Do you put the power behind your personal productivity or do you fritter away your day, cluttering up your calendar with busy work?
Let’s compare the work habits of twin entrepreneurs, Silly and Sally…
Silly: Silly gets up, grabs a cup of coffee and sits down at her desk. She thinks “Hmm… I wonder what I should work on today?” and then wanders off to check email and Twitter while she continues to decide what to work on.
Several hours later, it’s time for her to get off the computer and she thinks, “I didn’t get anything productive done! There’s never enough time in the day. I just don’t understand. I was busy all day!”
Sally: Sally gets up, grabs a cup of coffee and sits down at her desk. She picks up her action list of 6 items that she wants to get done for the day, and determines which one to tackle first. She then spends some focused time and finishes 5 of the items on her list.
After that, she decides that she’s almost out of time for the day, so she quickly checks email and Twitter. Then, she makes her list for the next day, making sure to transfer the one item that didn’t get done to the new list.
Which work scenario sounds the most like your day? It doesn’t take an efficiency expert to see that Sally has set herself up for success by planning ahead and focusing right away. I am certainly the most efficient on the days when I plan my day BEFORE sitting down at my desk.
Creating a Daily Action Plan is the Difference between Busy and Busy Work!
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that we’re being productive when in fact we’re just doing busy things.
#1: Do it at Night – A good day starts with a good night. At the end of the day, get clear on which tasks will move your closer to your goal, and start those first thing in the morning.
#2: Keep it Simple. Keep it Short – Focus on the key tasks that will really make a difference in your business. If your goal is to make money, then only focus on tasks that will support your revenue-generating efforts.
Do NOT list everything that you need to do on your to-do list or you’ll get overwhelmed. Consider using listing your top 6 to-do’s for the day on an index card or using an online task management tool like Teux Deux to keep track of your list.
#3: Finding your Way Back – A daily action list also serves a busy entrepreneur in another key way. When you get interrupted (and undoubtedly it will happen), you can very easily find your way back to productivity with one glance. Which of the six things were you working on?
Lack of productivity results from a lack of clarity and just as success leads to positive feelings and more success, an unproductive day doing a lot of nothing leads to all sorts of bad feelings and a negative success loop.
Get in the habit of making your list of to-dos BEFORE you call it quits for the day. That one simple shift in your daily habits will have a big impact on your results!
Want to add PEP to your growing business? Grab your copy of Get It Done Girl, Kim DeYoung’s latest eBook, Productivity, Efficiency, Profit! to learn how to get more of the RIGHT things done!