• Chris

How to be more productive

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Time management can be a real pain! Creating a strategy for time management may take a bit of work upfront but will lead to a lot less stress and more success in the long run.

In this newsletter, I break down the process into three steps, and at the end, I will list some resources for each step.

Create clarity- Spend some time deciding what is important to you. What are your goals, and what is your vision for the future? What excites you? A life score assessment, vision statement, and the exercise of writing your obituary are good tools to give you direction in the things you choose to spend your time on. Without a clearer picture of what is most important to you and your future, it is more difficult to distill what actions you need to take.

Plan your most important actions - By evaluating what actions are most important and carry the most leverage, you can filter out the noise and start to make progress, and drop a lot of stress. Using tools such as the four quadrants, weekly previews, and quarterly goals keeps the important things at the front of your mind, all while creating a bit of margin in your day. By finding what is most important, only urgent, and neither, you can choose what tasks are deligated, focused on, and the highest leverage tasks to reach your goals, leading you towards a more productive and fulfilling life.

Action - No amount of planning will matter if you don't DO something. It is easy to procrastinate, especially when the project or goal seems overwhelming, but you must take action. There are two ways of approaching it, "eat the frog" and starting small.

The expression "eat the frog" is a saying originating from a Mark Twain quote suggesting doing the activity you dread the most, first, to get it off your to-do list and focus on other things. This method works well for physical tasks or single items that aren't connected to a broader project, things like household chores.

Starting small is the process of building momentum with small and easy to accomplish steps. For the more important, complex, and long-term projects, assigning smaller and easy-to-complete tasks makes the overall project seem less daunting. Map out the first two or three steps for the big project and complete them. Once those are complete, the following steps are clear and easy to tackle. Before you know it, big things happen.

Regardless of how you choose to tackle a specific task, eliminating distractions is a must. Create a workspace that promotes focus and is comfortable, use The Pomodoro Technique, and don't multitask.

Here are some resources to get you started

Creating Clarity

  • https://assessments.michaelhyatt.com/lifescore/

  • https://yourbestyeareverbook.com/

  • https://www.fearlessculture.design/blog-posts/write-obituary-exercise

  • https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/wake-up-call-write-your-obituary.html

  • https://www.betterup.com/blog/create-a-personal-vision-statement

Planning your actions

  • https://fullfocusplanner.com/wp-content/themes/fullfocusplanner-v4/files/quickstart/Weekly%20Preview%20Pages.pdf

  • https://www.equippinghispeople.com/quarterly-review-process/

  • https://czarto.com/2012/04/24/four-quadrants-of-time/

Creating action

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique

  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.superelement.pomodoro&hl=en_US&gl=US

  • https://blog.ticktick.com/2020/11/20/eat-that-frog-productivity-method/

  • https://wanderingaimfully.com/momentum/

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