Productivity is a way of life – not a set of hacks.
You can be a productive member of society and not actually be very productive.
In this episode, we are going to focus on the type of productivity that, when you get to the end of your day you know that you worked on the most important things.
But, for those of you who are looking for a productivity hack, let me tell you mine: being crystal clear on my priorities.
When you know what your priorities are, you are more productive because you spend your time on things that support your priorities. You don’t spend your time on things that don’t support your priorities.
In addition to knowing your priorities, you also have to learn to prioritize your priorities. Sometimes, work is the most important priority. Sometimes, its family. The priorities are always changing, and you need to consciously think about which of your priorities are taking the spotlight.
North Start List episode
We all have a list of goals longer than the amount of time we have to be able to accomplish them. This can be overwhelming and even discouraging.
In this episode, we are going to cover 4 tips that can help you make sense of your goals.
Someday Maybe List
A list of all of the ideas that you have but that you can’t get to immediately.
· Keep one list for work and a separate one for the rest of your life. When you change jobs, the one for your work can just be tossed.
· At least once per year, review the list to remove anything that you’ve already accomplished or that isn’t relevant anymore. In addition, determine if there is anything on the Someday/Maybe List that should be moved to your current projects list.
Get Clear About Your Priorities
Create a North Start List. What are the areas of your life that you must fulfill?
· Family obligations
· Work obligations
· Community obligations
· Personal obligations
Every goal you undertake needs to tie back to your North Start List.
Review Episode 1: North Star List
Understand What Type of Goal it is
“Why” Goals: Goals where you need motivation to keep you moving toward your goal
· Longer term
· Future oriented
For example: I want to lose weight so that I have more energy to play with the grandkids.
“What” Goals: Goals that are more concrete, difficult, or complex
· Detail oriented
· Shorter in duration
· Happening in the near future
For example: I am going to eat 3 vegetables today.
Know When to Give Up
Finding the balance between persistence and knowing when to give up is not easy. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself to help you determine if you’ve reached the point where it may make sense to give up on a goal:
1. Is it a good use of your time? Given the limited amount of we all have, is this something that you should continue to invest your time in?
2. Is it costing you too much? Money, relationships, or some other opportunity cost. When you got into this goal, did you realize how much it would cost you? If you had know, would you have made the same decision to pursue the goal?
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Most people feel like they aren't as productive as they could be, and struggle to find the reason. I believe that most people haven't found a system that works for them. Productivity isn't learning how to use your time efficiently, or using the latest email hack, it is about knowing your priorities, knowing how you prefer to work, and creating a system that brings it all together to ensure you have a system that you trust.
This is a 5 part series where I will coach you through the process of creating your own system. One based on your personal situation, priorities, and work style. Sure, I could just give you my system (and I will at the end of the series), but my system won't work for you. Why? Because we are two different people, with two different lives. Surprising, huh?
For part 1 of the series, we are going to define your North Star - what are the priorities that should be guiding what you spend your time on. And then, we will identify all of the inputs that we are going to need to take into account as we build your own personal productivity system.
If you’d like a workbook that will walk you through this process step-by-step, sign up for our newsletter here.
Go to Episode 2
I teach people how to thrive at work. Let's connect on LinkedIn
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