When you think of productivity or self-management, what comes to mind?
With countless methods, tools, and opinions available, it can be challenging to determine what truly helps and what negatively impacts productivity. In reality, being productive boils down to three key factors: mindset, time, and systems and processes.
To achieve balance in self-management and productivity, you must have a clear focus, a workflow that aligns with your schedule, and efficient processes. By mastering your own productivity, you can lead your team to greater efficiency, resulting in more business growth.
Let’s explore everything you need to know to stay on track and achieve your goals!
Productivity and self-management hinge on two fundamental aspects: your mindset and your workflow. The first step to achieving these is eliminating the phrase “time management” from your vocabulary. The truth is, everyone has the same number of hours to work with in a day.
It’s not about managing your time, it’s about maximizing your productivity during the time you have.
Leading a team effectively necessitates mastering self-management.
To achieve that, you need to shift your mindset and take ownership of your day, so you’re channeling your energy towards completing tasks instead of depleting it.
By taking accountability for your circumstances and shifting your language and thoughts, you can develop an “above point mindset“.
This approach is more productive as it focuses on what you can control instead of placing blame on external circumstances. This involves shifting your thoughts and language from negative phrases like “I don’t have time” or “I can’t get this done” to more positive ones. It has been shown to rewire your RAS, or Reticular Activating System, which is a part of your brain that filters through information and “highlights” what’s relevant to you.
By aligning your thoughts with your goals, your brain will naturally focus on information that is relevant to achieving them. So, instead of saying “I have to do this,” try shifting to “I get to do this” or “I choose to do this” to rewire your RAS and take accountability over your work day.
It’s important to identify what helps you to work more efficiently. Workflow is not a one-size-fits-all matter since everyone operates at a different level. If you find that you’re more efficient in the morning than in the afternoon, modify your calendar to reflect your most productive hours.
Multitasking or Switch Tasking?
One of the most significant things to be wary of is doing too much multitasking (in fact, you should remove the word multitasking from your vocabulary), or switch tasking.
Although many people take pride in switch tasking, it’s important to note that this approach has been statistically shown to dramatically decrease your general intelligence! If you’re juggling multiple tasks at once, you’re only able to progress each task forward by around 5%. So, while it may seem like you’re being productive, you’re actually getting less done. Instead, focus on one task at a time and complete it. This way, you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment, which is directly related to productivity.
Do You Take Breaks?
Studies have shown that taking a few moments to recharge your mind can significantly increase your productivity.
Whether it’s a quick stroll or a visualization exercise while taking deep breaths, it’s crucial to find ways to center yourself throughout the day.
This is particularly important when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the responsibilities of running your business and keeping all the moving parts in check.
The Old Adage “Time Is Money” Is Somewhat Misleading
While money can be a significant factor in running a successful business, time is arguably the most valuable resource. Have you ever found yourself getting sidetracked and losing focus, only to realize at the end of the day that you haven’t accomplished much?
It’s essential to adopt an investment mindset, where your time is spent on activities that benefit your business. If you excel in sales, for instance, focus on generating leads instead of getting bogged down by less productive tasks. Consider hiring someone else to handle those responsibilities, so you can make the most of your time.
The 80/20 Rule
You can also follow the 80/20 rule: invest 20% of your time to get 80% of the results you’re after.
If you’re always the person picking up the slack, then you’re using 80% of your time and getting 20% results.
By tracking your time for two weeks, you can get a good idea of where your time is being spent and where you can improve. This means recording all (and I do mean all) of your daily activities, including any distractions or new tasks that may arise. Identify your “time vampires,” or things that distract you regularly, and designate a specific time for them.
For instance, set aside a certain time each day to answer emails to prevent them from taking up too much of your day.
Time tracking helps identify when you need to hire someone to handle specific tasks that are slowing you down. Don’t be afraid to grow your business by delegating tasks and adhering to the 80/20 rule.
Remember, you don’t grow a company, you grow your people by increasing their talents and resources, which, in turn, grows your business.
Additionally, time tracking can help you determine if your current employees need further training, particularly if they require your assistance with their work.
Throwing structure out the window in favor of a more casual work environment may be popular, but it’s not the key to success.
In fact, a business is only as strong as its systems and processes. Implementing effective systems can help you save time, energy, and money.
Streamlining daily tasks frees up time to focus on your goals, leading to greater productivity.
To improve productivity further, consider implementing a daily plan. Unlike a to-do list, which can reinforce the “I have to do this” mindset, a daily plan outlines what you will achieve or what you’ll get across the finish line by the end of the day.
This planning technique is also known as the frog method, which refers to tackling the tasks that are the most beneficial in the long run but may be the least appealing.
If you create your daily “frog sheet” for the next day at the end of your workday, you’ll be able to switch off your work brain and enjoy your evening.
The Bigger Picture Version Of The Daily Plan Is Your 90 Plan.
By setting goals for this period, you can then work backwards to determine all the daily or weekly tasks necessary to accomplish your ultimate objective. It’s important to regularly look through the telescope to establish your business goals and decide what winning looks like in the future. This applies to your personal goals, but also to what you want your business to achieve within the marketplace overall.