The mantra of many in today’s world is “I’m busy . . .”.
So what? Aren’t we all?
Everyone is busy – bragging about it does nothing to actually accomplish the assignment or goal. Continuously saying “I’m busy” is oftentimes an excuse for the insecure to bolster their egos and give the illusion they’re needed and in demand. We all know these people who run from meeting to meeting, show up late and ill-prepared all the while telling everyone how busy they are. They are not an asset to any company.
It’s important to understand why organizations hire employees – to get stuff done. It’s a simple equation that many forget and many businesses tolerate these unproductive behaviors.
Here’s five proven concepts that when implemented will dramatically improve your productivity, health, and effectiveness.
1. Develop laser focus – know your priorities and what you need to accomplish today. Anything else takes a back seat to your thoughts and activities. Your To-Do list only needs 3 items on it. These are the 3 things you absolutely, positively need to accomplish today. Best to do arise. Start a “parking list” to collect ideas that may need resolved down the road, but not today. Make a commitment to yourself to accomplish the 3 items on your list by noon.
2. Eliminate distractions – respect yourself and your time. Remember – you’re being paid to get stuff done. This is your priority. Remind yourself of the 3 things you’re going to accomplish today and anything that comes along that doesn’t contribute to achieving these goals is declined. Be gentle, but let others know these are your commitments and you’re completing these items to improve your productivity. Side benefits include increased influence, lower stress and improved health.
3. Maintain strict time limits on meetings – Know the purpose of a meeting before accepting. One of the largest time wasters in the modern world are meetings. Do yourself and anyone who attends your meetings a favor and keep them short and sweet. Send out the agenda in advance, make sure all discussion remains focused and contributes to moving the project forward, and end on time. Idle chit-chat and off-subject discussion will not be allowed. You will accomplish more and do it in less time.
4. Create productivity rituals – that help you become more effective. Develop rituals that put you in control of your day and reinforce what you’re being paid to do. I like to start my day by reviewing my active projects, prioritizing the day’s activities, and writing down the 3 things I absolutely need to accomplish. Develop a schedule to read/respond to emails instead of responding as they arrive. Are you getting paid to respond to emails or get stuff done? It’s a simple equation – you get to decide how focused and effective you are.
5. Start earlier – wake up early and ease into the day instead of oversleeping and beginning the day with a “rushing” attitude and always being late. Begin your day in a more relaxed way – check your calendar, mentally run through your meetings, give your vision some play time in your mind, and do a little exercising. Warm up your mind and body so you’re at your optimum throughout the day. Develop the attitude that every day is a grand adventure and you can’t wait to get started.