Narrow Your Focus
The most important step you can take toward increasing your productivity actually occurs before the work for the day begins. Being productive starts with having a “self” planning meeting for you to determine the single most important task that has to happen today. Once you isolate the most critical goal, then list four more items you need to accomplish. I use a psychological productivity tool called the Daily Five with my clients, where they make a master list and “brain dump” everything they can think of that needs to be accomplished. From this lengthy list, they determine the top five things for the next day.
So, why five? Because long lists tend to overwhelm our brains, and instead of being helpful, the list can become a distractor. By creating small, achievable productivity goals, your odds of accomplishing the tasks at hand increase drastically.
Keep Your Commitments to Yourself
No matter what five tasks you determine, they are meaningless without your commitment to doing them. Once you make this commitment, the execution of the tasks becomes non-negotiable. You are better never to commit than to commit and not follow through. By not carrying out your commitments, you train your brain that your words mean nothing, and a litany of negative processes begin to occur in your mind. Compare this to something you have committed to in the past, perhaps to stop smoking or not eat sweets–if you allow yourself to ignore your commitment just one time, it becomes easier and easier to continue to move off the path.
It doesn’t matter what the commitment is–the important thing is to stick with what you say you will do. By committing to accomplish your tasks, you are making a promise to yourself, and you must keep your word to yourself.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Knowing that commitment is the most critical part of the productivity equation, setting yourself up for success is vital. If five things seem like too much for you to start with, begin with a number you can accomplish–even if that is only one task. I like to set an uber accomplishment task at the end of my list, which allows me to see that I went above and beyond my commitment and overachieved the goals for my day. Unlike the negative signals that breaking promises sends to our brains, overachieving sends a positive message to our brains and reinforces our ability to meet new goals.
Follow-Through = Confidence
Making plans, committing to them, and following through on your commitments is the secret to building confidence. If you lack confidence, you are likely continuing to break promises to yourself. It is so easy to slip down the slope of excuses–I’m too tired; I want to watch this TV show; I want to talk to my friend–whatever you choose to be distracted by becomes your barrier to seeing results. Anyone can make a list or give lip service to a commitment, but it takes discipline to create follow-through and confidence.
Whatever it is in your life that you want to move forward with–your job, your career, self-development, your family, a relationship–it takes an intentional commitment to carry out your goals. Just think, if you do five things a day, five times a week, by the end of the week, you will have accomplished 25 things. That means within just one month, you will have completed 100 tasks placing you closer and closer to your ultimate goals.
At the Growth Architect, we want to help you find strategies that will help you increase your productivity and accomplish your goals. That’s what we do! If you enjoyed this article, watch my video, How To Get Everything Done/Be More Productive.
Beate Chelette is The Growth Architect & Founder of The Women’s Code, a training company specialized in providing companies an ROI on Balanced Leadership. She has been named one of 50 must-follow women entrepreneurs by the Huffington Post. A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, she bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal.
Beate works with business leaders and supports organizations by developing and providing training the training, tools, and expertise to create and maintain a balanced, equal, and inclusive work environment that fosters creativity, employee engagement, and corporate growth.
Recent clients include Merck, Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), NFTE, CreativeLive, the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke.
Beate is the author of the #1 International Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go From Overwhelmed to Awesome” a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career.
To book Beate to speak or train please connect here. Your Time Is Valuable!