No! Na! Nie! Nu! Niet! Ne! Mai!
No matter what language you speak, saying no to others can be hard but it’s an important part of maximizing your personal productivity. Like most people, you may fear saying no makes you look selfish, rude or lazy, but saying yes to everything will leave you with too much to do and can distract you from what’s important.
Have you ever woken up in the morning or stayed up late pondering the question How can I be more productive? Probably not. Instead, most people ask themselves questions along the lines of, How can I find more time? How can I get caught up? or How can I possibly get all my work done? As you search for the right answers you can easily be overwhelmed by all the information you come across including the numerous promises that a “productivity hack” or “productivity tip” will fix your problems and magically make you more productive.
Clack, clack, clack. The sound of footsteps approaching my office again. It was Sally (we will use the name Sally to protect the innocent) at my office door asking me about a client file. Recently, when I hear the sound of my assistant entering my office I cringe and hold my breath. Could she really need me again? Does she have a question worth answering this time? Does she think I don’t work? How do I make it STOP!?…
Ugh… The frustration of unwanted emails. We all have them and we all hate them. You sign up for coupons, discounts, e-books, webinars, and more just to find out that the emails to follow do not provide you value. The idea of taking the time to opt out from email subscriptions seems so much harder than just ignoring or deleting them every single time you receive another email. However, do you realize how much time you waste deleting trivial emails and searching through your inbox trying to figure out what is important? In my experience, people waste at least 12 minutes per day on average being distracted by, deleting, and having to search through and qualify emails as to their importance. Unwanted emails may seem like just a nuisance but they are a productivity killer!
I am a list-making, get-sh*t-done kind of girl. I work from a massive task list that usually has around 200 tasks at any given time. Yep, that’s right! I have over 200 pending tasks on my plate on any given day and do not feel overwhelmed. You may be thinking, “What!?” or “Why!?” or “How!?”
Just the thought of a huge task list may make you feel overwhelmed, but it gives me a great sense of peace because I have all of my thoughts, ideas, and tasks outside of my head and documented in one place that I can access whenever the time is right. My task list allows me the freedom to think past today, tomorrow, and even next week. It empowers me to make proactive instead of reactive decisions about how I invest my time. My task list also enables me to live my life from a place of authority which comes from knowing I’m in control of my day. Ready to gain more control over your life? Start with conquering your task list!
I define productivity a bit differently than most so my answer may be different than most. I define productivity as investing your best time into your best activities. Working from multiple screens does not boost your productivity all on its own, but it does boost your efficiency.
Are you still writing your to-do list down on a legal pad? Even worse, does your office look like a tie-dyed mess of brightly colored Post-it notes reminding you of upcoming appointments and to-dos? It’s time to step into the era of digitization, starting with your task list! That is a bold statement but you must go digital with your task list to be the most efficient and effective. It’s essential! Unless you’re obsessed with the old school method and could care less about improving your productivity, take advantage of current technology and reap the many benefits of going digital!
Here are nine great reasons you need to ditch paper and go digital with your task list today:
When I was a child I hated reading! My Aunt Karen continued buying me books for every holiday though, just in case I ever developed an interest in them. I always opened her gifts last because I knew exactly what they were – books I didn’t want. However, now that I have a son and we read every night, I would give anything to have those amazing books in my possession again. Erik and I could not have been more opposite as children. No matter how tired he is, he refuses to go to bed without reading a book or having one read to him. Often times he’s still enjoying a different activity at bedtime and I ask him to make a choice: keep playing with your toys (or watching TV) for ten more minutes or we can read a book. I’m proudly never shocked by his answer. My guess is that we adults can learn a bit from Erik’s commitment to reading. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. We do not have time for everything but we have time for activities in which we choose to invest our time.
Do you embrace the art of multitasking? Perhaps you’ve even found yourself bragging about being a multitasker? Many years ago companies found that skill proudly listed on my resume. As work environments are increasingly demanding it only seems to make sense that if we want to be efficient and productive, we should attempt to excel at multitasking. Well the truth is… multitasking is one. Big. Lie!