Productivity: How you can accomplish more
Recently, I sent first in my two-part series on productivity. Once you’ve identified your Big Rocks and identified what is Important (vs. what is urgent), here are some additional tips for getting more done… and done well.
The general belief and understanding is that a full-time job means a 40-hour work week. So we are conditioned to think and believe that we must spend that amount of time working. Generally, we aren’t paid for our work product or results – instead we are paid for our time (which is completely backwards in my opinion, but that’s a whole other topic for discussion on another day!). Theoretically, we could be more efficient if we were operating under a different set of expectations. Ones that are results-based, instead of time-based. What if you changed your expectations of yourself and decided that instead of spending 100 hours on a project, you would only spend 90? What if you were committed to finding a way to get it done in that amount of time? Believing that there is a faster, more efficient, more productive way to do things, and committing to finding that way, is the another step in accomplishing extraordinary productivity. Decide how many hours of work you want to put in, believe the work can be done in that amount of time without sacrificing quality – then commit to it. The number of hours you commit to should make you a bit uncomfortable. It should be a reasonably unrealistic number of hours. Clearly, this is a mindset shift and may take you some time. But you’ll be amazed with the results (pun intended).
Our everyday lives are filled with unwanted, annoying, displeasing sounds that we are mostly aware of, and consciously try to tune out in order to stay focused and productive. But, I’m not just talking about audible noises. To me, noise is anything that distracts me from staying focused. It includes any sounds, visuals, thoughts, feelings that take my mind away from whatever it was I was thinking about or working on at the time. These are unplanned, unexpected distractions that come at me. These are noises that are not being controlled, but can be. Some examples are emails, phone calls, notifications, text messages, news stories, chatter. It can even be physical ailments like headaches or hunger pangs, being too hot or too cold. Anything that can make your mind wander or think about anything other than the task at hand. The trick is to first become aware of the noise and recognize it for what it is, and what it is doing to your productivity. Once you become aware of it, then it becomes easier to consciously make a choice about what to do, or not to do, about it.
To Be, or Not To Be Distracted – It’s Your Choice!
Now that you are aware of all of the possible noise distractions out there, you can implement tools and systems to prevent undesired distractions. For example, if you are an Outlook user, you can choose to shut off email notifications (both audible and visual). If email is important to you, you will instinctively check it often enough. You probably don’t need the notifications. If that’s too uncomfortable, you can set VIP notifications so that you only get notified of emails from those you consider important. The same goes for your phone and all of your devices. Do you really need to know every time someone posts a message on Facebook or LinkedIn? What about Amazon deliveries or product recommendations? You can shut all of that off and choose to be distracted when you want to be, not when they want you to be. This is about regaining control over your time.
As always, if you want greater productivity — or better resources to help you be more productive — please call or email. I’d love to discuss how I can help.