So you want to be more productive? Me too! I’ve been searching for tools and methods my whole life, and have created a simple methodology that can work for anyone.
What does “being productive” mean?
Good question. Productivity to me means getting more important stuff done. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that busy equals productive, or urgent means important.
My simple model finds out what is important to you, and then helps to prioritise this by reducing your task inflow, increasing your task outflow, all within an efficient system.
Prioritisation lies at the heart of true productivity. I suggest using a five year plan to help set your life objectives, and then using Stephen Covey’s urgent Vs. important matrix to prioritise your more immediate objectives.
Boredom has a strong influence on the choices you make about tasks. There are a few tricks I’ve learned that might be of use.
Reducing the amount of stuff that flows into your workflow is a huge benefit to becoming more productive. How many times have you dropped what you were working on to help someone else with something? I’ll help you learn how to get a thicker skin to deal with this, plus give you some tips on how to push back effectively.
The art of delegating (i.e. getting other people to do stuff) is a great tool for helping you to get more important stuff done. I’ll also try and persuade you that it’s OK to ignore things that don’t matter. Maximising outflow and minimising inflow are the two parts of this model that strip out the crap from your day, leaving you free to concentrate on what you feel is important.
Once you reduced your inflow and increased your outflow you need an efficient system to deal with the tasks appropriately. I use GTD to organise myself, and I use Evernote to implement it. You’ll be building your own system, I’ll be giving you the core values that you need to ensure are taken into consideration.
The bottom line
This simple 4-step methodology is easy to understand, remember and deliver. On the next blog I’ll be writing about the first step – prioritisation. Thanks for reading.