You’ve hit your straps by now in 2019. The motor’s well and truly warmed up, even though it’s getting cold outside. Here are some quick and simple tips to streamline you for peak productivity, because small things done consistently in strategical places create major impact.
Can you manufacture more time? No. What you can do is change your schedule and priorities to make room for the tasks you want to undertake and the results you want to create.
This one simple task, completed, can snowball into an energised and productive day. Plus it’s nicer to get into a well-made bed at the end of a productive day.
It’s very easy to blame someone or something for your lack of time. You need to take personal responsibility for your life and outcomes. How do you manage yourself? Have systems, routines and discipline. Keep your agreements, including with yourself.
Keep your workspace orderly. Have the essentials within reach. Keep a clean and clear space to do the work. Pack away anything that does not absolutely have to be on your desk/in the car/on the shelf. Be ruthless. A clear and orderly space supports a clear and orderly mind.
We all need time to ‘unplug’. Take time to retreat and contemplate. Let your mind wander. If, in the process, something important drifts up, write it down. Let your mind wander again. Repeat.
Start on time. Finish on time. Stick to the agreed agenda. Enough said. (Hint: If your meetings tend to drag on, have them in a room where there are no chairs – that will shorten them! Stand- up meetings rock!).
If you need help, ask. Find a mentor for guidance and encouragement. Choose someone who has been where you are, has put in the work and who demonstrates the kind of success you want for yourself.
There are 60 seconds in every minute. Make them count. There are 60 minutes in every hour. Make them count. Time doesn’t stop. What can you do in one minute? List those things that can be accomplished in blocks of two, five, ten, 20, 30 minutes. When you have a gap between activities, check your list, pick an action and do it. You will be surprised and pleased at how you can chip away at that list.
Don’t let the fear of making mistakes stop you from taking action. Life is full of mistakes (it’s how we all learned to walk, after all). Learn from your mistake and try again. Label it ‘learning’ rather than ‘failure’.
A lot can be achieved first thing in the morning before the day fully begins. This is where that extra time can most easily be found. Get up earlier than normal and get into the day. Morning achievements turn into momentum for the afternoon and evening.
Motivation provides the compelling reason to take action. Know your motivation. It will transform your “just thinking about it” to “I will get this done”.
Once touted as efficient, research now shows that multi-tasking creates distractions, slip-ups and diluted focus. Try mono-tasking: set up a block of time to allow yourself time to concentrate on one task, and see it through to the end (20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour). Don’t deviate until it’s done. Eliminate as many distractions as possible and go for it. The result will be achieved more efficiently, the quality of the result will be superior and you will most likely enjoy the process more.
Les Watson, The Time Lord, www.getmoretime.com.au