The key to being productive

It’s December and the silly season is here!

Christmas parties, gift shopping, last minute orders, and general mayhem in the lead up to NZ’s traditional extended Christmas closure.

It’s hard to stay focused on the most important work during the “sleeps to Christmas” countdown – especially in this strange Covid-19 year where we have not taken the usual holidays during the year.

My planning system helps keep me focused – my three big goals for the quarter as well as my big goals for the month are written out each week.  Each week I list the key tasks to be completed for each of my goals, as well as a long list of “other stuff” to be done.

To avoid the “other stuff” taking priority I schedule the key tasks that will progress my three big goals.  The “other stuff” should only get done once the I have allocated time for my most important tasks.

It’s an unoriginal but effective system, even if implementation is imperfect… the unexpected happens, tasks take longer than expected, people don’t deliver on time, etc.  However, proactively managing your time is key to high productivity.

Review your diary for the working week…  no doubt you’ll have scheduled meetings and appointments, Christmas party dates, family obligations, and social activities.

But do you also have time blocks allocated to:

  • work on your business,
  • lead your team,
  • proactively contact customers,
  • plan marketing,
  • read and upskill,
  • projects and tasks to progress your big goals?

“Many people work hard, but few people work on the highest and best thing.  Usually it takes no more effort to work on high leverage tasks than it does to work on low leverage ones.  I’s just a matter of directing your energy.” – James Clear

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