like you mentioned, its also better to always plans the things you want to do ahead of time just like the little example you gave above about making your morning tea.

    Thanks for sharing Paula.

    • Paula Rizzo
      Paula Rizzo says:

      Theodore – thanks so much for your comment! It’s so true – sometimes the simplest things we can do ahead of time will make our lives much easier. I just cleared all that clutter off my desk yesterday and feel so much better!


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