You can do anything, but not everything.david allen
I like to call myself productivity Ninja!
I have conquered the productivity anxiousness. The regular feeling that you have more things to do than the time you have…I don’t have it anymore! That’s because I have streamlined my work in such a way that I have time allocated for each task.
You see, I have a full time job, I run few blogs, I read a lot, I have a podcast under progress, my family with two kids and so on. I still have some time left to catch up on my Netflix.
If you have not heard of Getting Things Done, I would recommend you read David Allen’s Getting Things Done book. The GTD method rests on the idea of moving planned tasks and projects out of the mind by recording them externally and then breaking them into actionable work items. This allows attention to be focused on taking action on tasks, instead of recalling them.
There are 5 pillars of GTD: CCORE
And today I will share with you my workflow and the philosophy that I have to keep my productivity always at the highest level:
#1. Understand Your Goals Clearly
Before starting any task or project, I make sure that I know the objectives or outcomes that are expected of me. This is the bedrock of getting things done for me!
When you have clear goals and have understood them, it becomes all the more important to draw up the next steps. On the other hand, if the goals are ambiguous it will become more difficult for all the team members. This is specifically true in an organizational setup.
While working on any personal goals, I try to get to the granular level details of what I have to achieve.
For Ex: If you have a goal to make money, you will not reach anywhere. This is wishful thinking. Instead, I would have a goal like the following: I will make 1 million US Dollars by December 2021.
When you understand your goals clearly, you have a clear path to where you are going and you can easily measure your progress.
#2. Get Started
Many of us fall in the trap of ‘analysis paralysis.’
We think so much about the consequences of our actions towards goals that we get anxious while sidelining the main part: Start.
When you have understood your goals, the right thing to do is to just start! That will relieve a lot of stress and tension off your shoulder. And if you are not in a position to start, at least plan on your steps.
I have personally experienced this. Whenever I wanted to write any articles, getting started was the toughest part. And when I started to write, the words automatically started coming out of my brain to my fingers. I don’t analyze too much about what will come out of my brain. Given a topic, I start writing continuously. And that’s how I have been able to complete more than 700 articles in the past 5 years.
The trick here is to Just Start.
#3. Break Large Goals into Smaller Chunks
Another important lesson I have learnt is to break my larger goals to smaller chunks. And this has massively helped me be more productive than most people I know.
Whenever I have to achieve a large goal, I break them into smaller achievable chunks. Like, for the year 2020 I had this goal of 18250 push ups. If you divide this figure with 365, it is 50 per day. This is not only achievable, also easy to follow.
Similarly, when you face a huge project or a task at work or personally, do this: break the huge goals into achievable daily tasks. This way, you will not only be able to achieve, you will also keep going.
#4. Assess Your Progress
If you do not measure something you can not value it. Every goal, every step towards your goal needs to be measured to keep you motivated.
I am a fan of tracking my progress on a daily basis when it comes to physical fitness. So end of month, when I see the chart I exactly know where I have reached. This keeps me motivated. At work to track my progress on regular tasks, I have an MS Excel sheet with up to date data on a daily basis.
This helps me know where exactly I am heading to and whether I am on the way towards my goals.
#5. Seek Feedback
I am a big fan of seeking feedback from my friends, colleagues, superiors on my progress. I like to see where I am heading or whether I am doing things properly.
You think you are right most of the time. But that may not be true. You may have gone astray from the goals your superiors have set. If you continued with your current ways, you will not reach where you are supposed to.
Aircrafts are quite nasty when it comes to keeping the trajectory right. Hence, the pilots have a great responsibility of seeking regular feedback with the air traffic controllers on their position and whether they are on the right path. I have read somewhere that only a 1 or 2 degree tilt in an aircraft will be disastrous.
You should seek feedback on every aspect of your life. Speak about your professional life with your superiors, speak about your financial life with your spouse or someone you trust, speak about your physical fitness with your friends.
#6. Celebrate Small Wins
Our minds regularly seek dopamine! This is human nature. At the very moment of writing this article, I am longing to browse through my Twitter feed!!
After I have written an article, I reward myself with a 5 to 10-minute browsing through my Twitter feed. This is a very small way to reward me.
But if you have achieved a small milestone in your goal, celebrate. If you have achieved some milestone in your financial success, celebrate. It is worth celebrating! When you celebrate you are rewarding yourself. But don’t overdo it.
#7. Stay Grounded
For a long time in my youth I felt that others should appreciate and praise me for whatever small thing I did. I lacked humility. This went on for long till the time someone pointed out to me about my flaw. God bless that person.
You must realize that for everything you have achieved there is someone who has achieved much larger goals than yours and by multiple folds. I have given up boasting about my achievements these days and take time to learn from the people who have achieved more than 10000X than me. This applies to all the areas of my life.
I am always looking for ways to develop my skills and stay humble in all the situations.
You must be keen observer of the people who have achieved more than you in their life and these people are visible in front of you. Contact them and learn from them whatever you can. These days with Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media platforms the access to anybody is easy.
Your productivity depends on lot of aspects than covered in the above points. Getting things done is an art. Some of you have achieved the mastery of this. But anyone can achieve their goals if they follow a path that suits their style and life. Everyone has a unique outlook and set of skills.
The great secret about goals and visions is not the future they describe but the change in the present they engender.david allen
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