A simple way to increase productivity
Do you feel like your productivity could be better, that you’re simply not giving it your 100%, or even procrastinating?
Well, I have a really simple tool I want to share with you that will help you create more awareness around when you’re being or not being productive and why so you’ll be able to leverage what makes you productive and eliminate what’s distracting you.
There is a big difference between being busy and being productive.
When you’re being productive, you’re focused, effective and efficient, you’re present and getting things done. When you’re being busy, you’re spending time with the task, but your mind is wondering over other things, you may be switching between different tasks and being distracted by your phone, emails, and other “urgencies”.
Let’s do something about it.
I want to share with you a simple tool I’ve been using that helped me massively increase my productivity. If you’re worrying that you will need to use some complicated or expensive software, I have good news for you. I cannot get any simple – just a pen and paper.
Try this for a few days and see the impact it creates.
First of all, I’m assuming that you have some sort of agenda or a plan for your day. If not, have a think about what you’d like to get done today and for the sake of this exercise, don’t be afraid to stretch yourself a bit.
Your goal is to be productive, right?
Here is the simple tool I’ve been using to increase my productivity.
Grab an A4 notebook or ruled sheet of paper. (You can also us MS Excel spreadsheet but I encourage you to use pen and paper especially if the tasks you want to do don’t involve a computer. )
Write today’s date on the top of the page.
Underneath write this: Today I’m being 100% productive.
Then divide the page into three columns.
In the first column record the time when you started and finished doing something, and on the middle column record what the task was. You can also add a level of importance of the task by adding a number (0-10) or 1-5 starts.
6:30 Woke up
6:30 – 7:00 Morning routine
7:00 – 7:15 Getting ready for the gym
7:15 – 8:30 Gym ****
8:30 – 9:15 Breakfast
Remember, you’re tracking this in real time. It’s not a schedule you create beforehand (although you may have a plan for the day and that’s ok).
This is where the productivity magic happens
Now, while tracking your activity is useful, that’s not where the magic of this exercise happens.
When you’ve recorded the time you’ve spent on the task, have a quick and honest think how productive and focused you were. If you were not being as productive with the task as you’d like, maybe you took too long or let yourself be distracted, note in the third column why you were not being 100% productive. I like to use a red pen for this because it gives it a feel that it’s important.
This is super important because it helps you bring awareness into what is distracting you from being productive. (see the image below)
In the same way, if you totally nailed it and you’re happy with your level of focus and productivity when you worked on the task, note in the third column what helped you be so productive. I like to use a green pen for this because it feels like it’s right.
The colours will help you see how good or bad your productivity and focus were overall at the end of the day.
When you track your activities like this throughout your day or your working hours, you’ll quickly identify all the things that make your productivity dwindle.
Now when you know what’s jeopardising it, it will be little harder to make the same mistake, but more importantly, you can start working on eliminating all these distractions.
It’s really as simple as that. I’ve been using this tool almost every day in the past, and now I use it when I need to refocus or when I feel I’m not on the top of my game. It has done wonders to how much I get done.
Use it as often as necessary and have fun with it.
Getting better is exciting because when you get better, your life gets better.
If you need the support of a life coach to help you with making a great first impression or with any other areas of your personal development, you’re always welcome to contact me and let’s find out if we’d be the right match.
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