man tied up with phone cords and post it notes

MultitaskingRemember that saying ‘If you want something done, then give it to a busy person?‘ It is all wrong….If you want something done, then give it to a productive person!

Everyone is busy. It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a blue chip organisation or a mum that works part time and juggles a family. It all comes down to how you manage your time and what outcomes you deliver.

We can’t increase the number of hours in a day, but we can all choose how we utilise the 24 hours that we have. Here are a few of my tips on how you can improve your productivity both in the work place and at home:

  • Take the time to plan, both your long term and short term goals, your week and even your day. There are different ways people chose to do this, but the important thing is that you actually do it. Without focus you’ll never achieve the goals on your list. I personally have a long term and a short term plan, but I also have my daily to-do lists
  • Manage your time by blocking out time during your day to ensure that the tasks and activities on your to-do lists actually get done. It is also great motivation when you start crossing things off of your list that have been there for a while!
  • Learn to say No! We all have things that ‘pop up’ during the day, or opportunities that present themselves like shiny stars…most of these are just a distraction. You need to allocate time to review and deal with these distractions so that you have the time to focus on things that add the most value and keep you on track to ensure you achieve your goals
  • Automate and systemise as many low value tasks as possible, without compromising the quality of what you deliver. There is an app or software for almost anything these days, take a step back from your daily activities and objectively look at the repetitive, low value activities you spend time completing and find an alternative. Don’t fall into the trap of just doing things because that is the way they have always been done
  • Focus on your 5 big rocks, key actions or key priorities. These 5 things should be a reflection of the goals in your short term planning should also contribute to your long term goals and planning
  • Delegate, focus on high value activities and play to your strengths and others. Create a role clarity matrix, make sure you are clear on roles, responsibilities and ensure people are accountable for these deliverables
  • Don’t try to be a jack of all trades, master of none. Know your strengths and how you can add the most value to your organisation
  • Understand your limitations and know when to outsource. There are people you can engage for high value activities, and others for low pay off activities. Free up your time so that you can spend your time working on activities that create the most value for you and your organisation
  • Appreciate that 80/20 rule, where 80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your effort. Don’t let perfection drive your focus to always complete that final 20%, because the value you are actually adding is minimal
  • Create a space that is filled with natural light, quiet, full of fresh air and allows you to focus, think and smash out those items on your to do list

Take the time to plan and priorities your time both personally and professionally. Our time is so finite and you want to spend it wisely. If you think that sitting behind your desk and working 12 hour days, moving between multiple tasks and getting stressed and flustered is the best use of your time, then I’m sorry but you are wrong. The most productive people are those who know how to plan, prioritise, focus and deliver on outcomes. It doesn’t matter if those outcomes are to deliver a report or play a game of cricket with your kids in the back yard. If you plan your time, remain focused on that task or activity until completed, you will achieve the best outcome in the most productive way.