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Have you ever looked at another person’s daily accomplishments and thought, “How do they do it”? By the time most are pouring a second cup of coffee in the morning, some super-achievers have gone for a 5-mile run, hit inbox zero, and nailed the rough draft of that report due next week. Would you like to be more productive? Of course, you want to be more productive! But we want to find a better way to be more productive — and that’s called Purposeful Productivity. But, how can you practice purposeful productivity?
Well, here are some tips to get you on your way.
1. Know Your Values
As human beings, we are most satisfied when we apply our values. Weeks and months go by and you may feel like you haven't accomplished anything meaningful. Learning what motivates you can help you use your time more effectively. At the same time, everyone has their own set of values. You may find it helpful to think about a few activities or experiences in your life (personal and professional) that have given you high or low energy.
2. Identify Your MVPs (Most Value Priorities)
Prioritizing tasks is fundamental to being more useful and effective. At the same time, it varies from person to person depending on factors such as values and goals. Either way, prioritizing means being able to distinguish between important and urgent tasks. However, according to experts, the most important tasks are not the most important. Even so, we tend to prioritize urgent tasks. You can use Covey's Time Management Matrix if you're having trouble defining your priorities. By using this framework, you can organize your tasks and achieve maximum productivity.
3. Rethink Your To-Do-List
Time is precious and you should appreciate how you use it. If you don't decide in advance what's important, you'll spend everything doing things that won't move you forward. Next year, imagine yourself living a meaningful life. Is today's to-do list necessary? That explains how you got there? Next, decide if you want to delete, perform, or delegate items on your list. Sometimes it's a good idea to pay someone else to do certain things so you can focus on what really matters: Quests will get you where you want to be if you do them every day.
4. Track Your Time
Before you start trying to hack your to-do list, first make sure you understand where all that time is going, because most of us don't really know. Let's say you go to work every day. Write down the duration and how you spend it. If you take public transport, do you reply to emails or waste time browsing social media? By keeping track of your time, you'll be able to organize your time realistically and avoid overestimating or underestimating the time it takes to do something. You'll also be able to identify interruptions, meet deadlines, and determine your biological key timing.
5. Before Saying “Yes,” Pause
When you pause for a moment, you have the opportunity to assess what is happening by asking questions like;
Would you consider this a request? Is it just a suggestion?
What’s the cost of saying “yes.”
Is this going to help me achieve my goals or serve my mission?
Should I make this a priority?
Is there an alternative?
When you practice this, you usually calm your anxious thoughts and prevent yourself from trying to please everyone. But, more importantly, it prevents you from overcommitting and wasting any valuable time.
6. Shift Your Mindset
Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated can affect your productivity. When you feel like you can't take a minute to breathe at work, that's when you need to hit the pause button and think about what's going on. Any part of wanting to do things differently begins with realizing how we are now and how we present ourselves. By being mindful of what you're doing and why, you can often get a clearer picture of what's needed and what can be dropped or delegated. You may also find that what you do is often a matter of choice rather than feeling like you have no control.
These tips and tricks can help you get more done in a day and find more time. Just be sure you keep in mind the value of that time and spend it well.
Source: Fast Company, Calendar