Productivity and Time Management

Successful people are Doers. They are Action oriented. Yes, they seek the magical Work-Life-Balance. Most will tell you there has been an imbalance at one time or another. It’s part of the job description. When we are an entrepreneur, business owner (same thing), senior executive, aspiring executive we have to put in the time. So get up, get the motor revved and do it. Be a Doer, NOW.

But  here’s a KEY: Demand from yourself a ReturnOnInvestment on your time. It is your most valuable asset. Learn to monitor your time, insert some ‘quality’ time, and enjoy the success.

I see a lot of people stressing needlessly over their schedules. “No time for this/that.” Relax. Look at your complete day/week. There are ways to manage it and find a little more time. I shuffle clients’ schedules, eliminate certain activities, create blocks of work time and relaxing time, create do-not-disturb blocks of time, and more. (if you are truly blocked, contact me)

The following is integral to our productivity. It is from a blog by Gary Keller:
Success Comes Sequentially, Not Simultaneously – Gary Keller August 20, 2015

“Our lives today seem to be busier than ever. As a culture of doers and multitaskers, we juggle jobs, kids, education, goals, and free time — if there is any! We pile thing after thing on our to-do lists and calendars. In fact, having the ability to handle several things at once is often expected.

The truth is, we can do many things at once, but at what expense? Have we sacrificed quality for quantity? In our efforts to keep up, we may be spreading ourselves too thin. To be successful, there must be a oneness of focus that seems to go against what has become “normal.”

There is a natural order to long-term success that requires development. And development happens in phases. We see this example in nature as well. There are four stages for the development of a butterfly, none of which can be bypassed. And if one of the four stages does not happen in the sequential order necessary for development, there will be no butterfly.

To achieve personal success, we must apply this lesson towards achieving our goals as well,

starting with giving ourselves permission to do less, but with more oneness of focus. Then once we finish one stage we can celebrate our victory as we move on to the next and then the next, resulting in a beautiful metamorphosis of achievement!

!!It is important to reward yourself, then go to the next task!!!”

So, let’s look at some specific suggestions on how we can manage ourselves in a space of time:

–In your daily rituals find a quiet place to get away and lose yourself into thinking, strategizing, planning. No electronics. Meditate, whatever. Just be quiet.  (if you need information on the Rituals please let me know)

–Break your work day into 90-minute increments and work only on value-creating activities. Work on what creates money for you or gets the job done. Then take a 10 minute break to recover. That’s the greatest 10 minutes! Get up and walk around, zone out, whatever. Then do another 90-minutes and so on.

–Keep a mess free environment. Mess creates distraction. When we wake up in the morning we have a full well of Focus. But car radio, tv, phone, etc., deplete our focus. (A client wanted to double his sales. Productivity was critical. His office looked like a hand grenade had been tossed in. We cleaned it up, threw away junk, etc. Guess what happened. Guess. Yep, in 3 months he was generating the business that would accomplish his goal.)

–Give yourself 60-minutes per day without external stimulation. Especially electronic—not phone, no email, no text, no TV, etc. Here’s why: relaxation can be most productive time for you. It’s where great ideas come from. Walks, beach, etc. And this is different from the first fix I gave you.

Our brain finds way to relax and body relaxes and your thinking process is enhanced.  Like getting paid to rest. Athletes do it. They get paid to rest. Work hard then rest and recover. See it as a productive activity and your achievement will be enhanced.

–Anyone familiar with the phrase “Eat the big green frog”? Do the most unpleasant task first. The watch the rest of your day sail by.

–One of the most valuable productivity/time management principles I can give you is this: understand the value of an hour of your time based upon your goals for income. Look at it as a bank account. You can add to it or subtract from it.

–Stop the “screen sucking” activities. Time leached away from your bank account that is spent on the various screens in your life: email, iphone, games, facebook, tv, internet, etc. Screens that steal your time.

–Don’t fight your body clock. Listen to it. Regulate your schedule to your body dynamics. Start at 4am, 8pm, whatever. Articles out there say get up early and start early and beat the others. Some of us are night owls, just works that way so all tips and tricks go against their body clock.

Don’t listen to stuff about the early bird gets worm… Just get the worm. There can be good worms in the latter part of day.

Productivity is about managing ourselves within a space of time. To understand what we should be doing we need to stop and get a grip on what needs to be done. Here’s how we do that:

–Plan each day in advance (day before or first thing in morning). Review each day at days end. Do a weekly review. By reviewing the week and the day and planning them, it allows you to be more productive because you are giving your actions fore-thought vs. just reacting to them the next day. Guess how much we accomplish when it’s actually planned? Guess how easy it is to handle all the interruptions that come our way during the day when you have a plan. Something stops your progress, but you get back on track and can keep moving ahead because you work with a plan.

–Pick 3 big things to accomplish each day and three for each week. Make major progress on 3 projects for the week and then on the 3 tasks per day. Break things down. Make them manageable. Focus on them. Of course other things will filter in, interruptions. But this process maintains your focus and gets the tasks done. It will keep you on track.

–Two things you need to do to help you slow down and to take time for yourself. One is some form of relaxation combined with focus, like meditation, and the other is you’ve got to exercise.

–Also, the To-Do List is dead. We need to have the WHY TO DO LIST. Then we have an important tool!

Ask yourself: Am I “Doing Productive” or “Being” productive.

Doing Productive is busy work. Looking busy. For the sake of doing. We believe we are supposed to do something so we do it and think we have accomplished something. But we haven’t. It could be that those things may not be the task you should be doing at that time.  It’s like a Hamster on a wheel.

Do things not for sake of doing, but do things that have a Why attached to them. So, it pays to stop Doing from time to time and figure out what you need to Be doing. Put your energies into the right things, make the right choices, do the right things.

–We have huge distractions. We are in a war of sorts against time stealers. Electronic mostly. A lot of the distractions are leisure oriented. They do nothing to help you grow and move forward. Become a learner vs. someone caught up in Angry Birds. Average people are caught up in distractions and entertainment.

Successful people are Learners.

Also, there is NO SUCH THING as MULTI-TASKING. Focus on a single challenge, find the solution, take action, then move to the next task. We can’t do 2 things at once. You can’t hold 2 thoughts in your mind simultaneously.

Michaelangelo envisioned the statue of David from a block of marble, then chipped away at all the marble that wasn’t necessary until the final product was revealed. Our job is to chip away at all the unnecessary clutter out there and propel ourselves toward our Goals.

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