Several of my coaching conversations this week inspired me to write this blog about designing your life on your terms and not on others. And the very first practical topic that serves the purpose is being productive.
In today’s world, all of us do, consume and produce more than ever before. Day after day, we’re bombarded with information and receive dozens, even hundreds, of emails and phone calls prompting us to do something. Many of us use our energy to take care of everything and be everywhere by multitasking.
Although we can do some things at the same time – such as walking and talking on the phone- what we can’t do is effectively focus on two tasks at the same time. This means that frequently, when we think we are multitasking, we are actually juggling two or more tasks, switching focus from one to another just as a computer does.
Research has shown that, for humans, such task switching takes time to move from one task and then refocus on another. This waste of time may be small in the case of relatively simple tasks, but it increases greatly when the task you are returning to is more complex. During the day, this loss of time&energy add up, and it has been estimated that, on average, people spend up to a third of the day recovering from these distractions.
Do you really have the luxury to lose your third of your day?
I guess not…!
Most of the productivity techniques are designed to help us take care of as much of everything as possible every day. But I firmly believe that productivity starts with first identifying what is really important & essential & close to your heart and what is not. As being busy and having a long to-do list doesn’t mean you get a lot done. On the contrary, most of the time people do a lot during the day and end up feeling like they have done nothing at all!! The main reason for this feeling is during the day, they do a lot of unimportant or unnecessary things.
In order to stop that from happening, we have to set boundaries for ourselves and focus on the important things. And this will help us to achieve the greatest impact with the least amount of effort.
Focusing on the important things and setting boundaries for ourselves will help us to be productive and work on the things that will move us forward. So it comes to the topic of prioritisation again.
But this time the key question here is “Instead of prioritizing the tasks that are important to others, how can you prioritize them by their importance to you?”
You can start this process first by asking questions to yourself to understand what are your long term goals. And below questions may help you to do that.
- What are my main goals in life?
- What are my values?
- What’s important to me? What do I love?
- Which of my obligations are really essential?
- Which of my projects match up with my long-term goals?
- What has the biggest influence on my life?
- What things have the biggest influence in the long term?
- How many emails do I really need in my life? And how do they help me to reach my goals?
- What do I really need?
- What do I desire?
These questions go for all areas of your life. In order to become clear about these things, make a habit of taking the time to take a step back and observe your life from the outside. And journal, take notes about your observations.
Once you know the answers to these questions, it will be very easy for you to prioritise. So, it’s worth investing time to gain a clearity.
And do get in touch with me if you need any assistance on this!