Do you find that you don’t have enough time to get all those tasks done on your list?
Today, I’m going to share with you three tips of how I can make sure I am the most productive every day when I turn up for work.
Now, tip number one is a simple tip. But when you do this, what you’ll find is you’re going to be extremely effective in your day-to-day working life, because you will be able to get rid of those niggly things straight away. And that is to have a five-minute rule. Now, what do I mean by a five-minute rule? What I’m talking about is; any task that you have, that takes five minutes or less, then just do it now, just get out of the way and then that way you don’t have to worry about it later. Because the thing is if we delay completing these simple small tasks and events by putting them to one side, other usually more interesting things always get completed first.
Moreover, these small tasks will build-up and up into mountains that are hard or impossible to scale when we could have spent next to no time to complete them. So, set yourself a target that if you can do something in less than five minutes just and get the thing done. And that way you can make sure your most efficient with your time as you move forward.
Now, my second tip for you is probably one of the most powerful tips that I use. And this one, when you use this every single day, you’re going to find that you’ll make time for those essential things. It’s like having your very own personal time machine. But if you don’t use this, what you’ll find is you’ll quickly squander time, or murder time, or kill time, whichever way you want to define it. And this simple tip is to schedule things in. I have a very simple saying; if it isn’t in the diary, it doesn’t get done. So, use your diary wisely so that you can block out your time, to make sure you have those productive hours and your prime time moments so that you’re not squandering your time. If you don’t do this, then what you’ll find is that requests for your time will come from everywhere, whether that’s email, social media, whether it’s phone calls, whether that’s just sorting out your bank statements or anything else that you need to do. But, if you block out this time and use it wisely, you will find you become a lot more productive a lot quicker because you’ve got a single focus within those blocks of time. Because at the end of the day, the whole idea about multitasking is a myth. We can’t multitask. And, if you can read some reports, it says that for every single time you switch between one or another task, you lose about 15 minutes’ worth of productive time. So, think about that. How many times do you task switch between one thing and another? How many minutes are you not working as powerfully as you potentially could be? As a bit of a bonus to this tip, what you can do is employ a thing called a “pomodoro” method of timekeeping where you break your day to 35-minute chunks, and utilise that period where you’d focus on nothing else but that one task. Everything else gets switched off. You don’t do anything else other than that, one job. Then what you’ll suddenly find is those big things that you’re trying to achieve will swiftly get completed.
Now for my third tip, and this tip is a great one. I’m going to borrow a saying for another great individual, and that is. You have got to swallow that frog! You must make time for the frog. The frog in your life is that thing you don’t want to do, it’s the thing you’ve been putting off, it’s the thing that may take you hours it may take you days, but you’re just not doing it, and you know, you need to finish it.
Now before that frog becomes the most significant problem you’ve ever had, stopping you from having the opportunity to be able to achieve more. Just get out of the way, just close your eyes, and swallow the frog, get it done. Because that way, you know, it’s out of the way and you’ve completed it. Moreover, make it the priority for the day. Make it the first thing that you do, schedule time in the diary for that task and just get it off your plate. Because the sooner it’s gone, the quicker it will be out of your mind, and you’ll no longer be worried about it. And just imagine in your mind how much extra time you’re going to have for those fantastic things or ideas that you could be getting on with once you have swallowed that frog, managed your diary efficiently and eliminated those little niggling quick jobs
I’m going to leave you with a thought of another great, that is David Allen, who said, “if you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more attention than it deserves.”