Secrets to Maximizing Time and Increasing Productivity
Working more hours doesn’t translate to necessarily improving productivity. Based on a Stanford University study, a work week of 50 hours or more doesn’t make employees work better, but it makes absenteeism and turnover ultimately worse.
Map out your goals
Dominican University of California’s Dr. Gail Matthews conducted a research involving 267 participants and found that people who wrote down their goals and tracked the progress are 33% more successful than those who don’t.
To improve your odds, be as detailed as possible. “I want to earn a million dollars” is too broad, so go for “I want to earn $300,000 from stock trading by the end of the Q4 next year.” Use technology on your smartphone for goal tracking. It can be as simple as a note, or a tool like Evernote that can help you keep our goals in front of you.
Be SMART about your goals
This handy acronym puts you in the right direction.
- Specific – Be clear about what you want.
- Measurable – Track your progress.
- Actionable – Find practical ways to achieve success.
- Realistic – Align your goals with where you are in life.
- Time-bound – Set a reasonable deadline.
Again, use technology to help you track. Something as simple as calendar event reminders can alert you regularly to evaluate progress or to know when a task towards the full goal should be completed.
Make smaller goals
Break up your big goals into smaller ones by jotting them down as scheduled, e.g. daily goals at the start of the day, weekly goals at the start of the week, etc. This is a great way to reinforce your goals and review what you’ve already accomplished.
Some people prefer pen and paper, while others opt for mobile devices. Choose whatever works for you best to keep your goals in front of you regularly.
Next, prioritize your tasks accordingly:
- Must do
- Nice to do
- Should be done by others
- Shouldn’t be done at all
Focus on the #1 items, pay attention to the #2 items after this, delegate #3, and ignore #4. Yes, you should make the hard decision to move some things to the 4th category! Then, remove unnecessary interruptions by carefully selecting what you say yes to. Business magnate Warren Buffett said that “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” It’s not bad to be helpful, but don’t commit to anything that will take you away from working toward your goals.
Business magnate Warren Buffett said that “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” It’s not bad to be helpful, but don’t commit to anything that will take you away from working toward your goals.
You will have days you don’t stick to your agenda and priority but get back on track as soon as possible. It’s going to be difficult at first, and it usually takes 21 days to make a new habit, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you’re starting. Keep after it intently for that first 3 weeks to really get things going. Once you’ve identified your goals and removed obstacles along the way, you’ll become more productive than ever. Technology or no technology, this is just practical help to empower you to achieve your potential.
Here’s the full blab with Jessika, and me. Enjoy!