Five Minutes to Greater Productivity

Top Three Things for ProductivityHere is a quick tip to improve your productivity.

Have you ever reached the end of your day and looked back to wonder where did all of your time go?

Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed? 

Productivity means nothing more than getting done those things you intended to do.

So, how do you decide every day which activities will get your focus?

If you are like many solopreneurs, the activity that gets your focus may be the one driven by the latest crisis. This is no way to run your business, and is a surefire way to ensure that you are not moving toward your goals. I have applied a simple 5-minute strategy that adds an element of calm to my otherwise hectic day. This strategy ensures that my most important tasks are getting done. Do not let someone else’s crisis ruin your day.

Here is the strategy I employ to determine my Top Three Things For Today.

  1. Spend 5 minutes first thing in the morning looking at your calendar for the day and the upcoming week. Is there anything coming up that you need to prepare for? If so, write it down on your list.
  2. Take a look at your TO DO list. Is there anything on there that needs your attention today? If so, write it down.
  3. Take a look at the list you have written. Do these activities deserve your time, energy, and talent today?  If so, you have a plan. If not, revisit steps 1 and 2 to really hone in on what is important today.
  4. Finally, schedule one hour of uninterrupted time on your calendar to work on these top 3 things. Turn off your email, phone, and texts. You will amaze yourself with how much you can accomplish with this simple strategy.

Writing down your Top Three Things serves two purposes.

  • First, it clarifies in your own mind what you need to focus on – clearing your brain of the clutter from everything else vying for your attention.
  • Second, writing it down provides an element of accountability. If it is written down, you are much more likely to get it done – hence you are more productive.

At the end of the day, I look back over my Top Three Things. Did I manage to get my top three things done? If not, why not? Did I succumb to someone else’s crisis?

This little system is simple – but highly effective. Using this system will enhance your productivity.

Go ahead and give it a try.  Let me know how it works for you.

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Living Your Best Life: Ten Tips on Time Management

How do you rate your life as it relates to time? Do you have enough time to get everything done each day, or do you find yourself with too many tasks left undone? Time – or the lack of time – can be one of the most stressful aspects of living your best life.  If you are like most people, you may struggle in this area. Here are 10 tips that may help you.

Top 10 Tips

 

  1. Plan each day. Spend 15 minutes each morning (or the evening before) planning your day. Planning the evening before helps you sleep better.
  2. Prioritize your tasks. Determine the top 5 things you must accomplish each day, and then schedule time on your calendar to get them done.
  3. Learn to say “no”. A “not to-do” list is just as important as a “must do” list.
  4. Your time is valuable. It is the only finite resource we have. Delegate those tasks that are not worthy of your time.
  5. Take the time you need to do a quality job. Do not wait until the last minute to start because you never know what might happen.
  6. Learn how to eat the elephant. Break large time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks.
  7. Implement a priority-management system and then use it! Your system should include: calendar, contact list, master to-do list, daily to-do list, and notes.
  8. Evaluate how you spend your time. Look for ways you can spend time more wisely. Facebook may be fun, but it is probably not the best use of your productive time.
  9. Limit distractions. Turn off the email system so you can concentrate. Limit checking and responding to email to just a couple times a day.
  10. Avoid procrastination! Work on your hardest most dreaded task first to get it out of the way. Everything else is just downhill from there.

  Time management is actually a myth. You cannot manage time; you can only prioritize and organize your activities to fit the most important ones into the time you have. One powerful way I have found to focus your activities is by setting goals.

Living Your Best Life: 10 Tips on Goal Setting

Before you can embark on any meaningful change in your life, you must first learn to prioritize and manage your time. Aside from hiring a coach to help you remain accountable, goal setting is the most powerful tool I know of for doing just that. Here are this week’s Living Your Best Life tips.  

Top 10 Goal Setting Tips

 

  1. Create a “big picture” vision for your life first – and then for your business or career.
  2. Determine the major milestones that must be accomplished to have the life you have envisioned: career, financial, education, family, physical, pleasure, or spiritual.
  3. Break down your milestones into goals that can be accomplished in the next year.
  4. Be sure your goals are SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.
  5. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, interviewed 500 millionaires who said to, “Write down your goals, and look at them every day.”
  6. Set priorities – achieving our goals is all about managing priorities. As Stephen Covey said, “Make sure to put the big rocks in first.”
  7. Set goals over which you have control. Make your goals performance based – not outcome based.
  8. Set 90-day goals small enough that you can see measurable results on a regular basis to help you stay motivated.
  9. Get someone (family, friend, coach) to help hold you accountable for achieving your goals.
  10. And the most important tip… Don’t lose sight of what is most important to you – relationships with your family and friends!