It’s Friday and your week is almost done, but did you get alot done? Do feel like you didn’t put a dent in your 21 page “to do list”? You have alot on your plate. You are busy, but are your productive?
Productivity is about being efficient and effective, not just getting things done.
Your efficiency and effectiveness comes from completing the right tasks at the right time.
Are you busy working on the right things or the things that don’t really matter right now?
There are two parts to your day. Doing the things you planned and doing the things that you didn’t plan such as emergencies, problems and distractions.
Let’s look at emergencies. These are things that pop up that you can’t put off. When emergencies arise, you have to stop everything and deal with them immediately. The problem is that we don’t know how to classify something as an emergency.
A friend calling to discuss their latest relationship crisis is not an emergency. A coworker who needs to chat about their weekend is not an emergency. It’s crucial to be able to prioritize these situations and deal with the non-emergencies later.
Problems are important. There are 10, 20 or sometimes 100 of problems to deal with in a day. They need to be prioritized and/or delegated. We tend to get lost in the problem, spending way too much time hearing about the issue versus looking for the solution.
Every problem has a solution AND every solution creates another problem. So if you get stuck in the problem, you could be chasing your tail all day long and never seem to get anywhere. Prioritization and delegation is crucial in dealing with problems. Analyze it, prioritize it, make a plan and then delegate it.
Aaaaahhhh distractions. We love to run away to a happier place. Checking email, Facebook, tweeting, texting, talking to coworkers, talking on the phone, all of these things waste valuable time.
We distract ourselves because we are bored, we are rewarding ourselves for working hard, we have ADD, or we just can’t sit for long periods of time and get our work done. Manage yourself so you have set times in the day to check emails, facebook, tweet, talk, etc. You will be more efficient and actually create more time for yourself.
Research has shown that when you work in an office, you get interrupted about once every 8 minutes. And that it takes 4-5 minutes to refocus after an interruption. Here are a few tips on how to manage those interruptions and get more work done.
* Set a timer. Work for 20-30 minute intervals with no interruptions.
* Put a sign up when in the office – Do not disturb between the hours of _____ and ______.
* Turn off volume on your computer and ignore those annoying e-mail beeps.
* Turn your phone off.
* Make a checklist and tell yourself you can’t do other things until you finish.
* Ask for support from others. Set boundaries
* Listen to music –if you are in a cubicle, wear headphones so you can concentrate and you won’t be an open ear for people who want to chat.
* If you are an entrepreneur, your open door policy needs to have limits. You are not a therapist, you are a business owner with people who depend on you to make money so they can make money. Focus, prioritize and manage your distractions and interruptions.
Stop using time as an excuse. Oprah, Bill Gates, Madonna, JK Rowling, Tom Hanks, Ray Kroc, Levi Strauss and Walt Disney all managed to do extraordinary things with the same twenty-four hours that you have. It’s not always what you are doing, it’s who you are being. Be an intentional person that get things done – the right things at the right time.
Your success is directly related to the actions you take every day. When your actions in line with your goals, you succeed. Look at how you manage your time. What is working and what is not working? Make changes and stick to them. Develop a productivity plan and then hold yourself accountable. Get busy doing the right things and watch your life get amazing.