We all have the same amount of time in each day – 24 precious hours, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds.
Summertime is here and with that comes all the fun summer activities – trips to the lake, BBQs, pool days, beach days, sports games, and much more. Often, we will find ourselves not wanting to be in the office but rather outside enjoying the weather and hanging out with friends and family. You might be wondering, what is the solution? How do I get my work done with time left to enjoy the day? The answer – maximize productivity!
The most productive people have learned how to squeeze the most out of each minute of each day, allowing them to perform well at work while also enjoying activities outside of work.
Some of us are more naturally productive than others. There’s no “right” way to be productive. You’ve probably seen one person who flies through a job and another who gets the job done just in time. Both of those people are accomplishing their tasks and getting to the finish line they just have a different way of doing it.
The key is to find a system that works for you and your circumstances. Building that system will help you stay on task in ways that keep your risks low. It’s the foundation you need not just for amazing quality but also for getting the consistent results that others need to see if they’re going to trust you.
Here are a few tips to jump start your productivity:
Write things down – You can use good old paper and pencil, Post-its, or whatever else you like. Writing things down longhand is important for any productivity system. This simple act can make recall easier, and you can jot ideas down and leave them for later so you can focus on more immediate tasks. It can help you sort through your thoughts and organize them in a way others can more easily follow.
Create an action list – This is really your to-do list. The traditional to-do list has gained a negative connotation, as it can become overwhelming and take on a mind of its own. S instead I call it an action list. This simple relabeling will remind you that you are in charge. The word “action” also implies progress on a journey toward something rather than just checking off an individual job, and progress is often positive.
Prioritize actions – You’ll have points on your action list that are more important than others. Ask yourself what your self-driven vision really is. Which action points are most critical to getting to that vision? Prioritize those. Other points can be beneficial – you don’t have to toss them in the garbage. But if they’re not going to get you to your main goal, then they should be lower on your action list.
Now that you have a framework, START. Use those fun summer activities as motivation and let the system become part of your daily routine.
Treat your time as your most precious asset – build time to think, invest in yourself, develop your productive system for success, and build a brand as someone who will get stuff done.