If there is one thing that a lot of people have in common is the simple fact that they waste their time being busy rather than being productive.
The procrastinate. They find reasons to ‘keep busy’ and avoid what NEEDS to be done for things that make them look like they’re working hard.
Are you one of them?
I remember reading Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey many many years ago, I had also read the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris before that so the book Brian had written made a lot more sense. If you haven’t read these books I suggest you do because they will not only change the way you think, they will change the way you work and you will get more done in less time, thus giving you more free time to do more productive things such as learning of self improvement.
I want to give you some tips that I’ve picked up over the years from attending various seminars, reading hundreds of books (most of which all say a very similar thing, as there is no real new information) and listening to various Pod Casts.
Let us begin.
1 – Eat That Frog (you will see the book for this at the end).
The story of eat that frog start off each day with you eating the largest ugliest frog imaginable and after that all you other daily activities are a doddle.
This pertains to getting the biggest, most daunting and basically the WORST thing you have to do in your day done AS SOON AS POSSIBLE because after that everything else will seem easy. This could be a call to your Regional Manager with yesterdays sales updates, or a phone call to the mother-in-law to tell her how her precious grandchild is doing, is the worst thing you can do and once it’s done you will feel a real sense of achievement and begin to beat the bug of procrastination that often times makes you do 101 things that don’t need to be done all in an attempt to put off what you NEED to do.
So what is your most important thing to do today that will cause the most positive and productive outcome?
It’s all about priorities.
Now go, Eat that Frog.
2 – What’s your REAL goal?
People claim to have a goal when in reality what they have is a musing or perhaps an idea of what they MIGHT like or MIGHT want.
In my experience I have found that a persons TRUE goal is the one that they want intellectually but emotionally. They have to be passionate about their goal in the work place and know it’s purpose because when a person is not only motivated by intellect (knowing how much it will benefit their life and their personal growth) but also emotion – passion/purpose – (they have a burning desire to achieve their goal because it MEANS something to them) then you will find this person is very hard to stop and will motivate themselves far beyond anything you can imagine.
Goals without Passion or Purpose are meaningless. Without those two things you don’t have a goal, you have a distraction.
What’s your passion and purpose?
3 – 80/20.
An age old principle, dating back to 1895 and was first coined by Alfredo Peradio because he discovered that 20% of the population of (either England or Italy, I can’t quite remember, I will check this) owned 80% of the land. This caused him to do more research looking for similar trends and what he discovered was that this 80/20 principle was very relevant to most things in life.
If we look at the modern world and take your client base for example you will find that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your clients and 80% of your productivity come from only 20% of your ‘busy’ working day. This shows that it’s not about how much one does but how well one does things. Much like a martial arts Master, she/he will know thousands of movements but will only use a select few in times of dire need, thus adhering to the 80/20 principle.
Look at your diary and what you do on a typical day and look at what you do that is PRODUCTIVE and adds to your business or adds to your life and establish what things out of all the things you do that will yield the most benefit.
It’s quality, not quantity.
4 – Start with the END in mind.
The problem some people face with goal setting is that they don’t know where their goal will end, they don’t know the GOAL as it were. Taking in to account everything written above you will be able to find your goals end point and from their work backwards planning a step by step journey that leaves little to chance.
Starting with the end in mind will allow you to use the 80/20 principle and establish what you NEED to do as opposed to what you COULD do that won’t do much more than waste your time and make you look busy.
What does the end typically look like?
– There will be a specific DATE.
– There will be a specific NUMBER (profit, building, fat loss etc).
– There will be a specific ROUTE (how you got there).
– There will be a specific STARTING POINT (reverse engineered from the end point).
When you start with the end in mind it’s much easier to work backwards and reverse engineer what you MUST do. Realise that when you know the destination the journey becomes much easier to see and far less daunting. Once you Know point E, workout out each part of points A-B-C-D are not so terrifying.
So tell me, what’s your end point?
5 – Social Media Recluse.
We have heard of a social recluse, you know, a person who doesn’t socialse and keeps to themselves. Well you need to become a Social Media Recluse and turn off or log out of all of your media accounts to help you avoid their distracting and very tempting allure. Did you know that on average people spend anywhere from 60-180min on social media each day! That’s a lot of wasted time procrastinating and watching videos of cats falling off things.
Don’t get me wrong, social media has it’s place and is a great advertising tool and extremely useful for business, however if you’re not using it for that reason then it’s a distraction that will only detour your from your goal and because of that you MUST limit you exposure to it.
Think it like a packet of doughnuts being sat on your desk. It’s not a case of IF you’re going to eat the packet but a case of when. Remove the temptation and increase your productivity. You can waste time with candy crush, angry birds or what ever the popular game of the time is once you’ve eaten not only your biggest FROG but also the medium one and the small ones for desert.
Ask yourself these questions:
Q – Is this Necessary? If no remove the temptation.
Q – Is this Productive? If no then stop wasting time and do something that will take you closer to your goal.
Work smart, not hard. Do what you MUST now so you can do what you WANT later.
Those 5 tips are tried and tested methods of becoming more productive. Test them out and let me know how you got on.