Don’t let your never-ending quest for the latest and greatest productivity solution be your downfall.
More often than I’d care to admit I have found myself fighting to implement the latest “productivity hack” — only to eventually give up on it. Wasted time? Perhaps, but I don’t beat myself up over it.
I’ve long lived by the motto “personal development is a hands on project.” Meaning that I believe we have to try new things and implement what works, but at the same time be willing to kick to the curb, so to speak, those things that don’t work for us. While some things may not work, I have certainly found, and tested many that do (and I bet you have too). For example, I formulated the Goal Cards System (as outlined in greater detail in my book) as a result of having tried various goal setting strategies and combining the bits and pieces from different approaches that I found worked best. I’ve taught it to countless people, and judging from the positive feedback it has received over the years its helped a lot of folks.
One of the things that I see getting in the way of the positive results a lot of people might otherwise have received is that they are simply making things too complex. Things don’t have to be confusing (nor should they be) to be effective.
I have been a student of personal and professional development since I was 15 years old. I can tell you — the simpler something is to stick with, the more likely it is going to be that people actually will. Simple, yes, but make no mistake, consistency and the ability to stick to a given task is the difference between hoping something becomes a reality, and seeing it manifest in your world.
A simple productivity tool that can make all the difference…
Keeping with the theme of “simple, yet incredibly effective productivity solution” here’s something I want to encourage you to implement into your daily routine if you haven’t already…
Use a calendar.
If after reading my suggestion you’re uninspired, bear with me and hear me out. Friend, as we already established, virtually anything you set out to accomplish will require your attention, and you’re going to have to work ongoing at it. Since you can’t very likely finish whatever it is you hope to accomplish in one sitting it’s going to require you to come back to it over a period of time. Therefore; you need something that will visually remind you to get back to work on the particular endeavor. Personally, I prefer a web based calendar that syncs between my phone, tablet, computer, etc. I also appreciate that I can set reminders from within the calendar solution which further helps to ensure I’m nagged into actually doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done 🙂
Another nice benefit of using my calendar is that I can easily look back and review what I accomplished at a quick glance. It is also nice to know I can “brain dump” tasks that need doing, but might otherwise just swim around in my head until they got done (assuming I was able remember said task at all).
If something needs to be done, it’s worth writing it down. You’re sure to greatly improve the odds that it’ll get completed.
Schedule it all…
That’s right, don’t just plug your “work / professional life” into your calendar. Often our lives, both “work & personal” can intersect greatly. I don’t know about you, but I’m “always on” in some respect. I just love what I do for a living to the point that there’s a lot of overlap in the time I spend between “work & personal time.” As the saying goes, “find something to do you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life.” Whatever the reason, I find that my life runs smoother when I plug it all into my calendar.
So for example, on a typical day my calendar might include the following entries:
– radio show interview
– client call
– catch up on call with friend
– write article
You get the idea. The point is while it is important to make sure you’re reminded of that important business meeting, or sales call, it should be as equally important to you to be reminded of the personal items which require your attention. So yes, schedule dates with your significant other. Make a point to put activities in your calendar. Don’t just say you want to attend more of your kids activities and hope you manage to do so by some stroke of luck. Put it on your calendar just as you would any important activity. It is important after all.
On a personal note, I’ll confess that at different points in my life I wasn’t as intentional about giving my personal life as much priority as I did my “professional” one. As a result I’m sure it has played a part in my having missed out on what might otherwise have been some very wonderful relationships, and great memories. I don’t mention this for sympathy, nor do I want you to think I’m dwelling on it. I just bring it up because I think it is worth mentioning because it is very much why I make an effort now to plug everything into my calendar now as I mentioned. I make time for the “work” and “personal” — I’m not perfect at it, but when I catch myself slipping into old patterns I course correct as needed.
Hopefully these ideas are helpful to you. Give it a try. Make your calendar your partner in productivity. And like me, you might just wonder what took you so long embrace the simplicity of it.
Keep this in mind:
The things we give our attention to, get done, more often than not. Friend, make no mistake, the ongoing use of a calendar into your regular routine will do wonders for making sure more of the things you need to be giving your attention to, get worked on.
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!