A more productive YOU

Updated: Aug 30, 2018

You may think that today is going to be a productive day, you may even tell yourself that as you get out of bed in the morning but things will be thrown into chaos before you know if you have failed to plan for your day. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”

We have, on average, 16 awake hours available to us every day. Planning is about knowing what you need to do, where you need to be and what is available to you to assist you in getting this work done – making the most out of all 16 hours, rather than being exhausted at the end of the day because the day ran you rather than you running the day.

Here are some helpful questions to create greater productivity in your day.

  1. What is on your TODAY list? You may have a to-do list a mile long, but what are the tasks that you absolutely must get done today? This sub-list of tasks is your TODAY list. Make sure you know what’s on it – these are non-negotiables.

  2. What is on your calendar today? What appointments and meetings do you have today? Fill your calendar before others do!! Be in control of your day.

  3. What do you need to bring with you? There is nothing worse than turning up to a meeting and you’ve forgotten your notes and you look frazzled because the day is on top of you already. Review your calendar and make sure you have everything that you need for your meetings printed out and in your folder ready to go.

  4. What is your number 1 task for the day? What is your single most important task today. If you only get one thing done today, it has to be this task. (here’s a tip – make sure you do it early and get it done).

  5. What is one task that you could do today that you wouldn’t have? – Sometimes you feel flat and you just can’t seem to get going so try doing one low energy task (eg. Filing, opening your mail and sorting it). This can make all the difference to feeling productive, which in turn leads to being more productive.

  6. Is there anything that you are doing that you shouldn’t be? – Is there anything that you are doing that isn’t really your job or isn’t really your strength but you do it because you are too scared to ask somebody else? Delegate, delegate, delegate.

  7. Where will you waste time today? You probably already know where you will waste time today. Think about this in advance. It could be too many coffee breaks, looking at Facebook, chatting to the person next to you about the weekend. What can you do to avoid these time wasters? It’s ok to need a mental break, but don’t get sucked in.

  8. Have you created a daily habit? What habit do you need to do today (and every day?) Don’t put it off. This is important – ensuring a little “you” time is great for your mental health and your productivity. Read that book, fit that workout in… Whatever yours is… get it done.

  9. What step toward your goals will you take today? Are your goals written down and in front of you to see every day? They need to be! BIG Goals are done day-by-day and step-by-step. What step forward will you take today that will help you get closer to your goals?

  10. Are you being realistic? Sometimes things don’t come together like we had planned – sometimes a task turns out to be more difficult or it just takes longer than you thought it would. Take a 10 minute break, come back to it with fresh eyes or make a specific plan to came back to the project tomorrow – maybe even seek out the help of a colleague. Many hands make light work.

When you are ready for your day, you’re in a position to be proactive instead of just reacting to what life throws in your path.

Did you enjoy your productive day? I guarantee you will feel much better at the end of today now that you have asked yourself these questions, than you would have if you didn’t.

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