Get more productive – Is this the best use of my time right now?

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Are you making the most of your time every day or do you need to get more productive? Don’t you just hate it when you reach the end of the day and realize you have neither made much progress on your main goals and in fact have achieved very little at all? This isn’t normally a problem for me, never has been, until now. As I am sitting vigil over my dad as he fights his battle with Leukaemia I have been doing very little more than holding his hand or pacing up and down the room. This has got me thinking how frustrating it is not to make the most out of a day and I k now this is something many of you are constantly battling with. So, I want to help you get more productive to ensure you are best using your time every day.

Are you somebody who often finds your workday spiralling out of control? Finding yourself always getting distracted by small problems, wasting time away by doing unimportant low-priority tasks seemingly making very little progress with anything and you need to find out how to get more productive.

I bet this isn’t the first time you’ve looked for the answer to how to make the best use of your time and get more productive. You’ve already read many ‘how to be more productive’ articles. The usual recommendations are productivity tools, to-the-minute scheduling or calendar alerts. But every productivity tool comes with a build-in problem. Most productivity gurus will tell you to make a list, label list items as a high, medium or low priority, then schedule your time more effectively.

Yet you’re still looking for the answer how to improve your productivity. Today I will give you a far simpler answer. One that has worked for me and many of my coaching clients and will help you to get more productive.

You see everybody has the same amount of hours per day. We all get the same 1,440 minutes in a day. Once those minutes are up, they are gone forever

Prioritising is the absolute key to ensuring you get more productive.

You don’t have to work harder to get more productive. You need to work smarter.

The first thing you need to own up to is how much time you waste. Are you wasting far more time than is necessary?

Playing computer games
Reading Facebook
Watching TV
Sitting around staring at a screen trying to work out what you should be doing

Once you have determined your time wasters you must eliminate them so you can use your time more effectively and get more productive. But how do you now use this freed-up time?

The answer in truth is simple. You’ve heard the saying I’m sure that you need to Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS).

The key skill of the most productive people is a complete focus on activities that produce results, and then doing as many of those things, and only those things as possible.

As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big. Donald Trump

You have probably heard of the Pareto principle, known also as the 80/20 rule. The principle stresses that you should focus on the few things that get you the most results. Eighty percent of your outcomes in most things you do come from twenty percent of your inputs

In every area of your life you can work out the few things that are really important to you and the key priority activities that will get you the best results ensuring you get more productive.

So you have to ask yourself:

What are your most important goals?
What are the activities which will get you the best results?

You need to take the time to think through these two questions.

The more you can focus your time and efforts directly on your top biggest goals and the activities that advance the best results and eliminate tasks that don’t (or waste time), the more productive and successful you’ll be.

The most productive people are never satisfied with just checking activities off of the list because they never allow themselves to lose sight of the bigger picture. And at the end of every day they look to see what results their activities have brought about.

So, choose a small number of goals to focus on right now, determine the high payoff activities in terms of results and focus your time doing these things.

Then review your progress daily and weekly.

These principles are fundamental to my life plan system, the Single Page Plan.

What can you do to move from activity to results? Share your thoughts below!

If you need help determining your major goals or working out your high payoff activities come talk to me about them, and let’s see if we are a good fit and whether coaching is right for you. Email me at larry@singlepageplan.com requesting a full hour free productivity review and i’ll get back to you with some alternative dates. Just let me know whether morning, afternoon or evening is best.

photo credit: jeso.carneiro Tempo relogio via photopin (license)

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About the author: Larry Lewis
I am a life coach, blogger, speaker and author who loves helping others discover the unlimited possibilities and opportunities awaiting them, enabling them to overcome their difficulties and get their life back on track.

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