In a world of hustle and bustle where you commit to doing more and more, everything just piles up and suddenly a behemoth of deadlines approach. Lost in a tornado of swirling attention grabbing procrastination, seems to make finding where to start difficult.
There are a number of ways to help find a path through this obstacle course of your own creation. I will take you through one 4 step method of helping here:
Step one, list everything, write it all down a great way of doing this is on post its or record cards. Just a sentence for each thing you have to do make that sentence count so you know just what you need to do from looking at it.
Sometimes it helps to use different coloured post its to represent different types of work for example yellow could represent production tasks, green for financial tasks, red might be urgent tasks, orange for future ideas, purple for creative tasks, or any other way of splitting things that is meaningful to you while remaining abstract enough to be a useful in the future.
Step two, use an abstract method for estimating how much effort you will need to expend in order to complete an item on your list. Sometimes using a scale that is not too dissimilar to fibonacci 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20 can better describe the exponential aspect of increasing effort. Remember effort is a measurement of size not time so these numbers do not translate into the amount of time something will take that would be similar to asking “How many minutes do 3 jugs hold”.
To start with pick an item and arbitrarily assign it to say 3 effort points, now take your next thing and think through how the amount of effort required to complete this item is different to the first, how much more, how much less, maybe it’s a similar amount of effort to complete; the important part here is the thinking about whats involved. Then the next how does that compare to the previous items, repeat until all you items are estimated.
You may now see that you have some things that are much more expensive in terms of effort you have to expend than you had initially thought and probably noticed some lower hanging fruit you won’t need to put much effort in to get completed.
Step three, now it’s time to prioritise looking at everything you have to do place them in an order that they should be completed in. Things to consider when arranging the priority are cost of the effort you have to expend, savings made by completing a task, maybe something will increase your customers satisfaction, or reduce the chance of a customer churning, there is an endless number of ways you can prioritise your task list make sure it makes sense to you and that it is repeatable.
Step four, Start the first task, make sure it is absolutely complete before moving to the next item in your list. It is also ok for your list to change order over time new things come up that are important and other things become less important. It’s your list of tasks to complete you can manage the order of this list as required.
Remember though you must complete an item before moving to the next this is important multitasking is a myth, focus only on one thing at a time.
The beauty of doing this is that once you get used to it you can actually measure your own productivity and in time can tweak your own way of work and see if over a short period of time say two weeks if that tweak was beneficial to your productivity or not then you can choose to continue that tweak or not.
Want to become more productive?
- Book an appointment to talk to me (if you’d like to, you can find my diary here)
- We have a chat for up to 30 minutes.
- If appropriate, I will send you more information on what I do, how and why.
- We talk again to see whether we are a good fit for each other.
- If we are, we decide the best approach to take and you are on your way to a more successful business
Take action today!