To really become a master of time management, you have to understand what true productivity actually is.
True productivity can be summed up in three words.
“Stuff that matters.”
This means the constant performing of tasks and projects that will produce significant and noticeable progress towards the end goal. There is a ton of stuff in between to distract you from the stuff that really matters. These are the things that ineffective people spend so much of their time working on.
Ineffective people work for the sake of working. They tweak, fiddle, nitpick and spend time on things that just don’t matter until they’re blue in the face, and then they do it some more. This results in nothing ever getting “shipped,” and a very small amount of work actually ever getting done.
People who have gone through productivity training and understand the value of their time have the ability to easily discern between so called “busy work” and truly productive and meaningful activities that really make a difference.
If you’re still confused, this is probably best explained by example. Take this crude scenario for instance. Something I deal with on nearly a daily basis.
Work for the Sake of Work, vs. True Productivity
Imagine for a moment that you’re building a website. If you don’t know how to build a website, just pretend you do for the sake of the example 🙂
So somewhere within this website project you have a choice between writing new content for your website, or editing some existing content and re-positioning a couple of images. Both tasks will require the exact same amount of time.
Which task do you do?
You probably chose the first one, because you know that’s the answer I’m looking for, but you’d be shocked at how many people exhaustively tweak their websites (metaphorically speaking) in place of creating the new content that will bring traffic to their websites, and make them real money (again metaphorically speaking) – what they probably set out to do.
It’s most likely the case that they never asked themselves that question to begin with. They never considered the value of both choices they were faced with. They just went to work on the busy work because it was something to do, and it required no additional thought.
It’s the same with any type of job, task, or project.
Dismount the Hamster Wheel of Life and Do Something That Matters
A lot of people go through their days just spinning their wheels and never really getting anything meaningful done. Sure, at the end of the day they answered phone calls, responded to emails, and even closed out some projects, but did what they accomplished really mean anything?
If they looked back on their day could they tell you that “one thing” that they got done that is going to make a big difference?
In some cases, sure, but in a lot of cases, much of this type of “hamster wheel spinning” work often has little real impact.
Focus on the big wins. The stuff that matters!
This principle of time management is the absolute most important for you to remember of anything you’ll learn. It’s the basis for all time management and productivity that you’ll learn on Academy Success. If you get nothing else out from this website, remember to ask yourself this question every time you sit down to work on a project..
Is What I’m Doing “Stuff That Matters”?
If your answer to that question is no, then seek something else more impactful to do, even if it means taking on a more difficult project to actively make a difference. This will keep you thinking proactively, which is a huge key to success in life.
You may not reap the rewards right away, but keep doing this, and you’ll easily double your level of “true productivity” and that just might mean a giant leap forward in your personal development and level of success.
Now that you have a good idea of what true productivity is, you own the groundwork of a time management master in your mind, which honestly makes you a better time manager than 99% of people on this planet, but don’t let that stop you from learning more.