How can some individuals reach over so much of activities, material, to do lists and talk with a dozen people a day without breaking a sweat? The Internet is filled with how-to and do’s and don’ts, yet it seems to be an ongoing challenge to get to all what you want, and when you want it.
It is not single point of action, but often about striking the right balances:
Multitask but in batches
Follow up 20 different tasks in a day may be hard, moving from one assignment to the other takes energy. But answering 20 emails during the same hour is likely better than throughout the day. Reviewing material better once or twice, is better than 10 times during a day. Meetings clustered together rather than spread over the entire day. It may seem obvious to one thing at the time, but we get easily distracted. Our emotions love distractions, yet our brain is sequential. Multitasking is actually jumping through many tasks after each other, not simultaneously. And, reduce the focus and attention to that particular job. Many similar tasks in a tight row will require discipline and focus, while mastered it can significantly boost productivity. To have the patience to practice the skill of batching can be very rewarding.
To do lists vs energy
To do list is inconsiderate of how you feel about doing it. Organizing your long list of tasks depending on what you have energy for can be much better if you have the flexibility to do so. A time to read, a time to respond, a time for creating and a time to be in meetings. Follow your daily energy morning, midday and afternoon. Daily or weekly fluctuations. Listening to what makes you feel the flow, will make it more enjoyable. Energy is the driving force behind productivity. Energy is yet not predictable and humbly following how it changes and lives its own life, can lead to new reserves to create real momentum.
Planning vs. improvisation
“I am not a planner, I improvise”. Alternatively, “I plan so I don’t have to improvise”. There is a better alternative. The better you plan the more you are free to improvise. It is not either or, it can be both. The more advanced your planning skills the more flexibility you can create in handling unexpected tasks or challenges. Most choose one or the other, but being passionate about both planning and improvising will take you to another level.
Bold actions vs retrospectives
Taking bold determined actions can be needed to move massive tasks and meet ambitious goals. Boldness can give direction, force and momentum. At the same time, balancing this with humble reflections, can be gold. After moving, stop and reflect. What worked? Where did I waste time? Where can I change the way I think? Which steps can I skip or handle better? Being too humble creates inertia. Too much boldness may lead to ignorance. Inertia and ignorance are not a great combination. The yin and yang of the two counterforces can create much higher productivity.
Alone vs Dialogue
Working in one direction can be beneficial. Like an author following a special course. A scientist following a particular hypothesis. A manager following a strong mission. Moving alone and going deep in a topic can take you far and with speed. Finding the right counterforce through dialogue, criticism and review is equally important. Too much democratic processes prematurely may weaken a concept. Challenging concepts and ideas after being developed with critique can be key to maturing the potential of the ideas. Receiving reviews and criticism too early or too late can equally bad.
An outside perspective – inside out
Bringing in a person you admire can bring magic to your reality. How impressed would a particular friend, relative, colleague, manager or famous person be in reviewing what you do? The way you do it? How you advance? How you learn from your actions and insights?
Like most productivity tips they may all seem relative obvious. It is not in understanding the principles it is by practicing them every day. How often do your review work, processes, ideas and concepts with this outsider perspective? What impact does this technique have? Used with precision and with motivation it can be a playful way to better productivity.
Organized vs. creative
Being creative can be a valuable skill, yet the ability to put things in system is of equal importance. How ideas are part of a concept, leading to a process, leading to multiple milestones, leading to results and then being reviewed. It is hard to be excellent in all stages. The more value that is extracted from each stage the more power is in the creativity.
Why do we care about productivity?
MASTER WiZR is a system for presenting what matters. It is all about how things are organized, presented and shared. Before ideas, projects and concepts are ready to be share there is a lot of work to be done. Meetings are regularly part of a process not just the end station. Therefore, behind a great presentation system there needs to be a vision for productivity. Ultimately productive use of time lead to more meaningful material to exchange, and then create momentum, making progress.
Productivity is a natural part of excelling with presenting and sharing. A tool that makes you excel in one discipline should also be equally good with the dimension of productivity. Running the 100 meter at 9.8 seconds is the way to present your skills to the world and claim your accolade. Productivity and inspired work are what gets to present yourself to the world in the best possible way, to Shine Professionally.
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