If you’re anything like I am, you have a number of high-priority projects on your desk or in your life.
I’m managing initiatives related to my company, current books, future books, blog, new products, and a handful of other key items. Amidst of all these, I’m getting married next month (yay!).
With many important initiatives in motion, you know how easy it is to get off track. Toss in daily family life and it’s a miracle anything gets done.
Colleagues and friends often wonder how I take on so much and get it done so quickly. My secret?
1. Three is the magic number
You can handle a number of high-priority projects simultaneously, but on any given day make sure you target three key goals or accomplishments. I have a mile-long to-do list every single day, but I have three main objectives that must be completed on that particular day. Focus on the biggies. Anything else you check off that day is gravy. Incremental daily change and advancement will result in an exponential improvement over time.
2. Eat the frog first
Every day you’ll have some item you don’t want to do, but needs to be done. Do it first. If it’s done first, you won’t waste any brainpower the rest of the day as you procrastinate this to-do you dread.
3. Focus on the 20%
I assure you, everything in your life is not created equal. My Italian brethren Vilfredo Pareto had no idea what he stumbled upon when he noticed that 20% of the peapods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. In other words, there is a difference between quality and productivity. Eighty percent of the effects usually come from 20% of the causes. So, if you spend your entire day working on things outside that 20%, you will achieve fewer results for the same amount of work!
4. Less is more and better
I hope everyone accomplishes more in their lives. You’ll have a better chance if you focus on fewer tasks and ensure higher quality output. It amazes me that at any moment people think they can do more, but over their lifetime think they’ll accomplish less. They typically accomplish less because they’re trying to handle more at any moment. Which leads me to…
5. Don’t multitask
Beside the fact there is no such thing as multitasking (it’s called switching tasks quickly), people attempt to juggle and break things in the process. Do one thing at a time and give it your full attention. You’ll be amazed at what you can produce.
6. Take in only what you need
Don’t read the entire article if the headline will suffice. Sometimes, you need the entire article. When production is at stake, make sure to choose wisely. Once the time is expended, it’s gone forever. Speaking of…
7. Stay on time
Set an optimal schedule and stick to it. An optimal schedule has recovery gaps in it. That means if you have any unforeseen overruns, you have designated, planned recovery periods. You probably have heard the expression being on time is being respectful of the people you’re meeting. Their time is equally as valuable as yours. Well, all day long you meet with yourself. Be respectful, especially to that person.
What are your secret ways to boost productivity?