The Pursuit of Productivity
In the pursuit of productivity, is your to-do-list like a ball of yarn? Do you look at your list as a never-ending string of tasks and deadlines that you cannot possibly complete?
All of us have felt our days unravel and our minds twist from trying to tackle our lists and be our best productive selves.
But who decides if I am productive or by definition, “achieving or producing a significant amount or result” me?
Yes, we are in the driver’s seat when it comes our pursuit of productivity. I know what you’re thinking, great one more thing to add to my to-do-list!
So, lets look at some ways to stop the unraveling and learn how to find the best version of our productive selves.
Be Ready to Meet the day
You can’t be productive if you’re not healthy, rested, and ready to meet the day! Eat well, exercise and get enough sleep so you have the energy to concentrate.
Have a Clean Desk
Start your day with a clean desk! You can’t be productive if you can’t find important documents or files. Learn more here Clean Off Your Desk Day Post.
Use the Productivity Tools at Hand
Airplane Mode. Keep your phone in airplane mode when performing a task that needs your complete attention. Remember, do it right the first time. If you need to repeat a task you probably wasting time.
Notifications. Turn off notification alerts on your phone, tablet, and computer for the same reason. It’s okay to block out distractions so you can focus on important tasks.
Do they really work and are they helpful? No, they are not, not on their own that is. Your list must have a plan, or it’s just a list.
Plan Your To-Do-List
Take your list and break it down so it doesn’t break you down! Prioritizing is essential if you want to be productive.
Focus on those big tasks first. Can you realistically complete it today or should you break it into smaller more manageable tasks? The answer will always be break it up, otherwise you’ll feel defeated.
For those smaller tasks let’s use the 2-Minute Rule; “if something can be done in two minutes, just do it; if something takes more than two minutes, then start it”
Purge tasks that are not crucial or time sensitive. If you don’t need to do it, today, tomorrow or this month don’t put it on your immediate to-do-list. Move it to your later-to-do-list or make a calendar reminder so it doesn’t take your time and energy today.
Future Tasks and Deadlines
Most of our devices have an option where you can use the calendar feature to help keep you on target. Use it for future or repetitive tasks. To schedule meetings and send reminders of pending key dates.
Batch similar tasks that call for similar mindset or similar systems together. For instance, wait to enter all your receipts into your warehouse management system at the end of the day. If it’s not a deal breaker batch it!
Ask yourself, is there someone better suited to complete this task? Is there a team member with more focus time available that can devote themselves to the task? If so, delegate it!
Delegating does not mean you’re incapable nor does it mean your dumping working on others. In this case, delegating means you want to put the best person available on the task. You’re being productive when you are working on the things you have time to complete! Don’t confuse being busy with being productive.
Make Productivity a Habit
So, what is the best advice in your pursuit of productivity journey? Use the tools that work best for you and make productivity a habit. Your sense of accomplishment will shine and you’re to-do-list will be the measuring stick of it.