7 Keys to Personal Productivity
Understanding Yourself is the Secret
By Victoria Munro
We live in a fast-changing world. Products that were ‘state-of-the-art’ yesterday have become commonplace today and will be obsolete tomorrow. With ever-increasing amounts of new information to process daily, and escalating demands on our time, many feel they’re on overload. If you’re in business for yourself, needing to gain and maintain a competitive edge, it’s even more challenging. You can’t afford to be inefficient. You need practical solutions that will increase your personal productivity.
Knowing yourself is key to being productive and reaching your desired goal in our changing world.
Key One: Identify your core values. What are the non-negotiables that are really important to you? It’s worth investing some time to define your personal values. Unless what you’re doing lines up with those values, there’ll always be an inner struggle.
Key Two: Define your future dreams. What do you truly want in life?
Written goals that lead you towards your aspirations will motivate you.
Writing goals doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep it simple, but put them on paper or your computer. Adjust them as you move forward. Visualize your dreams – think about them, talk about them, write about them, and create realistic, step-by-step mini-goals to reach them.
Key Three: Acknowledge your strengths and limitations. Identify your strengths and focus on them, use and develop them. Seek creative ways to delegate tasks in those areas where you don’t shine or you find more challenging.
Beware of self-imposed limitations, and accept the reality that you can’t do everything or please everyone.
Key Four: Be aware of unconscious barriers and weaknesses. Be alert to any little habits that might trip you up along the way. Do you tend to overbook your time? Say “yes” to requests you should decline? Procrastinate in certain areas? Rationalize self-defeating behaviors? Fail to make and/or stick with your plan? Being sensitive to your areas of weakness is a healthy first step to overcome them.
Key Five: Know when your prime time is and make the most of it. When are you most productive? Schedule demanding projects then. If necessary, turn off the phone to help you focus.
Keep a healthy balance of work, play and rest. Know how much rest and exercise you need, and make sure you get it. Recognize when you need to take five minutes or an hour away from a project to reenergize—you’ll be more productive for it.
Key Six: Keep your eyes on your ultimate goal. This has remarkable power to motivate. The increased efficiency and productivity needed to achieve it will require new behavior patterns and habits. It will take effort and discipline, but keeping your focus on the goal will inspire you to press on.
Key Seven: Learn from your past and plan for your future. Evaluate how you’ve been spending your time. For several days, keep a record of exactly how you use your time. Identify your most productive activities, your time wasters and areas where you can ‘cut the fat.’
With your long and short-term goals in mind, plan each day. List all the tasks you must do that day, and then prioritize them using the ABCD method:
||Absolutely imperative that
this get done today
||Important, but not as important as “A”
and, if it’s not accomplished today, you and you business
will both survive
||Needs to be done, but can be rescheduled
||Delegate this one
By understanding yourself and applying these principles, you can create and work a plan to achieve your dream. You’ll enjoy the journey and learn much along the way.
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