Tag Archive: tasks



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.

 


ParetoI’m sure that you have heard of Pareto’s Principle. The principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, the general rule is that 80% of your sales come for 20% of your clients.

When it comes to the things on your agenda, 20% percent of tasks are critical, and 80% percent are trivial. One of the things that I have people do when they work with me is to look at what’s on their agenda so that we can identify which tasks on their list are critical and focus on those, and of course get rid of the trivial stuff.

Simply put, you waste your time on useless activities! Things that aren’t getting you anywhere; things that are keeping you from being productive, which is why you’re reading to this, right? Everybody has their major time suck…interruptions, email, social media. Maybe you know what your time suck is, maybe not, but whatever it is, it’s zapping your level of productivity. If you don’t know, it’s time to find out and do something about it.

The rule applies in another way too…80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. You may not be getting the results that you want, but what you’re getting is a direct result of where you’re putting your energy. You have to ask yourself, what do you need to be doing? What is it that needs to get done but you don’t seem to have enough time for? It’s time to focus your efforts on the results that you want. If you’ve got a major project that needs to be finished, think about the efforts you need to put forth. Let’s say you want to roll out a new program for your clients, what efforts do you need to engage in? It definitely can’t be the usual time suck, like the interruptions, email, social media, or whatever it might be for you. You have to shift your energy from what’s killing your time to the things that are going to generate results. If that program is going to get launched, if you’re going to get people enrolled in it, or get people to purchase it, what do you have to focus your efforts on? That can be a lot of work, and if it’s to be done timely, you have to focus and give your time to it to make it happen. Your efforts have to go toward the results that you want with regard to that program.

Look at the outcomes you want to see if you’re doing the right things and if not, where your time has to go instead. Depending on the things you do or what you give your time to some elements contribute to the outcomes you want and others contribute to the outcomes that you don’t want. Be sure that you’re allocating time doing more beneficial things.

If you’re not getting the results that you want, it’s time for an assessment of where your time is going. Then make that shift so that you start getting the results that you’re looking for.

 


To Do-DoneI know that you’ve probably had the experience of setting aside time to do things and found that somehow, it always takes the exact amount of time that you set aside to complete a task.  This is known as Parkinson’s Law. The amount of time that one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete it. In other words, if you schedule an hour to make phone calls, then it will take an hour.  If you scheduled half an hour to make those same calls, it would take half an hour.

The task expands to fill the space that you have created for it. When you’re planning remember that the time you schedule becomes the space for what you’re doing. Be in the habit of setting the right amount of time necessary for each task to keep from wasting time. Initially it may be difficult to gauge the perfect amount of time, so keep a log so that you have a record of the amount of time it takes to do particular things. Use that in the future to estimate the amount of time you need. Realistically speaking, in most cases you don’t need as much time as you may think, so give yourself smaller spaces of time and allow the task to expand to fill that space.

When you do you will discover that you get more done in less time.  Your work becomes more focused because you know that you don’t have a larger space to work with, you have a smaller frame of time to complete what’s before you and then it’s time to move on to something else. It also causes a change in your perspective and attitude about time and getting things done. It can also make your days more productive and raise your overall productivity level. You may not find it easy at first, but like any new habit, it takes time to build the muscle to develop. Continue to build it and it will become a key factor in getting things done in less time.

 


So, just yesterday you were creating your goals and mapping your way through the new territory of this year and now we’re headed toward the end of the first quarter. Time is moving faster than it ever did, which might make it seem a bit more challenging to keep up with it all.

Looking back at what you created for this year, what do you see so far?  Which goals had you anticipated completing by this point in time?  For others that aren’t due to be completed yet, which milestones should be reached at this point in the year?  Which goals are you due to start working on this month and in the months to follow?

As you continue to look at your goals, ask what’s incomplete and why? Look to see if you’re on track for not only the current things that you’re working on, but the new and upcoming goals that you’re going to begin working on soon.  Are you going to be able to start on time?  If you were graded or received a report card right now, what would your grades look like?  Where is improvement needed?

Create a status update that gives you the following:

Completed goals-Out of those that are due for completion at this point, how many have you accomplished?  Measure where you are with each goal that you set based upon the means that you determined when you set each goal.

Incomplete tasks-How many tasks directly related to your goals are incomplete? The next thing to figure out is why they’re incomplete.  Maybe you’re not allowing enough time for the tasks that need to be completed, or maybe they aren’t making it to your calendar or to-do list. You might need to develop a few new habits or incorporate new tools to shore you up in your day-to-day activities.

Resources-Did you anticipate everything that you needed to support you in accomplishing what you projected?  Were any resources not as helpful as you imagined they would be, and, what resources do you need to get you through the rest of the year?

Grade yourself fairly and then take the necessary steps to get back on track.  If there’s something that you haven’t started working on yet or something that you’re seriously off track with, there’s still time to pull it together.  It doesn’t matter what your status update looks like, what matters is that it’s accurate.  Don’t look at this point as a sign that you aren’t on track, are falling behind or haven’t gotten anything done at all.  Allow it to be a point of recovery, reestablishment and recommitment for you and let that fuel you forward.

 


Nozbe is a tool that helps busy professionals and teams organize time and projects.  It’s inspired by David Allen’s GTD (Getting Things Done ®) methodology and designed in such a way that everyone can get organized quickly.  With their desktop and mobile web applications as well as Android, iPhone and iPad apps everyone in your team can access Nozbe on their favorite devices.  They claim to be the world-first to offer such flexibility.

This tools allows you and your team to communicate through tasks, which is better than using email, especially since email isn’t designed for collaboration. Communicating through actionable tasks allows you and your team get a lot more done and keeps everyone on the same page all of the time. Nozbe also allows you to incorporate the use of your favorite apps.  If you’re using Evernote for note-taking, syncing files in Dropbox or Box or using Google Calendar to plan your time, Nozbe works seamlessly with all of them and more are to be added.

Nozbe’s time-management and filtering you’ll know exactly what to do next and view your scheduled tasks in a calendar, which make it easy to never miss a deadline or appointment again. Tasks scheduled for today are being prioritized automatically to make sure you’ll get them done.  You can create as many projects for your tasks as you’d like and share them with people on your team and organize projects with labels like “work” or “home”. You can even design your productivity system to fit your personal and specific needs, which I personally think is a great bonus.  Your system has to be a fit for your personality or it’s not going to work for you.  Nozbe keeps you, your team and your projects in sync.  Get all the details here and see if it’s a fit for you.

 

 

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