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When did you start answering a friendly greeting about your health with a judgment about your schedule?
I love the satisfaction of completing things – checking off my “To Do” list feels great. But does that mean I’m too busy doing unimportant things to really accomplish what I should be doing in my life?
Busy does not equate to productive!
Busy means I’m doing many activities. They could be important to my life and my work, but not necessarily.
Productive means I’m doing the right things for the life I want to lead. Productive means I am making conscious choices about where to spend my limited time and energy – on the things that I think are central to the impact I want to make upon the world.
Here's how to be more productive:
First, determine what you want your life to look like: What will you be doing? How will you be making the world a better place? Who are you interacting with? What areas are you concentrating your efforts on?
Once you know what you want to focus on then make deliberate choices on what you are going to accomplish.
It is easy to get side-tracked by other options, but keep your goals in front of you and continue to focus on them every day.
Work on the most critical items first, don’t let email or social media get you off that focus. I believe that it’s through working on the most critical items a little each day, I make the most progress.
I find the most difficult part about keeping focused is saying “No” to non-critical ideas. I know that many people like to be flexible and keep their options open, but this is another way to get scattered and BUSY instead of productive.
It’s much easier to say “No” when you are clear on what’s important to you. If I want to double my business, or bench press 300 lbs, it’s easier to achieve my goal when I’m clear on what I want and eliminate what doesn’t help me reach that goal!
If you say “Yes” to every request that comes along then you’ll be BUSY, but many (or most) of these tasks aren’t moving you towards your most important goals.
It takes work to learn to say “No” with grace, but by being clear on what you want it becomes easier to get rid of things that don’t move you towards those goals.
Stay focused on the most important goals – this is how you’ll be productive this year!
Want some guidance in being more productive? Let’s talk: Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
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