Productivity: Get Motivated, Get Organised and Get Things Done – Gill Hasson
Productivity Is Personal!
When it comes to your own productivity, the smartest thing you can do is learn what works best for you.
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Personal development author Gill Hasson helps you discover how to manage your time and get things done with less stress and more efficiency.
Being productive involves finding your own rhythm and getting things done in a way that works best for you, according to your circumstances, your skills and abilities, and the time, energy, and resources you have.
Knowing how much you want to get done and by when can help structure and focus your efforts. But how do you know if what you’re aiming for is reasonable and realistic? Realistic goals are achievable; they’re based on what’s practical—within your capabilities and resources—and not on what you wish you could do.
You can begin to see how achievable and realistic your goal is by identifying where you are now in relation to where you want to be.
Examples of Reality Check
If, for example, you wanted to get 10 new clients in the next year, you’d need to identify the rate at which you’re currently securing new clients. If you want to run a half marathon by April, how far can you run right now? How long until the date of the half marathon?
Once you’ve identified the gap between where you are and where you want to be, you can further identify how realistic and achievable your goal is by breaking it down into steps. Ten new clients, for example, average out to one new client every five weeks. Is that realistic?
Identify Your Options
Identify all possible ways to achieve your goal and consider your skills and resources. Determine if you need advice or help and who could assist you. Create multiple plans (Plan A and Plan B) to adjust your approach if needed.
Once you have a clear understanding of your goal, its timeframes, and your chosen option, plan how and when to execute your plan.
Write It Down
Start by writing down what there is to do. Whether it’s your work or home life or both, think of everything you’ve got going on in a typical day and week. Write it down.
And if it’s one specific project that you want to focus on – decorating or renovating your home, for example, starting your own business or increasing the number of clients you have – write down everything involved in that project or aspect of your life.
Don’t worry about writing things down in any order. Just empty your mind of all the things you can think of that you want to do, have to do, and need to do.
Plan And Prioritize
You may have been told this before, but no matter how many times you hear it, it’s still true: You need to plan and prioritize. Planning means clearly identifying how and when you will do each task or step of a task. Prioritizing involves identifying the order in which to deal with tasks according to their relative importance.
But although the need to plan and prioritize might be an obvious truth, remember that what’s also true is that, as with all other aspects of being productive, you need to plan and prioritize according to your circumstances, your skills and abilities, and the time, energy, and resources you have.
Urgent And Important
Urgent and important tasks are the things that scream, ‘Do it now’! So often, these are the things you have to do because you’ve left them until the last minute, and there will be consequences if you don’t deal with them immediately.
Typically, urgent important tasks are the things with deadlines: essays and reports; job and visa applications; tax returns; passport and insurance renewals. Getting the car serviced or the MOT done and getting dinner on the table
Mark Twain suggested eating the biggest, ugliest, and hardest task first thing in the morning, also known as ‘eating the frog’. However, this may not work for everyone as it could be too daunting and prevent any productive work. Starting with easy tasks and getting quick wins can help build momentum and make it easier to tackle harder tasks later.
For those who struggle to get started, doing easy tasks first could be more effective than forcing themselves to do the hardest tasks. Therefore, resolving to do the most challenging tasks first thing in the morning might not be the best approach for everyone.
Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Plans don’t always work out, but planning helps us prepare for unexpected events. When working on a deadline, prioritize tasks that are important and plan what needs to be done.
A step-by-step plan helps maintain a steady pace towards achieving goals. Focus on one step at a time, give it your full attention, and move on to the next step.