Thursday, January 24, 2013

How To Be More Productive (Book - "Extreme Productivity" by Robert C. Pozen)

Every day we are bombarded with meetings, get tons of email and face deadlines.  There are ways to help stay focused, so we can be more productive.

First and foremost you must know your GOALS. If you haven't already, write down your long term goals, yearly goals and then monthly & weekly goals. Breaking them down to the smaller element, helps you organize and identify your work.

· Prioritize your work

· Spend the most time on the most important tasks & goals

· Don't watch the clock, manage the clock

When you prioritize your responses to emails, or which meetings you attend, you in essence spend your efforts in the most critical places first. This will help you achieve your goals.

Many have used the 80/20 rule. Spend the first 20% of your time getting rid of the smaller stuff, or at least identifying them. Then spend the 80% of your time working on the most important tasks that are prevalent to your goals. 
Robert Pozen (lecturer at Harvard Business School)  uses the 80/20 a little differently.  He says you probably have to respond to only 20% of emails, and could disregard the other 80%.  Either way, 80/20 sounds like a good way to sort.

We all love to track. We watch the clock and think we spent so much time on something we must have accomplished a good days work. Not always so. If we waste our time working on reports that are not needed, or we spend too much time 'socializing' which sometimes is referred to as building bridges, then we have not always spent our time wisely.

Ask yourself the hard questions –

Will this task help me achieve my goal? Will this task make a difference?
If not then stay away and focus your time elsewhere. 

To be productive a person needs to manage their time, not be overwhelmed by tasks.  

Keep the perspective.  Step back and ask yourself the right questions. 

 Most important, always move forward.

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