Improving Your Productivity – #1 – Working More Hours Does not Make you More Productive!

When we are talking about productivity and getting things done we need to remember that we have 3 resources to draw from: time, money, and energy. Let’s take a look at each one of them to begin to understand how to effectively measure and use those resources.

How are you using your time? Image person fighting the clock

Time: The topic of time management has been explored in thousands of articles, books, and workshops. Since the 1980s we have been obsessed with how to manage our time.

The challenge is that, as humans, we basically underestimate how long a task takes, and overestimate our efficiency at completing that task.

Some vital first steps in managing your time include:

1) keeping a time log (what do you do every 14 minutes) so you can see what you are actually spending you time doing,

2) blocking time on your calendar for meetings, appointments, phone calls, checking emails, and focused work time,

3) breaking your goals into weekly and daily tasks,

4) minimizing distractions.

(Next time: Productivity – How are you Investing your Time?)

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Six steps to Success – Step 6: Practice commitment and consistency

image.commitmentMaking changes in our lives takes commitment and consistency. A new behavior requires our attention until it is just a part of the way we live each day. A “habit” is an action we take without thinking about it. For example, your morning routine of brushing your teeth is a habit. You don’t think about it, you just do it. A good rule of thumb for turning a new behavior into a habit is practicing that behavior consistently on a daily basis for 90 days. In order to be successful you must focus on building new daily habits that will support the new beliefs, emotions, and actions you want to manifest.

To help with consistency follow these 5 guidelines:

1. write down your goals for new behavior
2. choose an accountability partner that you trust
3. focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t do
4. take action daily
5. celebrate your successes

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Six steps to Success – Step 5: Set Goals and Plan For Success

What if you could plan ahead for the future, set goals, and still live in the Present? Well, you can. It is just a matter of understanding two things: 1) Being goals vs doing goals, and 2) short term vs long term goals. You can have both “Being” goals and “Doing” goals. They are not mutually exclusive.

images.todayA “doing” goal is the vehicle for achieving your “being” goal. Put another way, how we want to feel or BE is the “being” goal. The actions we are taking to achieve that feeling are the “doing” goals. If your “being” goal is to be happy, don’t link that to a goal you won’t achieve for a year. You can choose to do one thing to be happy today, and still work towards the longer term goal.

Short term vs long term goals: Every long term goal can be broken down into smaller bites. So if you want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months, the short term goal might be to lose 2 pounds a week. Here’s a simple system to tie your long term and short term goals together: start with your BIG picture (eg one year), now break it down into what you will achieve in 6 months, what you will need to achieve in 3 months, in one month, in one week, today? The common TO DO list (daily action items) should support your longer range goals so that you can get up each morning and identify what the most important tasks are for you to do that day to support your longer term goals.

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