4 Keys to World Class Levels of Productivity
May 6th, 2013
I always feel that there is never enough time to do all we want to do. I have come to accept that it will always be that way. We will never be completely “caught up.”
On Mondays, I have the day off from my surgery practice and I work in my home office. I almost always think I can accomplish more in a given day than ever gets done. Although my to-do list never gets completely finished, there are some days that end up being more productive than others. I started to think about why that was? What was I doing on those days that made them “work” better for me? I made it my quest to hone it down and distill it into some tips.
I also looked at some of the most successful and productive people in society and looked at what they did. People like Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Jay Z how do they do it? What strategies do they follow? Here are the top four productivity principles that I have found work the best.
The Four Keys to Accomplishing the Most in the Time You Have Available
1) Plan for Success
I love Robin Sharma’s insights and I have adopted his weekly design system that is working beautifully for me. What you need to do is take one hour every Sunday night and map out your week. Look at your goals, look at your values, write a story for your previous week then grab a calendar and start filling in the next seven days.
Then every morning take five minutes and review your upcoming day and what you want to accomplish. I always have five big goals for the day as I feel if I get those accomplished it has been a productive day.
In the evenings, you review what you did and write a plan for the following day. It might sound rigid but the planning can actually be a springboard to your greatest productivity.
2) Set Appointments with Yourself
I like to wake up early before anyone is up to work out and review my day. This is my hour to myself and I plan it every day. You have to plan the important things like family time, writing time, and reading time. What gets scheduled gets done.
3) Do Things a Little Bit at a Time.
I am here to tell you that if you are waiting for the big block of time to be able to accomplish something, it is never going to happen. Consistent action for a short period of time every day is the key to getting things done.
I have been working on my book 15 minutes per day for the last number of months and it is moving forward. If you can write a page a day for every weekday for an entire year you would have a book with close to 300 pages complete by the end of the year. If you waited for large chunks of time to sit down and write it would likely never happen.
4) Follow your Personal Rhythms
You have to know when the most productive time is for you. For everyone it is different. My time is not in the early afternoon, in fact I may as well be snoozing because the productivity just plummets. But if I know this about myself I can work around it.
Tony Schwarz from the Energy Project and author of the amazing book the Power of Full Engagement talks of the importance of working in 90 minute cycles. After every 90 minutes take a break for at least 5-10 minutes before going back to work. In fact, if you have a few tasks to accomplish in a day try doing 4 blocks of 90 minutes and see how much more you get done.
By implementing these strategies we will be better at mastering our time and accomplishing more than we ever dreamed possible.
What are your strategies to improve productivity?
« What Does Success Really Mean? | Productivity Hack- Stop Distraction in its Tracks »