Many people write very long to-do lists every day. And they pride themselves on checking off a whole lot of items. And this makes them feel productive. Maybe you?
I used to do exactly that for many years and then one day realized I spent more time getting organized and checking things off than actually getting important things done! Does this sound familiar?
So now, on Mondays, I make a very short list of the highest priority items I need to get done and then get right on them.
Here are a few tips that can actually boost your productivity:
Don’t Double Task
For instance, first thing every Monday, I write this email newsletter/blog. And I don’t do anything else until it’s done. I don’t check email. I don’t make any calls. I write, I edit, and get it posted online. And by doing it this way, it’s done in a couple of hours.
Swallow the Frog First
There are always things we resist doing in our business. Those are called frogs. And the biggest frogs are usually prospecting activities such as reaching out by email or phone. Eat that damn frog first and get it done with and it’s not hanging over your head all day! Once you’ve swallowed the frog everything else in the day goes easier.
Stay Off Social Media
Yeah, I know we feel we need to always be posting on social media to remain visible. But I now have pretty strong opinions about that. I think it’s the biggest timewaster of the 21st century. Instead of posting so much, reach out and have actual conversations with people. In my experience, those always add a lot more value.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
I try to leverage my time by doing things that get a higher return. For instance, I discovered that speaking to groups always got me a better marketing return than networking activities. Another thing is giving feedback to clients on plans and materials via video instead of via written feedback. The idea is to provide more impact in less time.
Systems, Systems, Systems
I have systems for everything. For instance, I have an (almost) bullet-proof computer filing system and can find anything in seconds. I make the same breakfast every morning. I organize my jazz into playlists so I’m always listening to my favorite music. My motto is: A place for everything and everything in its place. Sure beats chaos!
Finally, the idea isn’t to get more done!
The idea is to accomplish your highest-priority goals and have a fulfilling life that makes a difference. So, the most important time management tip is to set goals for the things you really want and then go for them with everything you’ve got.