5 WAYS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
Jul 12, 2017
In the last article, I discussed the difference between being productive and just being busy. We established that being busy actually makes you less productive. When you’re busy, you don’t have time to properly measure your ROI. You will have a lack of focus and live a stressful life. Clearly, no one wants to live this way. Below are 5 ways to be more productive and less “busy.”
#1 – Stop immediately and re-evaluate. Before you go any further, stop right now and examine everything that is in your control and note where changes need to be made. This might take you a week, a month or even several months. However, it is well worth the evaluation. One factor that has helped our business grow so quickly is constant re-evaluation (we call it “revamping” things). We ask ourselves how things can be better and then we make the appropriate changes as soon as possible.
#2 – Learn to prioritize properly. After you have gotten into a pattern of consistent evaluation, you will need to prioritize based upon what is getting you results. It doesn't matter how effective something is “supposed” to be or how much you like something, if it isn’t getting you results after a period of examined time, then either cut it or make it a last priority. Make a list every single day and do what is most important first. If you can’t finish the list, then at least you have done what is essential for that day and you will always have tomorrow to finish what you weren’t able to complete.
#3 – Focus on one task at a time. Set time limits for specific tasks and stick to it. Instead of focusing on just one task and completing it and then moving on to the next task, many people will be in the middle of 5 tasks at one time. While this gives an appearance of quicker results, there is no research to show that multitasking is more efficient. In fact, there have been many studies done that prove the exact opposite to be true.
“The problem with trying to multi-task is all that shifting back and forth between tasks isn’t all that efficient because, each time we do it, it takes our brain some time to refocus. So, while it might seem efficient on the surface, it isn’t – studies show that multi-tasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%.”
#4 – Eliminate time traps. A time trap is anything that takes your time and attention away from what you should be doing throughout the day. This could include anything from reading endless posts on Facebook to keeping up with the latest political news. Even networking events designed to help your business may be taking more time away from your bottom line. Time is more valuable than money because, once it is gone, you can never get it back. Whatever the time traps are in your life, eliminate them or learn to control them.
#5 – Have processes, stick to them and don’t apologize for them. I have found that busy people are usually trying to meet the demands of others. As soon as someone texts them, they feel they have to respond immediately. If someone invites them to an event, they feel like they have to go. If someone e-mails them, they drop everything they are doing to e-mail them right back. This is no way to do business. You need to stick to your processes in your business. If you don’t have any, then you need to create or adopt them as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will be tossed back and forth by whoever may or may not contact you that particular day.
You must realize that you’re not going to be able to respond to every text and e-mail immediately. Not every networking event is essential to go to, and volunteering for every good cause isn’t realistic. If someone can’t wait more than a couple of hours for you to respond, then do you really want them as a client? If someone gets upset just because you tell them no, then is that really someone you want to partner with? If you have proven processes that work, then don’t apologize when someone else demands you do it another way. It is your business, your job and your responsibilities. Don’t let someone else lay demands on you that aren’t necessary.
There are many other points to consider when looking at ways to be more productive, but this short list will get you started. Whatever you do, remember that you need to be productive and not just busy.
By: Kevin Pendergrass