Become More Productive by Learning just One Skill!21 Jan 2015

Say you could change your productivity in one easy step - what would it be? Being able to instantly tell the difference between what's important and what's urgent.

It may seem simple when you think about it, but in the heat of work we do tend to get our focus misplaced sometimes. As humans, we are built in a way that makes us drop everything on the sight of an urgent task,
a notification or somebody's request. This isn't necessarily a good thing. It's not always, that the urgent job should be prioritized over the important one.

Become more productive by learning just one skill

Here are some ideas for you to implement in order to get your focus right and therefore save massive amounts of time:

Disallow all notifications

It's rare that a notification will be as vital as to demand your immediate attention - the world really will not collapse if you read them all in bunches every couple of hours rather than keep checking and loosing focus every few minutes.

Be assertive

Learn to decline "urgent" requests for help, their urgency for others doesn't need to mean it's crucial for you to do. On top of this, you'll be respected more if you're known to say no every once in a while.

Limit the number of things you're going to work on during the day

Multitasking is bad for efficiency. Focusing on a small number of jobs in a day allows you to do get better results than by doing the same work in bits (no time wasted on switching and refreshing your memory).

Stop watching tv

Not much good ever comes from a TV that is always on. Just think of the number of hours you're spending on watching programs, and often of a dubious quality.

Put a date on your plan

How often do you find yourself thinking: one day I'll write a book, start going to the gym or learn to play a harp. "One day" is not good enough, but if you make it "this March" or even better - "on the 2nd of March" - then you really get a chance to actually make a start on it.

Force yourself to push the important tasks onto your daily task plan:

It's too easy to say: as soon as I've done 1, 2 or 3 I can get working on the main thing. This is a special kind of tricking yourself into believing that all is well. But really, you're just stalling, putting the really important stuff off and just welcoming distractions.

Instead of cutting losses, decide what is ineffective work and forget about doing it at all:

You may be superbly efficient, but you'll never be able to get 100% of what's expected, asked and requested from you across all fields. There is always some email you'd be answering only to tick it off while knowing too well it will not produce any value. There also are calls that returning brings no effect. The same goes for your work - some things are done "just because", not for their actual value. Forget about them, focus on the important stuff.

To sum up - there are some things you can start doing any moment in order to improve your efficiency and make time savings. Some easier than other, but all bringing you closer to being more productive (hence more appreciated) and to having more time for other things. And all that is required from you to achieve this is learning to recognize what's urgent and what's important.