Time Management is a myth… Productivity is what we are really after when we say we need better Time Management skills. We can’t manage time, it just keeps on ticking no matter what we do. So we need to learn, and use, productivity skills.
I’m sure you would like to have more times for your family, friends, hobbies, or just relaxing. We all do, right? Well, in this article I’m going to show you how to do accomplish more (no matter if we are talking about work, household chores, or whatever), in less time. How to be more productive in anything, and everything, you do.
This is a simple, but powerful plan. I’m sure you’ve heard (and maybe even used) some of this before. There are no “secrets” to being a more productive person. There are a ton of books and products that teach productivity skills and everyone has their best way to teach you these skills… So, I’m not promising that my methods below are the very best, I’m just showing you the methods and processes that work best in my opinion.
Productivity starts with planning, and there is no better time to plan than ahead of time (duh, right?). So I start this plan, before you go to bed. You can use this plan every day, all the time, but it really starts with your time just before going to bed. Each night before bed take a few minutes to think about your goals and contemplate the actions needed to take you where you want to go in life.
Then, take out a 3×5 card (or an iphone app, or journal, or whatever works for you) and write down the top 6 things that will move you closest toward your long-term and short-term goals (more on Goals in a future post).
Write down these 6 tasks in order of importance (and in case this isn’t obvious, “taking out the trash” is not a proper task to move you toward your goals and should never be in your top 6 priorities). Put the list aside and go to bed thinking about you life as you will be in the future. Imagine it as if it is already the way you want it to be. Really think about all the details of your dream life, from how you dress, who you hang out with, what you do, where you go, what you eat, what your house looks like, what color your car is, etc, etc… The more detailed the better. Do this visualization exercise every night. Spend at least 15 minutes on this at the end of your day, Every Day!
I know, now you are saying… woah… I thought we were talking about Productivity here, what’s going on? I know, I know, but if you are going to be productive in the truest sense, and in a way that makes the most sense for YOU, then we must be spending your most productive efforts on YOUR GOALS. Not on your boss’s goals, not on the meaningless chores, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should ignore these other tasks… I’m just saying they are NOT your priority. There is plenty of time to fit these things in.
OK, so now you’ve created your list of prioritized tasks for the next day. You then went to bed visualizing your dream life as if is happening now. You felt it, smelled it, and saw it vividly in your head. You fell asleep peacefully and had fantastic dreams where your subconscious mind is finding ways to make it all happen and ways to make it all come together, right now.
Now each day, you follow the steps below to accomplish your greatest and most productive tasks (as planned the night prior).
- As soon after waking as is possible, start work on Task 1 of your list.
- Do not stop working on task 1 until is is complete (turn off the phone, close your email, remove all distractions.. this is important!
- Move to the next task and do not stop working on it until it is complete (* or time is up, whichever comes first).
- Repeat this process until all 6 tasks are complete.
Note: In some cases, you may need to set an appropriate amount of time to work on a task, as opposed to completing the task outright. That is fine… some of our biggest goals, require commitment over time. This is one of the best benefits of being more productive… You’ll accomplish your long-term, and most important and life-changing goals this way! Most people have great ideas and know exactly what needs to be done, but they lack the mindset and fortitude to stick with it for the long haul.
So, as simple as this seems, it is a very, very powerful tip. I hope you’ll use it starting today (tonight ). If you do try these steps to be more productive, I hope you’ll please write a comment and let me know how this has helped your productivity overall, and your movement toward accomplishing your long-term goals. I suspect you’ll be well on your way to success (whatever you’ve defined as success for you)!
Make it a great day!