Productivity pointers


Defining your purpose makes productivity relevant and easy. Define your daily purpose (what gets you out of bed each day?) and your long-term purpose (what is the big picture that you are working towards?). Break your purpose down into concrete goals. Break the goals down into specific action steps. Then act. If you do it this way, your everyday actions become filled with meaning, energy and direction.


What you are passionate about, you will do more of. Discover and clarify your passions. Make room for them in your week.


Tackle the most demanding tasks in the most productive time of your day. If your energy is high first thing in the morning, schedule the tough tasks in the morning. Or if you take time to “warm up” to your day, schedule the challenging jobs for the afternoon.


There is a difference between being busy and making progress. Are your days busy but not moving you towards your goals? How are you measuring your progress? Revving the engine might feel good and sound good, but when the car is in neutral it ain’t going anywhere.


Getting frustrated when things go wrong or don’t happen in your preferred time frame will not get them done any quicker. In fact, frustration and impatience can slow you down. Keep your eyes on the prize, but slow down and enjoy the journey.


Perfectionism will paralyse you. Go for excellence instead. Believe in trial and error. Understand that you can “fail forward” (Courtesy John Maxwell).

Plan, plan, plan

You may want to skip planning your day and ‘just get on with it’. However this is false economy. The best time to plan is the night before – it primes your unconscious

for alerting you to things you may have missed or a problem that needs solving. By sleeping on it, you will most likely wake up with a solution. This is the effortless way to fuel massive action.


Plan the day, the day before. Map out the tasks for tomorrow. If you give yourself 15 minutes to do this at the end of your workday, before you leave the office, you can catch any problems/clashes/needs in advance.

Pomodoro technique

Developed by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break work down into 25-minute intervals and then a five-minute break. Check it out.


Do you focus on the positives, or do the negatives rule your life? It takes ten positives to counteract the effects of one negative. Negatives can give you useful feedback. Then focus on the positive to propel yourself to action.


The old adage that practice makes perfect is not quite accurate. Perfect practice makes perfect. Get feedback, make corrections and do it again. Repeat your way to excellence.


Get your priorities straight, then label items on your ‘to-do’ list with A or B. A’s must get done today. B’s get done if time allows. Some B’s that miss out today will become A’s tomorrow.


Procrastination is the result of over-thinking and under-doing. Joseph Heller said, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” Take action. If you are stuck, try any action. Choose and act. There are many causes of procrastination, but only one solution: taking action – now!

Les Watson, The Time Lord,

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