Improving your personal productivity requires work … upfront. Working yourself into deeper holes and trying to squeeze in a day off or a vacation just won’t cut it. The damage is already done, and if you don’t totally revamp how you work, that same stress and mess will be there when you return. I’m a personal productivity coach and consultant, and here’s how I structure working with my clients.
ANALYZE. You have to analyze how you spend your time. See where it’s going using a time log. You’ll be SHOCKED to find out how much time you actually waste.
ORGANIZE. Everything you touch needs a system so you can find anything the instant you need it. This applies to everything from your clothes closet to your computer files.
PRIORITIZE. Do the main thing you’ve been hired to do because that’s closest to the money. Which clients gladly pay you what you’re worth and which ones nickel and dime you and work you to death? What were you hired to do as opposed to what you’re actually spending time doing? Do the thing that gets you paid the quickest.
SYSTEMATIZE. If you do something more than three times, you absolutely must develop systems that are well-thought-out and documented so others can follow if they need to. Streamline and automate…this requires quiet, thinking time.
COMPUTERIZE. You invest in the latest technology with all the bells and whistles. But then you can’t be bothered to learn how to use it. The more tips and tricks you learn, the quicker you’re going to finish the work with less mistakes. Take classes in the software you use every day (the 2 hours you spent with IT when you got some new software isn’t sufficient).
Now that your systems are tight and you’re clear on what needs to be done and how, you can delegate. Let others follow your system and tweak it as they need to.
Spend time upfront to do this, and I promise you’ll end up with way more free time than you thought possible. Oh, but I know…you don’t have time!