4 Productivity Principles That Will Revolutionise Your Work This Year #now

by Karl Rohde — Get free updates of new posts here. Photo Credit: Karl Rohde

Whenever a New Year rings in the blogosphere erupts with a flurry of goal setting, planning, vision creating tips and tricks. It's good vibes all around. It's a wave well worth riding. In order to achieve the big things that matter to you, taking the time to eke out a map is a definite step in the right direction. It does mean however that some action must follow to ensure the envisioned transforms into the tangible.

As you approach the apparent blank canvas for the new year consider how easily it is to lose track earlier in the year than we care to admit. Usually the goal train derails somewhere around January. The "annual planning" thing is a habit I believe we should get out of. As Jerod Morris at copyblogger relates: Waiting for January 1st is arbitrary.

KNOW THIS: The best time to start of course, is now. The trick of saying you'll start tomorrow is basically underpinning the reality that you'll ultimately repeat the habit of postponing important actions for a temporary measure of comfort now. This sense of self deception must go if you are to realise your best year; any year.

To help you on your way and get past the everyday annoyances that suck away your potential to do big things here are 4 productivity concepts to consider.

Scratch the surface of your WHY and WHAT

Carry out a simple and profound review of the past 12 months to get clear on WHAT you need to do and more importantly WHY. Ask yourself this potent question: Why don't I have everything I want in my life right now? Dig deep and write freely. Don't filter what you write. This list is for your eyes only. An honest response will result in a whole swag of ideas to put into play. This is your inner sense of what work and effort will actually translate into something you want. Don't over complicate things. If it's more than a page you'll lose interest so keep it real and to the point. This is super selfish and should reflect an intuitive sense of your aspirational magnetic True North. Beware however not to step into a state of analytic paralysis. Your ultimate WHY can take years to figure out. (I'm still trying to find mine.)

Focus on the ONE thing(s) that matters the most

The biggest mistake you can make with annual planning is trying to do too much. You can't climb two mountains at the same time. Narrow your focus! Yes narrow it down to ONE THING. Spreading ourselves too thin results in thin results. People who achieve big things know this intimately. A big goal requires focus on that one goal. Ask yourself, "If there was one thing you would really love to accomplish, what would it be?" Now make that your target. Don't get side tracked with small things on the way.

Another way of looking at this is the principle of subtraction. Take away everything on your list that you don't need to do right now. Its quite easy to create a long list of things to do, but when it comes to execution you can only do one thing at a time. This is what it means to be productive: work on the one thing that matters the most right now.

You may have heard of the Buffet List? (Thanks to Amy Porterfield for this). It's a productivity hack that traces back to mega-investor Warren Buffet. It's this: Create a list of everything you want to do. Pick out the top 3. Now, throw the rest away. Yes....this is about eliminating everything you don't need to do now so that you can focus on the things you do need to do now!

Take small steps daily

Get out of the habit of bursting into something only to burn out soon after you start. Like diets that fizzle out or new gym memberships that fall by the wayside after 2 months. Research into notable masters point to the most effective way known to achieve big things: DAILY PRACTICE. How do most people achieve extraordinary things? It's not overnight. People who have achieved mastery do so over decades, yes even Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Consider the Slight Edge principle which states that consistent efforts compound. Small disciplines performed everyday amass to more than a lot over time. This is akin to compound interest.

Robin Sharma, bestselling author of the Leader With No Title encourages people to consistently do 5 things everyday to achieve the extraordinary one day at a time. That amounts to 1825 things in a year. Undoubtedly that will reap something of value.

Give yourself less time

Don't make the mistake of giving yourself too much time. You already have the time you need. What you really lack is a deadline. Deadlines are an imperative to get you working with pace and focus. If you know you can wait a week or a month, you will!. Instead of creating a 12 month plan, make it a 12 week plan. Set yourself hard deadlines and make a commitment to shorter timeframes to drive action to an endpoint. If you feel tired and know you can wait a week you'll wait a week. Whatever it is you need to do create a tight schedule that carries momentum and drive it to an end. Then relax.

Note that every time you stop and take a break the harder it is to get going again. Time slicing or task switching is the enemy of great work and NO, humans can't multitask. The effort to recalibrate back to where you left off becomes an ever increasing pain you'll want to avoid and this then creates a bigger desire to relax and snack on some comfort. The stop-start habit is one to banish. Compress your time and get your work done and ship your products. Knowing your deadline is sooner than 31 December is potent medicine. The concept of a 12 month goal timeframe is way too long and it carries way too much option for delays, self-doubt and procrastination. Tighten up.

Why not run with the the idea of quarterly projects. 4 big projects broken into 12 weeks with a break in-between.

Bonus tip: Work on your mind and body

This is not really a tip. This is a principle for life. Being healthy is integral to doing your best work. Your brain just works better when you're healthy. In fact, being highly productive is not about working to death. It's about working smart and utilising the capabilities of your mind and body. In his 50's, prolific author Robert Greene says the most important things to his being super productive hinges on rigorous exercise and zen meditation. Michael Hyatt, big time blogger, CEO and NYT best-selling author, also in his 50's, is machine-like with his productivity. His trick? Boost your energy levels!!

For your body make the time to be fit daily. For your mind make time to be grateful daily: get a journal and write down 3 ways in which you are blessed - because we all are.


If after you get started you feel like giving up read this.

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