A lot of people I talk to about time management are perfectly capable people, and in most cases are actually really good workers, but they have issues with becoming distracted throughout their work days.
They often look back on their day and they can’t even remember what they did. Usually when this happens, it’s because a person spends the whole day reacting to what other people ask them to do. They don’t take the time to proactively plan out their day and ensure they’re going to be working on things that matter.
Over time, this results in a serious short-term mindset and enslaves you to having no control over what you do.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about being helpful. I wouldn’t have started this website otherwise, but I’d rather not spend my whole life doing the bidding of others. I’d imagine if you’re reading this article, you’re probably in a similar boat.
The two tactics below will help you develop the base you need to get to that upper echelon of time management, to the level of the most effective people in the world.
True Productivity Defined
The solution is a concept I call “true productivity,” which I talk about a lot in my most recent book, Productivity Success Secrets.
The concept of “true productivity’ is probably the single most important lesson you can learn about increasing your level of output.
When I say output, I’m not just talking about blazing through a to-do list.
I’m talking about getting the most out of what you every day of your life. I’m talking about making proactive decisions about what it is you choose to devote your time to. I’m talking about sitting back and really asking yourself “Is this going to be a good use of my time?” before you work on something.
That’s what true productivity is, and keeping that concept in mind will ensure you’re always working on things that are beneficial to your goals. Even if you’re not at your best level of output, you’ll at least be putting what energy you do have towards things that matter.
How to Stay in the Zone
But the recognition of true productivity is only the first step. How do you ensure you’re staying in that high level zone of output at all times?
Two things. Proactive Lists, and Self-Awareness.
Lists aren’t exactly the most glamorous thing in the world, but they’re vital to ensuring you’re always working on things that matter, things in the true productivity realm.
First, make sure you take the steps necessary to proactively create your daily list with only items that are going to matter at the end of the day. These are high level output items that are in direct alignment with your goals. Do this before you do anything else in your day.
Next, make sure that you have a high level of self-awareness of what you’re working on throughout the day. If you catch yourself drifting off to other tasks that aren’t on your list, you must have the self-awareness to recognize this, and get back on task to those things that truly matter.
Both of these things are huge in making sure your output is always at it’s highest.
Always Be Open to Help Others
The person who only helps themselves is a person that will quickly become an outcast and a failure. Being selfish is not what these techniques are about at all. The world of success thrives on solid relationships and effective partnerships.
If you focus only on yourself all the time, you’re doomed.
A good team member and leader allows time to help those around them, so build this into your work day.
That said, also recognize that it’s OK to not drop what you’re doing when other things come up. Get what you need to get done accomplished, or to a stopping point, then come back to helping others what they need help with.
Use these strategies to stay in the true productivity zone, and you’ll be sure to increase your level of output.