The most productive people seem to have it all figured it out. They have a to-do list and just rock at it, right? Well, it's a bit more than that. They make sure that what they do isn't just "busy work", but focused, daily work that steers them toward truly important stuff they want to get done. Here's how you can too.
Image by Ryan Tir.
Oftentimes unimportant distractions that masquerade as very urgent matters can creep up and take our attention away from things we should be doing, but it's not easy to recognise that they might be distractions in the first place. Inc.'s Jeff Haden suggests asking eight questions to help you keep organised and keep on top of the right to-do items:
- Do I do everything with a goal in mind? Don't just do things for the sake of doing. Make sure you know why you're doing something.
- Do I create systems that support my goals? A system might be something like operations or habits to make sure you stay on task.
- Do I believe in myself? It's important to be able to push forward or pivot, even in the face of discouraging results.
- Do I believe I am in control of my life? Haden aptly notes, "Many people feel luck — or outside forces — has a lot to do with success or failure. If they succeed, luck favoured them; if they fail, luck was against them."
- Do I sometimes embrace "random"? Don't be so tunnel-visioned that you miss other angles to approach a problem, or opportunities.
- Do I use my goals to make my decisions automatic? This goes back to the first question: Why? If you know why you're doing something, distractions are easier to ignore when they don't align with your goals.
- Do I multitask? Focus on one thing and be really awesome at that one thing.
- Do I ask for help right away? It pays to ask for help when you recognise your own limitations and get valuable insight from people who know their stuff.
Check the article for full details behind each question.
You know that sinking feeling you have when there's too much on your plate? When you try to tackle your tasks by priority, but it feels like everything's important? Don't get overwhelmed — it's a problem that everyone faces at some point or another, and while it's difficult to skilfully juggle multiple priorities and competing responsibilities, it's not impossible. Here's how.