Summary: touch things once when you can deal with them, only have six items on your to-do list, allocate time needed for each task, find space in your day to plan your tasks and do the most important thing first!
Productivity is a topic that is focused on by many people when speaking in areas related to success and achievement. I have read so many books, blog posts, articles and whatever else you could name related to the topic. The problem I have found is that there are so many tips out there that it becomes overwhelming and you end up getting almost nothing out of it!
I feel the key to productivity is to focus on a few specific tips but to follow them with discipline!
Here are five tips that I have picked up and implemented in my own life:
1.The first tip is called touch it once. Do you often check your emails? Do you often look at documents, assignments or anything else that you need to do and not act on them? For the majority of people, I’m sure that this is true and I am guilty of the same! I recently read a book that talked about how much time people waste by skimming and checking over things such as emails just to come back to them. The key is to only open these things when you know you will have time to deal with them and get them off your plate! The less clutter to deal with the better you will feel. I know a common tip is to have a clean space to clear your mind and this principle works in much the same way!
2. Maximize your to-do list. Often people will have a huge running to-do list with much more than can be accomplished in a day. Also, it will have important and unimportant tasks on them. But the majority of people will focus on eliminating the easy and quick tasks as opposed to focusing on the important ones. If you are guilty of this there is a cure! The key is to ONLY write your six most important tasks for the day on your to-do list and make sure you get them all done! Quit skipping the important and big tasks and leaving them to the last minute!
3.Now that you have your to-do list you can move to the next step! The next step is to allocate the amount of time it will take to complete each individual task on your to-do list.By doing this, you will know exactly how much time you will need to set aside each day to complete the tasks! Also, by having a defined time-frame it will help to keep you focused and motivated to get the tasks completed in the amount of time you put aside for them!
4.Now that you know your tasks for the day and time needed you can plan your day accordingly! Look at your schedule and try to figure out when you will have time in your day to fit in your six tasks on your to-do lists. Maybe you have breaks at work or during the day where you can knock off some of the smaller tasks and have less to worry about when you get home. It is very important to plan your tasks so you can be disciplined and know when you need to accomplish them!
5. Do the most important task first. I have seen this comment made by MANY ultra successful people who say if you master this skill you will be way ahead of the game. Why? Because if you accomplish your biggest or most important task first you will feel a sense of control and accomplishment. If you can make it through that task can you conquer the rest of your day? Of course you can!