The Anatomy of Personal Productivity (Page 2) Optimizing personal productivity (Working Smarter) is really about …Producing the Most Desired Results in the Least Amount of Time! Productivity is always governed by 2 Principles … Effectiveness & Efficiency 1. Effectiveness is really about doing the Right things! 3. Efficiency is really about doing things Right!
The Anatomy of Personal Productivity “Productivity Practices Pyramid” Focus Efficiency (Concentration) (Tactical / Execution) Organization Time Planning &Effectiveness Task Prioritization (Strategic) Clarity of Purpose & Desired Results
Making & Managing To-Do Lists (Page 3) Many suffer from “To-Do List Frustration” … Failing to Make & Manage lists successfully leaves one feeling self defeated Task Lists serve two basic purposes … 1. To Gather commitments, tasks in time sensitive manner 4. To Guide ones Actions To achieve these two primary ends, we recommend the use of the following Lists … Daily Action List Weekly Priority List Monthly / Quarterly Key Result / Outcome List Someday / Maybe To-Do List
Tips for Successfully Making & Managing Lists When building Action Lists key is Alignment! … Your Daily Action list built from Weekly Priority list which is built from your Monthly Key Result list is built from your KRA’s! Beware - Don’t overload your schedule … Don’t set yourself up for failure by making Wish list! … Only tasks on Action Lists those you realistically think you can complete! Make Lists after looking at Calendar assessing how much discretionary time you really have available Plan only 70% of actual discretionary time available Estimate how much time each task will take … Apply 130% Rule! - Familiar task allocate 130% - unfamiliar 150% … Beware “Parkinson’s 1st Law!”
Tips for Successfully Making & Managing Lists You need access to daily and weekly lists at least four weeks out to capture time sensitive commitments, tasks & activities If using paper based lists … Develop shorthand symbol system to facilitate quick, easy list management! … Completed, moved forward, delegated, deleted, left message Portability is essential! … Must be accessible at all times! Keep your old lists for a month or two When integrating your new list keeping system remember that it is simple, but not easy! Must develop the Habit of use! … Soon using lists will become 2nd Nature!
Setting Priorities - Urgency / Importance Matrix Page 5 The eternal struggle between Urgency & Importance High Importance High Low Urgency Urgency Low Importance
Setting Priorities - Key Learning Points Page 4 Basic Truth # 1 - You will be successful to the degree you “Live Above the Line”! … In Quadrants A & B! Basic Truth # 2 - The degree of control over Quadrant A is directly proportionate to amount of time spent in Quad B! Quad A is quadrant of Crisis, necessity and burn-out! Quad B is quadrant of Vision, Character, Leadership and True (long-term) Success! Quad C is quadrant of Deception … Cotton Candy Quad D is quadrant of escape, excess and Waste! Lack of Character creates gravitational pull “below the line”! Caution … Quad C tasks will eventually move to Quad A!
Setting Priorities – Best Practices Page 6 How can you tell if something is truly Important? … KRA’s! … Or, consequences for yourself and /or your stakeholders Maintain realistic expectations - given realities of today’s workplace can only hope for degree of Control over Quad A To get to Quad B must SAY NO to Quad D and Reduce C! Most dangerous Quad is C! … Beware the “Activity Trap”! Key is aware when in Quad C and do it FAST! Set a time frame … use alarm to Contain Quadrant C Perfectionism in Quad C is highly counterproductive! Multi-tasking OK when in Quad C Schedule time by Quad not Task; when in Quad A or B choose only 1 top priority! … Work on ONE task at a time!
Keys to Effective Scheduling (Page 7) The single most important Scheduling Success Strategy is to make a Weekly Planning Session the Cornerstone of your time planning!! Consolidate Discretionary Time into Chunks of time (90 Min) Front-load your Schedule Eat “Veggies” first! … Do most Distasteful tasks out of way! If possible, plan for 2 Distinctive Types of Days … Meeting / Appointment Days & Focus Days! … Key is not to mix! Identify your “Prime Time” save for quad A & B tasks