It’s Monday – do you have your cup of coffee in hand?
- Schedule at least one hour at the beginning of your week to determine your goals and priorities for the week, as well as the action items which need to be completed on a daily and weekly basis.
- Make this a regular time with your planner to ensure that it becomes a habit.
- Keep your action or task list to only 3-5 items so the most important things get done.
- Break large projects down into small, sequential steps or create a project management chart. Keeping the completion date in mind, schedule these steps into your planner.
- Mark deadlines on your calendar. You may want to create artificial deadlines two or three days ahead of time to allow for possible interruptions.
- Planning should be done at a time when you are unlikely to be interrupted so that you can focus on your larger goals.
- Allocate twice as much time for a task as you think it will take. This allows for interruptions and stopping to get more information.
- If you are having trouble making a decision, set the timer for 5 minutes and write down whys and why nots. You might also want to make a “to don’t” list as in “I don’t have to do that.”
Two of the many things that I took to heart from Stephen Covey’s 7 habits book that relate to productivity are:
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Schedule your priorities. If it’s important, it must be scheduled. What you don’t schedule won’t get done. Know your priorities, and center your day on those activities.
Never Forget the Main Thing
“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Never lose sight of the “big picture,” keep the main thing the main thing. Broken focus is the number one reason people fail. It’s not enough to start off on the right track; you must successfully avoid the unnecessary distractions and attractions of life which aim to sidetrack you.