High productivity at work doesn’t have to be complicated.
You don’t need to attend all day courses teaching elaborate systems or spend months reading time management books.
In my many years of experience mentoring executives and entrepreneurs, I’ve found doing just one simple thing can dramatically improve anyone’s output:
Most of us arrive at work and immediately dive into emails or tasks. We think we’re being efficient by doing this but we’re making a serious error. The truth is if we spent the first fifteen minutes carefully planning our day we would get far more done.
Here’s an excellent four step process for planning effectively:
First create a To Do List for the day.
Then pick your top three most valuable tasks (very few people do this).
Then itemize any genuinely urgent tasks (beware of pseudo urgent activities).
Then finally plan out each hour of your day in your diary or on paper, putting the important and urgent tasks at the beginning of the day.
This planning process usually takes between ten and fifteen minutes to do, but in my experience makes a stupendous difference to how much you achieve during the day.
The philosophy or pre-planning should also be applied before walking into meetings, doing important presentations or beginning critical conversations. The more clearly you plan the better your performance will be.
We need to stop winging it and start planning it.
Our productivity depends on it.