Point 1: Focus 80% of your time on your key priorities and quit wasting your life on the trivial.
Want to DOUBLE your productivity this year? It IS possible. And it is possible without putting in one extra minute of your time at work. What 99.9% of the working population needs to do is focus on priorities and quit wasting time with the trivial. One simple question proves my point: If you were to list the top 3 most important job functions in your work, what % of your work time are you devoting to them? It should be 80% or more. There is a good chance you only perform these key functions 20% to 30% of the time.
There is a good chance you only perform your KEY FUNCTIONS 20% to 30% of the time.
Point 2: Simple, PRIORITIZE!
If you allow every phone call, email or ‘knock on your door’ to set your priorities in life, you relegate yourself to a life of frustration, a mediocre career and a very low income. Is that what you want? Sorry… IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?!!!! If the answer is ‘NO’!, then start prioritizing. Realize you cannot ‘do it all’ so you must do ‘What is important’. You CANNOT do what is important if you are trying to do EVERYTHING. Focus is not a little of this, a little of that. Focus is… FOCUS. Do the 1, 2 or 3 things TODAY which impress your boss, get more done and leave you satisfied at the end of the day.
Most people today are fools at best. They waste the bulk of their day texting ‘friends’ and colleagues. Like angry birds, they let every vibration in their pocket and bleep from their computer screen dictate their day. What a waste of a life. Pathetic. Time to take CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE! Prioritize!
Point 3: Create Better Habits
One of the most productive things you can do is to create better habits. We don’t change habits (that’s why they are called habits) but we can replace an old habit with a new and improved model. I used to teach it took 21 days in a row to create a habit according to Maxwell Maltz’s theory in his book Psycho–Cybernetics. New brain research has shown the average person takes 66 days, not 21 to form a new habit.
Here are 8 tips to create better habits:
- Repetition is the mother of all learning. Do it over and over to create muscle or mental memory. The more you do it, the more habit you form.
- Enjoy the habit. Smile and think of how good you will look, feel, act, perform, think with the new habit. A positive attitude infuses your brain with chemicals to help mental images stick and the body with the ability to perform what you are trying to teach it.
- Use it or lose it. Using what you learn and wish to become habit will make it stick.
- Put your new habit on your iPhone, computer, a Post It® on your fridge or anywhere else you frequent to remind you to, “STICK WITH THIS HABIT.” If you remember, you have a better chance of doing it.
- Set yourself up for success with an appropriate reward. If you exercise every day for 66 days, buy yourself a top quality pair of running or walking shoes (not a trip to the buffet table!)
- Share your desire for a new habit with others. We are more likely to follow-through on new habits if we have others involved and working on the same habits.
- Make a list of the 5, 10, 50, 100 reasons why this new habit is important to you. A big reason or many small reasons give us the motivation to persevere.
- Get a prayer. Ask for a little divine guidance and connect the power of God to your new habit.
Make it a regular habit to create new habits so you continue to improve your productivity and life.
Point 4: Productive Delays
Ever flown anywhere and had your flight delayed, had to wait to check-in at a hotel or been delayed because of a breakdown in public transportation or a car break down? Seems to happen to all of us. How does it make you feel? Is the time a waste or profitably used?
Here are 3 simple thoughts to help for the inevitable NEXT delay:
1) Keep positive. We can’t change the situation. Pull out your iPad, PC or 4G phone and get some work done. Thanks to connectivity, you can still be ‘in the office’. If you can’t get signal, awesome time to work ‘off line’.
2) Be at the head or the end of the queue. At the head, you get the best seats and first choice of options. At the end of the line, you have gotten more work done while ‘they’ figure out what to do for you. While others are standing as they wait in a queue, you are sitting and working or relaxing.
3) Take a different tact. See it as an opportunity to plan, read a book (Kindle or real book) or just take a snooze. Any of these options may be the most productive use of that time. While others arrive stressed out and harried… you arrive rested (well… a bit more rested) and relaxed.
No matter what your situation, time of the day or season of your life, there is ALWAYS something productive you can be doing. From catching up on emails to studying for your next position, think strategically as to how you will invest that precious commodity… our TIME. At the very least, take a snooze or say a prayer. Just don’t waste life by complaining or blaming someone or something else. The time is ours. Sieze the opportunity to DOUBLE your productivity.
Profile of Author:
Michael A. Podolinsky CSP is Asia’s Productivity Guru; the one CEOs, directors and business leaders need. He speaks the language of International business. After 31 years of developing productive leaders and teams, he enables top tier professionals and their leaders to master productivity; boosting sales, lowering turnover, reducing costs, saving time and gaining dramatic results.