My mind races back to a talk radio interview a couple of years back when the presenter, no names mentioned, ridiculed my profession. She waxed on lyrical about how dull being organised must be: neat boxes of routine without the day to day clutter, stress and fuss. “Efficiency screams BORING!” she went on preaching; “What’s happened to spontaneous, care free, kick off your shoes and throw caution to the wind these days? There seems to be little time to breathe, and now you want me to become the master of efficiency of all things – why?”
In the break she let slip that she was feeling overwhelmed by her inbox, possessed by her possessions and so demotivated that she couldn’t ever work through her to-do list. Might I guess that many of you feel the same way?
Working more efficiently means taking charge of your time, using lists, minimising procrastination, scheduling according to ROI, and knowing and achieving your goals. Couple this with systemisation and you have a workflow environment that supports your will to succeed. Even implementing the most miniscule of changes means you’ll improve. And if we can shave hours (yes, hours) off your work week, I’m assuming that will be a good thing.
3 take-charge tips to get you started today:
- End every work day with a brain-dump. Simply list, any idea, project or task you need to complete. Freeing up this space in your head brings clarity, opens up room for more great ideas and brings closure to your day.
- Start every work day by choosing your most challenging tasks first (before diving into email please!). These are the big fat and juicy to-do’s that will drive you closer to reaching your goals, increasing revenue or fulfilling your core job function. Constantly question yourself if what you are choosing to work on right now will drive you and/or your business forward or not.
- Practice this technique for the next month until it becomes a habit. If you consistently focus on the top 20% of your list, you will increase your productivity by 25%.
According to Brian Tracy in his book Eat That Frog!, for every minute spent planning you’ll save as many as ten minutes in execution. If saving two hours every day through focused efficiency really does equal boring – then bring it on … I’m all for it!