Back to Basics             Productivity        COVER PAGE        Place The Title ofThere will never be enough time to do e...
About the Author   Anne Headen         Anne is the owner of Acusmart PA.         As a professional, highly skilled Virtual...
TABLE OF CONTENTS:   Capture your Ideas……………………………4   Your Life vision …………………………………6   Setting Goals ………………….…..............
CHAPTER 1:   Capture Your Ideas            Capture your            Ideas     The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on...
Back to Basics Productivity          The best way to stop brain overload is to brain dump!    Our brains are not optimised...
CHAPTER 2:   Your Life Vision            Your Life            Vision       There is one quality that one must possess to w...
Back to Basics Productivity         Visualising your successful future is an important part of                getting clea...
CHAPTER 3:   Setting Goals            Setting            Goals        Clear written goals have a wonderful effect on your ...
Back to Basics Productivity       Choose goals which will have the greatest positive impact                             on...
CHAPTER 4:   Master Task List         Master       Task List          Action is the foundational key to all success.      ...
Back to Basics Productivity       The more time you take to plan, the more effective you will                             ...
CHAPTER 5:   Weekly Review         Weekly       Review       Celebrate any progress. Don’t wait to get perfect.           ...
Back to Basics Productivity                       Celebrate what went well this week    Schedule time each week for your, ...
Back to Basics Productivity                    Analyse what didn’t go so well this week      Analyse what didn’t go so wel...
CHAPTER 6:   Plan Next Week        Plan     Next Week       Planning is bringing the future into the present so you       ...
Back to Basics Productivity                             Plan every day in advance     You’ve now spent some time reflectin...
CHAPTER 7:   Schedule Your Time        Schedule     Your Time        Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time,      ...
Back to Basics Productivity           Reserve time in your calendar to complete your most                              imp...
CHAPTER 8:   Someday / Maybe File        Someday / Maybe     File       If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as...
Back to Basics Productivity        Capture thoughts and ideas for the future in a someday /                              m...
CHAPTER 9:   Setting Priorities         Setting     Priorities                   Things which matter most    Must never be...
Back to Basics Productivity                         Pareto Principle: The 80 / 20 rule       There is no more physical tim...
CHAPTER 10:   Procrastination     Procrastination    The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret          o...
Back to Basics Productivity      In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-      priority actions...
CHAPTER 11:   To Recap         To     Recap                    We are what we repeatedly do.              Excellence, then...
Back to Basics Productivity          Dedicate yourself to developing habits of high productivity by                     pr...
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Back to Basics Productivity eBook

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There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do. You're on a never ending treadmill of work and responsibilities, projects, social media, books and magazines to read...

The Back to Basics Productivity eBook will provide you with the tools to take control of the tasks you need to do and which will make a difference to your life. You will also learn techniques to stop doing those activities which don't take you to where you want to be.

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Back to Basics Productivity eBook

  1. 1. Back to Basics Productivity COVER PAGE Place The Title ofThere will never be enough time to do everything youhave to do. You’re on a never ending treadmill of work Your Ebook Hereand responsibilities, projects, social media, books andmagazines to read…The Back to Basics Productivity eBook will provide youwith the tools to take control of the tasks you need to doand which will make a difference in your life.You will also learn techniques to stop doing thoseactivities which don’t take you to where you want to be. Written By Anne Headen
  2. 2. About the Author Anne Headen Anne is the owner of Acusmart PA. As a professional, highly skilled Virtual PA to freelancers and small business owners, Anne has learnt the art of time management and productivity through juggling a number of clients and projects. The Back to Basics Productivity eBook is a no nonsense guide to visualising, planning and taking action; today and every day. Dedicate yourself to developing habits of high productivity by practising them daily and repeatedly. Please feel free to share with friends or colleagues you feel need a helping hand in prioritising their time and become more productive. If you have any questions or feedback, please do contact Anne at anne@acusmartpa.co.uk. Or follow her on Twitter @AcusmartPACopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Capture your Ideas……………………………4 Your Life vision …………………………………6 Setting Goals ………………….…...................8 Master Task List….……………………………. 10 Weekly Review……………………………….. 12 Plan Next Week……………………………….15 Schedule Your Time…………………………..17 Someday / Maybe File………………………19 Setting Priorities……………………………….. 21 Procrastination………………………………... 23 To Recap………………………………………. 25Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  4. 4. CHAPTER 1: Capture Your Ideas Capture your Ideas The ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status and happiness in life. Brian TracyCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  5. 5. Back to Basics Productivity The best way to stop brain overload is to brain dump! Our brains are not optimised to carry endless bits of information around. One of the major reasons we get stressed is trying to remember everything we have to do and accomplish. The best way to stop brain overload is to brain dump. Every time you have a thought or idea or something you need to do, get it down on paper or use whatever capture device works for you. Here are some ideas to get you started: • Good old fashioned paper • Post it notes • 3 x 5 index cards and carry them around in your handbag or wallet • Have a folder set up on your computer for capturing ideas: break it down into projects you are working on, blog posts, household tasks and so on. • “Evernote” – fabulous software for capturing notes and tasks. There is also an app available to sync with your iphone or ipad. • “Things” for the Mac is another powerful tool to use and can also be synced with your iphone or ipad. • Audio. Record your thoughts and ideas to your iphone or a dictaphone. As soon as you think of an idea, write it down or record it; you can then stop worrying about it and concentrate on the task in hand. You’ll find once you get into the habit of brain dumping, you’ll see how mentally freeing it is. Find a system which works for you; don’t have too many systems and capture devices, so much so, that you cannot remember where you wrote your ideas down.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  6. 6. CHAPTER 2: Your Life Vision Your Life Vision There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it. Napoleon HillCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  7. 7. Back to Basics Productivity Visualising your successful future is an important part of getting clear about where you want to be Traditional planning methods focus on what you need to do. Checking off a series of tasks, which can provide an illusion of progress, when in actual fact, you have not really achieved anything. To achieve greatness, focus first on what you want and connect your dreams, outcomes and desires to the actions you take on a daily and weekly basis. You need to know the results that you are committed to achieving in your life, before you figure out what you need to do. Visualising your successful future is an important part of understanding and getting clear about where you want to be. When you have a dream which you are totally passionate about, you create an emotional impact; which will generate incredible energy and allow you to creatively plan and realise your dream. Only when you know exactly what you want and where you want to be, can you begin to make plans to adjust your life to achieve your life vision. Write down your vision; what is it that you are committed to achieving? Be specific and remember to include a date for achieving your vision.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  8. 8. CHAPTER 3: Setting Goals Setting Goals Clear written goals have a wonderful effect on your thinking. They motivate you into action.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  9. 9. Back to Basics Productivity Choose goals which will have the greatest positive impact on your life. A major mistake many people make is confusing goals and tasks. They attempt to do everything at once and rapidly become overwhelmed. If you have a major goal, which may take 3, 6, 12 months or more to complete – you cannot accomplish this in one sitting. Referring back to your life vision and where you want to be, take a few moments and select the goals that, if you achieved them, would have the greatest positive impact on your life. Write these goals down on a separate piece of paper and set a deadline. You must include a deadline, as not doing so you will have no ending and will naturally procrastinate. You may have 4 – 6 goals on the go at the same time. These can include both business and personal. Don’t make the mistake of trying to attempt too many goals in too short space of time, you’ll soon find you’re spreading yourself too thin. Now you have chosen the goals which will have the greatest positive impact on your life, you can plan how you are going to achieve them.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  10. 10. CHAPTER 4: Master Task List Master Task List Action is the foundational key to all success. PicassoCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  11. 11. Back to Basics Productivity The more time you take to plan, the more effective you will be. Your measurable goals now need to be broken down into bite sized tasks to make them achievable. You know where you want to be, you now need to work backwards from your vision to where you are now. Always work from a master task list; the more time you take to make written lists of everything you have to do, in advance, the more effective you will be. Take a few moments to write down a list of all the things that you believe must happen to achieve each of your specific goals. Keep writing and add anything which comes to mind. Don’t worry about the order at this time. This master task list will form the basis of your action plan. Each of your goals should now have its master list; a place where you capture every idea that comes to mind. Tasks and responsibilities will keep coming up, therefore keep adding to the list as soon as you think of them. Take items from your master list and add them to your monthly list. Next, break down the monthly list into a weekly one. This is your task list which you will work your way through during the current week.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  12. 12. CHAPTER 5: Weekly Review Weekly Review Celebrate any progress. Don’t wait to get perfect. Ann McGee CooperCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  13. 13. Back to Basics Productivity Celebrate what went well this week Schedule time each week for your, weekly review. Choose a time which works for you, it could be over the weekend or early Monday morning but your week should be planned and scheduled so you can hit the ground running. Celebrate what went well this week. Start by celebrating everything you achieved during the previous week, include all the small things which happened also. In the hurly burly of everyday life, we rarely take the time to appreciate the things we’ve accomplished, the things which made us smile and the successes; however big or small. Write down everything you achieved from last week and which you are proud of. Reward yourself with a special treat; a bar of chocolate, your favourite magazine, a glass of bubbly or lunch with a friend. Go celebrate!Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  14. 14. Back to Basics Productivity Analyse what didn’t go so well this week Analyse what didn’t go so well Write down everything you feel didn’t quite go to plan. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t achieve everything you set out too. Setbacks will crop up but keep positive and maintain your enthusiasm. • Were there mitigating circumstances why you didn’t achieve everything you set out too? • Was your motivation lacking? • Are you putting tasks off because of a fear you have yet to overcome? • Did you set your sights too high and became overwhelmed with the task in hand? • Did you become distracted and lose focus? What could you have done to avoid these things happening? How will you improve it next week? Be honest with yourself.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  15. 15. CHAPTER 6: Plan Next Week Plan Next Week Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now. Alan LakeinCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  16. 16. Back to Basics Productivity Plan every day in advance You’ve now spent some time reflecting on last week; celebrated your milestones and achievements and analysed areas for improvement. We can begin to plan our next week. This is non-negotiable time and should be scheduled on your calendar. With your vision at the forefront of your mind, plan the outcomes for the next week. Refer to your master task list and choose between 5 – 6 weekly milestones you wish to accomplish – these are your most important tasks, not the itty bitty easy tasks but the difficult tasks, the ones you are likely to procrastinate over. Finally, transfer items from the weekly list onto your daily task list. These are the specific activities that you are going to accomplish each day. When you plan each day in advance, you’ll find it much easier to get going and keep going.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  17. 17. CHAPTER 7: Schedule Your Time Schedule Your Time Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. Benjamin FranklinCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  18. 18. Back to Basics Productivity Reserve time in your calendar to complete your most important tasks This is the area where many people fail as they may have their list of tasks to complete for the week, but no schedule in place as to when they will work on them. You need to assign actual time to doing the things which matter to you. During your weekly review, you spent some time planning your course of action for the week and days ahead. Take a look at your calendar at the week ahead and see what appointments, client work, etc you already have booked. Now go ahead and reserve time on your calendar – yes, I really do mean for you to block out chunks of time to work on the tasks you wish to get done. Start by scheduling time for the 3 most important tasks for each day; the ones which you really must complete to enable your goals to keep moving forward. Next, fill in the areas of the calendar where you may fit in smaller, less important tasks. These still require to get done, but should not be at the expense of your most important tasks. If you want to get the work done, you have to schedule it.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  19. 19. CHAPTER 8: Someday / Maybe File Someday / Maybe File If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer. Zig ZiglarCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  20. 20. Back to Basics Productivity Capture thoughts and ideas for the future in a someday / maybe file As David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done, advocates, start a someday/maybe file. Your someday/maybe file is a great way to capture ideas and things you would like to do sometime in the future; but not today. Rather than losing those ideas, capture them to look through at a later time and when you have more capacity. Your someday / maybe file can also include fun things you’d like to do and places you’d like to visit. When you’re ready to start a new project or you’re looking for something fun to do during downtime, all your ideas and references are to hand for you to flick through and choose.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  21. 21. CHAPTER 9: Setting Priorities Setting Priorities Things which matter most Must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. GoetheCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  22. 22. Back to Basics Productivity Pareto Principle: The 80 / 20 rule There is no more physical time for any of us, but there is a lot more time for what really matters to you. ‘Pareto Principle’: The 80/20 rule is one of the most useful of all time and life management concepts. 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results or 20% of your tasks will account for 80% of the value of what you do. Therefore you need to prioritise the two tasks which will be worth as much as the other eight items together. Highly productive people prioritise and complete their most important task first – each and every day.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  23. 23. CHAPTER 10: Procrastination Procrastination The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting with the first one. Mark TwainCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  24. 24. Back to Basics Productivity In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high- priority actions with tasks of lower priority, or doing something from which one derives enjoyment, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. One of the main reasons for procrastination is when tasks seem so large we are overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. Hence we put off ever starting them. Here are three techniques for helping you overcome procrastination: • Break down the task down into bite sized chunks With this method you take small baby steps to completing the task. When you start and finish a bite sized task, you feel motivated to take the next step. Every baby step completed boosts your confidence and self-esteem and creates an inner drive to complete your main task. • Resolve to work on a task for a set period of time I call this my Power Hour. Set a timer for your 60 minute power hour; switch off all distractions and stay focused on the task for the set time. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish during your power hour. • Practice Selective Procrastination The simple fact is you cannot do everything on your task list; therefore you have to procrastinate on something. The trick is to learn Selective Procrastination by selecting which tasks to procrastinate on; those which are of low value and do not take you a step closer to your life vision.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  25. 25. CHAPTER 11: To Recap To Recap We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. AristotleCopyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com
  26. 26. Back to Basics Productivity Dedicate yourself to developing habits of high productivity by practising them daily and repeatedly. 1. Capture your ideas Mentally free up your mind by brain dumping all the endless bits of information you’re carrying around with you. 2. Your Life Vision Only when you know exactly where you want to be and what you want, can you begin to make plans to adjust your life. 3. Goal Setting Choose the goals which will have the greatest positive impact on your life. 4. Master Task List Your master task list forms the basis of your action plan. 5. Weekly Review Take time to reflect on the previous week’s achievements and areas for improvement. 6. Plan Next Week This is non-negotiable time to plan the most important tasks and outcomes you wish to accomplish. 7. Schedule your Time Schedule in your calendar time to complete those tasks which enable your goals to keep moving forward. 8. Someday / Maybe File To capture ideas and thoughts you would like to do sometime in the future. 9. Setting Priorities There is no more physical time for any of us, but there is a lot more time for what really matters to you. 10. Procrastination Follow my three techniques to overcome procrastination.Copyright: Anne Headen | http://www.acusmartpa.com

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