I hope you enjoyed part 1 from last week. If you haven’t read it be sure to read it HERE before you read part 2. We left off part 1 talking about how establishing your priorities is the first step toward increasing your productivity.
I trust you went through the Covey Quadrant Method and took a look at the priorities you current have and what priorities you want to work toward. In addition, this exercise is great for finding activities to limit or eliminate. Its a real eye opener when you see how much time we spend on pointless activities.
Next was on to time management and an introduction to time chunking and weekly planning. This is a great way to get a grasp on your entire week and also be more single focused when working on your priorities.
3. Improper delegation is the next place where productivity can be lost. This does not only include your career but also your personal life. So let me ask you, do you feel like you are doing lots of activities that can be done by others that would free up time for you to get to more important priorities? My guess would be YES.
So why do we procrastinate from delegating activities? Because we feel like we can do most of these activities quicker and better than most and we don’t want to take the time to teach someone else how to do it. We are trapping ourselves in a vicious cycle of those annoying Quadrant 1 (emergency activities) and never getting to the actual important stuff.
Sound familiar? It looks like its time to learn how to delegate. I am sure you have an idea of what you’d like to delegate but now is the time to think about your day to day activities in combination with the priorities you established in the Quadrant Method and write down exactly what you want to delegate.
Commons things to delegate include; email, phone calls, conference calls, administrative tasks, research, training, accounting & book keeping, etc.
Whether it is delegating to an associate, hiring an assistant, or using virtual assistant, the hardest part of delegating will be letting go and trusting that there is good help out there that will be an asset to you and will help you to get to your important priorities. I personally have two virtual assistants (one doing bookkeeping and one doing research and lead generation) and it has literally freed up hours a week for me for less than $100 a month. I use Elance. Check it out if you like.
Learning how to delegate the right way is the sign of an effective person. For a very detailed article on delegation check out mind tools here.
4. Unspecific goals are another productivity killer for obvious reasons. If you go into your days, weeks, months, or years without some kind of goals in mind your direction will be weak. When your direction is weak your productivity is weak.
Simply put make sure you have goals you are working toward and those goals align with your priorities. This can be as simple as starting off each morning with 1-3 goals for the day. The fact is most people don’t even establish goals so take a small step, establish a daily or weekly goal and focus your productivity on that goal until you complete it, then move on to the next one.
I happened to write a blog post on goal setting a few months ago. Check it out here for a more detailed explanation on the power of goal setting.
5. Lastly, lets briefly discuss unrealistic expectations. Unrealistic expectations about your priorities and goals can zap your productivity. Think about it. If your priorities are insurmountable you are going to feel overwhelmed. If you feel overwhelmed you will most likely procrastinate. When you procrastinate your productivity obviously suffers. When reviewing your priorities and goals try to ask yourself “is this realistic?” You can only do so much and once you realize this you will be much more productive. If you find that something is unrealistic, break it down into parts to make it more manageable.
I realize what I shared with you was a good amount of information to digest. Habits take awhile to form so take your time and slowly implement these habits into your daily life. Whether you use some of the suggestions or all of them, you will surely see a change in your productivity. Good luck my friends!