Productive people all over the world have much more in common than we would suspect they do. There’s a method to the madness of getting so much done.
While there’s no guidebook, here are 5 do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when you’re ready to become a productivity machine.
Don’t hesitate – Those who are afraid of action often plan themselves into hesitation. Getting into that cycle of planning perfection is a sure way to not get anything started, and thus, nothing was done. Once you start acting upon your idea, you often get immediate feedback on what’s working and what isn’t, helping you grow your original dream.
Do start small – Most of us have this big idea in our head that we can’t wait to execute, then we get lost because it suddenly seems so big – too big to be a reality. The best way to overcome this paralysis is to break down what you have to do until you have one action item that you can start on right away.
Don’t try to do everything at once – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your complicated project won’t be completed in one day either. On the other hand, losing momentum is a real worry when dealing with a long-term project. The trick isn’t how much you do, it’s being consistent and doing small things every day. Just as exercising your body has benefits, your brain works better if you stretch it every day.
Do get rid of meetings that keep you from being productive – There are few things out there as draining on your productivity as meetings. If you do need to schedule a meeting, make sure that all attendees know from the get-go what needs to be accomplished. Start every meeting with these two questions: “Does everyone know why we’re here?” and “Do you need to be here?” If the answer is no, send them away. They have other things they can be doing. Another tactic is having standing meetings where no one sits – you’ll be surprised how much faster the meeting goes.
To learn how to say no – Distractions often come in the form of “unexpected opportunities.” To be really productive, weigh the benefits of the opportunity you’re presented with, whether that’s a meeting, a speaking engagement or a new project, versus what you’re already working on that’s filling your time. Learn to say “no” to anything that takes you away from your current projects and halts your forward momentum.
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