If there’s one thing I’ve learned and reflected on over my recent trip away from my family is that everyone (including myself) would be much happier if they could just identify and complete their most important tasks only every single day. I mean, in every area of your life.
Also, if you’re looking for a way to increase your productivity, your sense of clarity and focus, then do only those things that will yield the most visible and lasting results for you.
I'm not perfect at it, but because I strive to do the most critical tasks and focus on my most important work, I can overcome the need to be busy pretty easily. Something about this past weekend at a conference and learning about high performance & productivity really tuned my brain back to this idea.
The concept sounds like a great idea, right? But it’s not easy. The second your day starts, you might get wrapped up in 10 million tasks – and the roller coaster ride of your day can get out of control fast. I know. I'm a mom…and as my daughter and business grow, so does my need to make sure I am clearly pointed in the right direction.
How do you know if you’re doing your “best” or “most important” work/play?
By looking at all your activities and then doing only (or mostly) the activities that will lead to RESULTS in your life, business, or health.
If you aren’t sure what this means, let me give you a few super simple/basic examples from my own life:
Mila: Sit her in front of the tv while I make dinner vs. Taking her for a special mommy and Mila dinner alone.
Result: Undivided relationship bonding and building with Mila leads to her being happier, less whiny or cranky for the remainder of the day. It also builds trust and the confidence that her mommy loves her!
Work: Check my email the first thing I get up in the morning vs. Making my time block schedule for the morning where Email is one of the things I do.
Result: Checking email first thing in the morning is the best way to lose sight of what you need to do for the day. Starting by scheduling blocks of time to focus on your most important “to do’s” and projects gets your to real goals faster.
Self: going for a walk around the pond vs. scheduling 3 workouts at a local studio.
Result: Scheduling anything makes it a priority. Taking a random walk around the pond isn’t getting you to any fitness goals. It’s a good head clearing activity, but if your goal is to get in shape/lose 10 pounds, have extended periods of energy, then you need to schedule specific workouts – and perhaps at a specific place. I'm not saying don't go for a walk, but understand that it's not an activity that's going to get you to your bigger fitness goals.
How Do You Know What To Do First?
I know this is going to sound basic, but you need to sit down, take a piece of paper and write your top projects or activities down. You need to give yourself some sort of a road map or else you’ll keep yourself busy but get nowhere or worse start losing the mindset that you can reach your goals. (We gotta keep those self-limiting thoughts to a minimum!)
Once you know what your goals are – day by day – and longer term, you’ll be able to ask yourself the honest questions: “Is this getting me to that end result I want? Is this experience increasing the joy in my life? Are my relationships improving because of this activity or behavior? Is my health improving and or not?”
So, here’s what to do…
1. Write down your top 5 projects or activities you want to do
2. Write down 1 action you can take on each – but make it a good one
3. Schedule that action on your calendar.
Once you get used to seeing your goals and priorities this way, you can start asking these as daily questions….and really laser focus on your daily productivity.
But don't go there yet.
Small steps first.
Leave your answers below and tell me know what action you will take today!