Productivity How To Get Better Results In Less Time By Working Smarter

10 ways work smarter not harder

Productivity Basics – How To Become Highly Productive:

If there’s one important realization I’ve had about productivity, it’s that real productivity is not about the number of things you get done or the number of hours you work. Nor is it (per se) about doing your current tasks faster and more efficient..

Rather, real productivity is about consistently spending the majority of your time on your most valuable and most important tasks. Real productivity is about continuously identifying your priorities, and being able to tackle them both efficiently and of high quality. It’s about eliminating or outsourcing the ‘busywork’ so you can save your mental resources, time and energy for that what’s truly important.

Yet, we as humans are drawn towards complexityWe often make things a lot harder and confusing than they actually need to be — and we overlook simplicity because it isn’t exciting enough.

In my experience, improving your productivity is more about subtracting rather than addingIt’s about identifying and eliminating those tasks that you spend a lot of time and energy on, although they hardly contribute to the realization of your goals. It’s about doing fewer tasks, but making sure that the tasks you do work on are incredibly valuable and mission-critical for the achievement of your goal.

Not only will you become a lot more productive this way, but you’ll also be less overwhelmed, have better focus and achieve your goals much, much faster. When you continuously analyze which tasks are and aren’t worthy of your time, you’ll start to completely transform the way you work.

Personally, I follow 3 steps to help me work productively:

Step 1: Identify Your Most Important Goal(s) or Outcomes 

Regularly ask yourself, ‘What one thing, if achieved this week/month/quarter/year, would lead me to consider this week/month/quarter/year to be a total success?’ 

The answer to this question gives you the clarity on what you need or want to achieve in the first place, so you can focus your efforts and avoid time-consuming distractions along the way. 

Step 2: Get Clear On Your Most Valuable Tasks

Identify 1–5 tasks that contribute the most to the achievement of your goal. These tasks are absolutely mission critical in order to achieve your desired outcome.

It’s not about any task that leads to some progress towards your desired outcome. No, it’s about those tasks that contribute significantly to your desired outcome. Write these tasks down on a list and refer to this list every single day.

Essentially, we’re using the 80/20 rule here. The 80/20 rule states that usually, about 20% of inputs lead to 80% of outcomes. In other words, roughly 20% of our tasks are often responsible for 80% of the progress or results that we’re looking for. The key to peak productivity is to focus the majority of your time, energy and attention on the top 20%.

Step 3: Identify All Your ‘Busywork’ Activities

These tasks consume your valuable limited resources such as time and energy, while they either only contribute to achieving insignificant metrics (such as likes, retweets and comments) or only lead to some progress towards your desired outcome. These tasks aren’t worthy of the majority of your time and energy.

You’re probably better off eliminating these tasks or outsourcing them to someone else. But if you do decide to spend time on busywork activities, set a time limit for yourself and try to batch produce these tasks so that they won’t lead to scattered focus during your workday.

For the sake of your productivity, happiness and potential success, become incredibly disciplined about this. Protect your time like you’d protect your family or your life-savings.

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