We often think that to be more productive, we must always do more tasks. To complete more and more projects. By always working longer. If you want to be productive, you have to complete at least 43 tasks per day and complete long to-do lists like the arms of Manute Bol every week …
If we work hard enough to deserve results, then we will get them. This is how it works, right?
When I started my first business, that’s how I worked anyway. I was over-motivated like never before, convinced that if I worked hard enough, I could have the results I dreamed of. I could already see myself traveling the world working on something that fascinates me in my private jet heading to Thailand. (well … I add a little, but you see the idea).
I spent the first six months working on it like hell every minute of my free time. I had an endless to-do list, I barely knew where to start because I wanted to do it and I was constantly overwhelmed. But it was for a good cause! The training I bought promised me that I could be free within 6 weeks and easily earn 3,000 balls per month. (ohohhh, how’s that pigeon ?!).
And yet, I found myself 6 months after starting with only a handful of subscribers and less than 300 balls on my Stripe account … yet having worked non-stop for months on many things to advance my business Darling.
The problem ?
It’s because being productive doesn’t mean doing as many tasks as possible, or even working 20 hours a day like a seriously ill. Oh no unhappy!
Being productive is doing the right things better. The things that matter and have the most impact in producing the result you want: moving your business forward.
But by wanting to do absolutely everything without any priority, we advance a little bit on a lot of things, but never much on what matters the most. The more we want to do, the more we invest in lots of tasks: the more we divide our energy and our results.
The solution ?
To accomplish more and achieve the results you want, you have to accept not to accomplish everything. In his book The One Thing, Gary Keller tells us that to be more productive and more efficient, you have to stop always wanting to do more and focus on what is essential.
In this article, we see exactly how you can apply this to your own business to be much more efficient and achieve your goals faster. And it starts with a key question you need to ask yourself to know what to do to move faster.
One question to be more productive
To be more productive and accomplish more, the first step is to set your priority. And to define your priority, you must ask yourself THE question:
“What’s the only thing I can do so that by doing it everything else becomes simpler, if not unnecessary?” “
To answer this question, you need to identify the tasks that are most important. The handful of tasks that have the most impact to get you going and bring you the bulk of your results. Ask yourself:
- Where am I at?
- Where do I want to go?
- What actions would allow me to move fully towards this goal?
- What actions on the contrary are not essential and can be eliminated?
- What’s the only thing I can do, so that by doing it, everything else becomes easier, if not unnecessary?
- Identify THE task that matters the most ;
- Make it your priority ;
- Stay focused on it ;
- Leave everything else in the background.
Pass the first level
And of course, do it on several levels. To be more effective, define your long-term, medium-term and short-term priorities.
By giving yourself a long-term priority, you can know exactly where you want to go and make more sense of your priorities below, which will bring you closer to that ultimate goal. By giving yourself a medium-term priority, you can give more meaning and more impact to your daily actions, which will bring you closer to a clearer, more precise and not so distant priority. And by giving yourself a short-term priority, you can know exactly what to do on a daily basis to get a little bit more forward every day – and push the first domino.
- Find your why where you want to reach in the very long term, your ultimate goal;
- Each day, identify the priority that will move you the most towards your goal for the week. The only thing you can do, so that by doing it everything else becomes simpler, if not unnecessary;
- Each week, identify the priority that will move you the most towards your goal for the month. The only thing you can do, so that by doing it everything else becomes simpler, if not unnecessary;
- And so on, until you reach your long-term goal …
Eat your frog to be more productive every day
Once your priorities are clear and your plan is well defined, all you have to do is be effective every day. Easier said than done, I know. To be truly productive and get ahead of your priorities every day, start by eating your frog.
“If your job is to eat a frog, it better be the first thing you do every morning.” If your job is to eat two, you better start with the bigger one. “ – Mark Twain
For Brian Tracy, the frog is our most important task at the moment, the priority that will keep us going. And this is precisely the task on which we are most likely to procrastinate, the one that we will postpone until a little later, the time to answer our emails, to solve this small technical problem on our site and to watch a little Netflix because we have already worked well.
To be 100% sure that you are productive every day, start each day with your frog to use when you have the most energy on the most important task.
- Identify the priority of your day, that will get you the furthest towards your goal for the week. The only thing you can do, so that by doing it, everything else becomes easier, if not unnecessary. Ask yourself what you would do if you could only work two hours out of the day to get ahead;
- Start each day with this task that has the most impact and will bring you the most results, without multitasking, without any distractions, just by being 100% focused on your priority;
- As soon as it’s done, do what you want, but block the first hours of your day to move forward on your priority by being 100% focused.
“The things that matter most should never be at the mercy of the things that matter least. “ – Goethe
To be more efficient, identify your priorities, stay focused on them and send everything else around.
- Define your long-term goal, where you want to go;
- Set priorities at several levels (from short to long term) that will bring you each closer to the level above until you reach your ultimate goal;
- Start each day with your priority, the most important task of the day that you can do to get closer to your goal for the week;
- Leave everything that isn’t essential aside, and stay focused on the priority.
By giving yourself priorities that follow a clear plan toward your ultimate goal, you’ll be able to get to work more easily because you’ll know exactly what to do – and why. And by focusing on concrete priorities that move you towards well-defined goals, you will be able to move your business forward much more effectively.
But how do you organize yourself to set yourself motivating goals and put in place a system that makes you as efficient as possible? Besides, is it really necessary to set goals, or would it not be a bit of a loser thing? Click here to read the article that shows you how to organize your system simply, and to find out if you are a big loser according to Scott Adams.