Are you done with feeling so overwhelmed with your out of control email inbox and the stacks of cluttered papers and sticky notes all over your desk?
Do you end your day with more tasks on your to-do list but you worked yourself to the bone?
Have you ever wished you could start your day well prepared, clear-headed, energized, and excited to make it happen?
You know what? You CAN.
Here are the secret keys.
5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm
By following the 5 key steps in our Productivity Mastery series, you WILL....
- Create a vision for your life that you will be so excited for it will make you want to jump out of bed in the morning!
- Know exactly what you are busy about....and get it done.
- Take total control of the only thing we each have the exact same amount of every single day....time.
- Get your email inbox to zero and keep it that way so your email isn't running you, you are running your email.
- Unlock the secret potential of your future hidden in your daily habits.
Productivity Mastery Key One - PRIORITIZE
Vision and Purpose
The first step when prioritizing is to create a vision. Your vision is the dream hidden in your heart that is born from your soul's deepest purpose.
Your vision should come from your heart, not your head (don't worry, we have lot's of brainy stuff coming up!).
Creating a vision for your life is critical as it anchors everything you do from here on in to become a productivity master.
Living the life of a productivity master means you have goals, direction, solid decision-making skills and you have identified your most important work. But until you know exactly where you want to be, what kind of life you deeply desire, what gets you so excited to jump out of bed in the morning you will never master your day-to-day productivity.
When you are finished creating your vision, you should be able to smell it, taste it and see it in fine detail.
In order to know what your meaningful work actually is, you must first determine what you are spending your time doing.
Record everything you do in a week, including all distractions and repetitive tasks.
Once you are finished recording your "week-in-the-life-of" it's time for a total brain dump.
List every single project, task, to-do, reminder, etc. from ALL of your sources such as your current task list, goal list, emails, paper inbox, meeting notes, sticky notes, all papers in the dark corners of your desk drawer, your calendar and so on. Use an old fashioned paper and pen (my personal favourite), phone, computer, app - whatever works best for you.
Anything that can be completed in two minutes or less should be done immediately. By the time you write and sort all of these little tasks on your master action list, you could have gotten them done!
Be specific when listing your tasks - don't just list "plan team meeting". Make it specific such as "write agenda for team meeting, book boardroom, send meeting invite to team", etc. This may seem tedious at first but trust me, your effort will be rewarded later.
This will give you a clear mind and your unconscious mind will stop nagging you with reminders about everything you need to get done. It's quite remarkable how stress relieving this process truly is. You still have a lot to do, but knowing you have captured all your tasks and have a plan to get it done is a total game changer.
Prioritize and Categorize
The next step is to prioritize all of your tasks from most to least urgent and most to least important.
Now that you have your comprehensive list written down and have prioritized each task, categorize all of your tasks. Make your categories work for you and your unique work/life situation.
Examples of List Categories
Location - Do certain tasks need to be done or relate to a specific place such as your home, office, WFH office, running around, calls/deeper thinking, other job/side hustle?
Attention Level Needed - Categorize tasks based on the brainpower needed for proactive attention (thinking/strategizing), active attention (project work) and inactive attention (meetings/calls).
People & Conversations - These are tasks relating to questions, conversations or follow up with your boss, direct reports, clients.
In our next blog Productivity Mastery Key Two - Task Management we detail how to break down and set up killer lists. You'll be so organized you won't even believe it!
Automate, Delegate or Eliminate
Once you have listed and categorized all of your tasks, review each item looking for ways to automate, delegate or eliminate.
Ask yourself as you go through this process....
- What are the top 3 actions that are most important or meaningful to my work?
- Is there a workflow, system or process in place or does one need to be developed?
- Is this process efficient?
- Should I keep doing this?
Now make a plan to automate, delegate or eliminate the tasks you have identified in this exercise.
BOOM....task clutter cleared!
Productivity Mastery Key Two - TASK MANAGEMENT
Read our next blog in our 5-part series Productivity Mastery Key Two - Task Management as we discuss the second key to overcome your productivity overwhelm.
Task management, oh yeah.
Claim Your Exclusive Productivity Mastery E-Book
I truly hope you found the information in this blog useful, helpful and transformational.
I want you to experience the freedom and success that getting organizing and more productive brings.
The whole reason my company exists is to support you to move from frustration and overwhelm to confident and in total control of your work.
To claim your copy of my exclusive Productivity Mastery 5 Keys to Overcome Productivity Overwhelm e-book (valued at $49), use the link below to download your copy of this valuable resource.
You are ready for this!
Additional Resources & Links
Productivity Mastery Key 1 - PRIORITIZE
Productivity Mastery Key 2 - TASK MANAGEMENT
Productivity Mastery Key 3 - COMMITMENTS
Productivity Mastery Key 4 - EMAIL INBOX CONTROL
Productivity Mastery Key 5 - ROUTINES
Top 10 Productivity Secrets
Perfectionism is the Enemy of Productivity
FREE GUIDE: Keeping Your Home Organized Through Every Season
It's True You Can be Productive While Working From Home and Here's How
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