Increase your Productivity by Clarifying Your Values and Priorities:
No matter how good a time management or goal setting plan is, if it is not in alignment with your values and priorities you will not feel successful.
Values are the characteristics and traits you look for in a friend or significant other. Values are what your heroes have that you admire. We have core values that never change, and we have dozens of other values that shift a little throughout our lives depending on what stage of life we are in.
Energy: We are energetic beings. Each of us has our own reservoir of energy, and each one of has our peak productive times during the day or week. It is important to know what those are. If you are a “get up in the morning and hit the ground running” person, then schedule your high priority tasks in the morning, when you are at your best. If you are a “get your second wind” in the afternoon person, then use that time slot for your high priorities. Most of us begin to lose focus power after about 2 hours, so make sure you are giving yourself a 15 min break to clear your brain—take 3 deep breaths, drink some water, take a brief walk, stretch.
There are many things that can drain our energy. One of the most important exercises for you to do if you want to be more productive is to be honest with yourself about what can drain your energy and leave you unfocused or unmotivated. Are you checking your emails every time you get “pinged”? are you spending an hour every time you troll through Facebook? are you letting phone calls from friends interrupt you all through the day? Did you know that studies show it takes about 20 minutes to get refocused after being interrupted? If you are constantly interrupted and then having to refocus it will leave you exhausted. Energy drains can also be employees or co-workers, so start learning how to set boundaries and don’t let negative energy people run meetings, hang out in your office, or interrupt other co-workers with negative talk.
A financial investment is easy to measure if we are purchasing something for our business, but what about your time? With every hour you work, every action you take, every person you hire, every meeting you attend you should be asking “what is my ROI”? “what does it need to be to make this a worthwhile business investment?” “what is an hour of my time worth?”
In looking at financial investments, other than time, for your business you must start with a budget. Once you have your budget set up, use a program such as QuickBooks that will allow you to run a P&L statement so every month you can see what you are spending and what your income is. This will allow you to project forward so you are making the wisest decisions about where you spend your money, and will keep you from spending dollars on “shiny” objects that will not support success and productivity. If this is an area you are not skilled in, hire a bookkeeper. It will be well worth your time and money.