Tag Archive: prioritizing



To-Do ListThere is always plenty to do. Many people keep those things in their head instead of actually making a list. That’s where they make the first mistake. The place that things on your daily agenda reside shouldn’t be your head. You’ve got to get it in writing, so make your list. Only the things that are deserving of your time should end up on your to-do list. The same things goes for your calendar. Getting through your to-do list can be challenging, but if life is going to work you’ve got to get through it. There are a few key points that will help you establish a new foundation and get through your list daily with ease.

I believe that productivity is all about perspective. What I see is that people automatically hand over their personal power because of how they learned about time. They pick up the linear view where time is limited to a set number of hours and there’s never enough of it to go around. Seeing things through the Time Wielder’s™ lens, time is conceptual with no past, present or future. There is only “now”. Time never runs out because it doesn’t exist. People struggle because they’re trying to manage something that doesn’t even exist. When you approach things from this angle, everything shifts.

Productivity is not a one size fits all kind of thing. It’s individual. It’s time to ditch that mentality and the behavior that goes along with it. You have to look at your personality, or what I call your Productivity Persona™. Who you are, how you operate and relate to time has everything to do with how you get things done. Incorporating that when you start looking at how to achieve a higher level of productivity, can make the difference between whether or not you’re effective.

Ideally, you want to be at a point where you are scheduling your priorities, instead of prioritizing your schedule. What I mean by that is if you know your priorities ahead of time, when tasks hit your calendar or to-do list they already have an assigned priority.  If you get your priorities straight and assign them to your projects and goals, every task related to each of your projects and goals will have the same priority level. If they’re already set, you don’t have to play with your list and decide the priority level of everything on your agenda.

Making the shift in your perspective, taking the personal approach to productivity and knowing and working according to your priorities will make you more effective, keep undeserving and irrelevant things off of your to-do list so that you can work your way through your list, completing the tasks at hand and end up with a life that works.

 


Unproductive Road SignIt’s easy to be caught up in the “norm” and go through your days winging it when it comes to getting things done. There are a few things that are clear indicators that you need help getting it together so you can get it done. I’m going to share five with you here.

  • The first sign is you’re confused about what to work on or to do and when. If you’re finding yourself challenged when it comes to knowing which of the many things on your plate to focus on, your productivity is impaired. When this is the experience you’re having, you find yourself here on a regular basis and waste a lot of time trying to figure out what to do. Here it’s about learning how to prioritize then sticking to those priorities.
  • The second sign is continually putting things off. How many things are you procrastinating on right now? If you don’t know, make a list of all the things that you keep putting off then ask yourself why you think you keep pushing back the time to get it done. The real reason is going to be much deeper and you have to do some digging to find it, but this is the first step.
  • Sign number three…you’re easily sidetracked and chase the BSOs (bright shiny objects). You start out working on something and then something else pops into your mind. Something that you forgot about, maybe something that’s due soon or a new idea. Instead of continuing to work on the task at hand you follow that thought, and for a long time, totally forgetting about what you were doing. Later you remember what you abandoned or worse, you don’t realize what you’ve done until you go to close your laptop or clean your desk at the end of the day.
  • The fourth sign is a disorganized office or forever messy desk. You can’t find anything and don’t have the space to work and that definitely wastes your time. It also creates a heavy energy in the space that doesn’t make it easy to get things done. That messy desk isn’t helping you either. I’m not talking about your desk being in disarray while you’re working, I’m talking about a desk with paper and other items that seem to have made your desk a permanent home.
  • The final sign is that you run out of day before you run out of things to do. You’re consumed by all that there is to do and it’s got control. You dive in and before you know it, it’s time for that meeting, or worse yet, the day is over, and it’s the pattern you fall into every day. So then it becomes necessary to add some extra hours to your work day just so you can get it all done, which has your personal and family life suffer. It’s a vicious cycle. One that you’ve got to bring to an end. It is possible to get it all done and have a life too.

 


Growing More TimeWe all know that there is really isn’t a way for us to get more time in our day, but so many times you’ve wised for it. The magic number is 1,440. That’s the number of minutes we get in every day. How we invest it is what makes a different. As much as you wish for it, you aren’t getting any more time, but you can shift your perspective and your approach to how you manage things. Here are seven things that you can do right now to add more time to your day by making that shift.

  • Handle things once. That means paperwork, email and voice mail messages. When you are in the midst of the paper work, email and voice mail, take instant action. Determine what to do with the paper work; decide whether to read it, reply to it, place it in your to-do file, delegate, file or trash it. Treat email and voice mail the same way. While you’re checking email at the designated time reply, call back or add it to the calls you’ll make at a designated time. The time you save can add up to more than 8 hours over the course of a month.
  • Be decisive!  Make the choice and keep it moving. The time wasted around decisions slows down your ability to take action. This can give you about an hour in your day.
  • Put it in writing. Writing things down makes a big difference when it comes to getting things done and the amount of time they take. If you’re forever thinking about the things that you have to do, your productivity suffers greatly. I tell clients all the time that it’s not real until you write it down. It clears your mind so that it’s free and you can focus.
  • Turn off the technology during your Prime Time™. Figure out the time of day when you’re at your best mentally and physically and use that period to tackle your top priorities. During that time, close your email, turn off the phone and get it done.
  • Curb the time wasters. There are things that seriously suck the time away from what’s important. Email, the internet, social media and sometimes the phone will all have you wanting time. Be conscious of the amount of time you spend on each. Use a timer while engaging in those activities if necessary. It can give you back an hour.
  • Prioritize you work. Know the priority for each of the tasks that are on your list. When you prioritize you’re not guessing about what has to be done, you already know. Knowing the value and importance of each task makes it easy to know what’s important and what you need to delete from your list.
  • Delegate. It can be hard to do, but it’s necessary. Make a list of the things that need to be done that don’t require your expertise. Find someone you trust, like a virtual assistant to handle those things so that you can focus on the things that generate revenue. It will give you back some time as well as allow you to increase you bottom line.

 


To-Do ListDo you have a to-do list? If so, is it an active, effective one? I’m not talking about a list that has all kinds of things piled on it, some things done, maybe crossed off; others just there. I don’t mean a list that things have been on for so long you might not even remember what some of them are related to or why you added them in the first place. If that’s what your list looks like, it’s time to clean it up and if you don’t have one, it’s time to change that!

Having a to-do list to help manage the many things on your agenda is a key factor in the game.  If you use one effectively on a regular basis, you’re someone who’s committed to productivity.  If you don’t have one, you might be stuck in the overwhelm conversation from the amount of things you have to do and you may be forgetting or not getting to the important things.

If that’s where you are, take a moment to think about what having and effectively using a to-do list will do for you. What would that look like? Let me share some of the advantages with you:

  • All of your tasks are in one place and prioritized
  • Being able to clearly see what needs to be done
  • Prioritizing keeping you on track
  • You are organized, and more efficient
  • Not being stressed by unimportant tasks
  • Your complete, prioritized to-do list drives your time management system

Without a solid to-do list you lack focus and you’re not as efficient or reliable to those around you.  If you have a to-do list, is it doing these things for you?  If not, chances are that it’s not up to date, contains old, unfinished items and you don’t update it on a regular basis as one of your practical systematic pieces.

 


To-Do ListGot a long to-do list and wondering where to start? How do so many things end up on your list, where do they come from and how do you get it all done? Life moves so fast and you continually add things to your plate without even thinking. There are things that you miss or don’t get done because you don’t have things in place to support you. There are particular steps and habits that you can create to support you in becoming a task master that will get you through your to-do list every time.

So, let’s look at how things end up on your to-do list. Are you creating daily tasks based upon the larger projects that you’re working on or are you creating lists randomly?  How you create your list makes a big difference when it comes to getting it all done.  The first key to becoming a task master is being a master at determining what goes on your list.  If your daily lists are being created based upon the projects that you’re working on, the tasks are focused and related to something that’s important or something that you value.  If your daily lists are being created randomly, they are likely to include things that aren’t important or even relevant.  Those are the things that will waste your time.  Only add things to your list that are related to the goals or projects you are working on and other things that are important and relevant.  This helps you weed out the unimportant tasks and things that can be delegated and keeps you focused on what’s important.

The second key is knowing when to do what, so you have to know your priorities and stick to them.  Priorities should be created when your projects and goals are created.  If the projects and goals that you’re focused on don’t have a priority attached to them, determine them.  Once you know your priorities for each, you know the priority of the related tasks as they filter down to your daily to-do list.  This has you be in the practice of scheduling your priorities and not prioritizing your schedule.

The third key to being a task master is personalizing everything.  Know the time of day that you are at your best mentally and physically and use that time to carry out your top priority tasks so that you’re not working against your grain.  Organize your work space according to how you work and assign a place for everything so that it’s easily accessible.  This way you’re not wasting time looking for things.  You’re working on the tasks at hand.

These three keys will keep your daily to-do list trim and fit, with no extra filler.  Be particular about what you give your time to.  If something doesn’t fit, don’t give your time to it.  Always keep your priorities in mind and allow them to guide you.  There will be many things that will try to get your attention and your time, but you get to choose how you spend your day.  Stick with habits that support you and you will be able to get it all done.  You will be a task master.

 

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