There are about 5 kajillion different methods and systems for improving productivity. My favourite? It takes about 5 minutes, and the ability to write or type a list. Oh, and it will literally CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
I apologize for the all caps there–I don’t want to shout at you, but I cannot overstate the magnificent, transformative quality of this technique. It’s not sexy, it’s not flashy. But it is one of the most effective ways I know of, to take you from where you are to where you want to be. I touched on this in 10 Ways to Wake up Excited to Go to Work and I want to fully explain it here because I know how helpful it is. Do I use it every day? Pretty much… But when I don’t I realize it makes all the difference in the world. Without further ado:
- Stretch: Your to-do items should be things you wouldn’t automatically make time for. No points for putting “wake up” or “brush hair” on the list.
- Look at the Big Picture: Make each item something that brings you closer to achieving your bigger goals, with regards to health, relationships, money, work, or making a contribution.
- Chunk it down: Break big tasks into smaller ones. Make each item doable before the end of the day, so you have a sense of satisfaction from completing it.
- Balance: If you’re someone who never takes time out to play, laugh, or enjoy time with friends and family, you need to put this on your list! Staying balanced is critical for any entrepreneur. Not only is it important for your overall health and well-being, it makes you better able to handle challenges and think creatively.
- Reward yourself! Celebrate those check marks by treating yourself in whatever way is meaningful for you.
For extra points: get an accountability buddy to make their own 6 Most Important Things list, and check in with each other at the end of the day. It sucks when you have to admit to someone you didn’t do what you said you were going to, and it feels awesome to brag that you actually did. Plus, you’ll be helping a friend get closer to their goals!