The secret recipe to being uber-productive
“If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” I’ve heard that line in a ton of movies, and never thought that it’d also apply to business. After all, isn’t business open-source? Especially with the internet, and when everyone is sharing what is working for them? While that may be the way that things appear, it’s not the true state of affairs.
In reality, business is highly competitive, and the absolute best of what’s working is going to be kept behind closed doors – it’s the competitive advantage. It’s the secret sauce, and it’s a guarded family recipe that’s been handed down generation to generation.
Yet, there’s a secret recipe for being uber productive. It’s the recipe that I’ve been using for the last twenty years with project management. It’s the same recipe that’s enabled me balance multiple coaching clients, consult with a number of businesses and still run successful high-end launches – all at the same time. And this same recipe will allow you to knock your goals out of the park. Imagine the accomplishment that you’d feel being able to put a checkmark in the box next to your biggest goal, and feeling satisfied knowing that you’ve done it. Yep, that’d be pretty amazing.
So what’s the recipe? It’s a variation on the well loved and often-hated “Plan the work and work the plan” regime. If you were hoping for a little bit of fairy dust and a magic wand that just made things happen, you’re in the wrong spot. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality on planet Earth. But you can get things done… keep reading and I’ll break it down for you.
The Uber-Productive Recipe
This recipe has two phases – “Know What To Do” and “Get it Done.” While it may be tempting to skip one of the phases – they both are needed to actually be uber-productive.
Let’s get started. Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (just kidding).
PHASE 1: KNOW WHAT TO DO
How do you go from a million ideas floating around inside your head to knowing what to work on? Follow these five steps to choose what’s important to you right now.
- Decide on your timeframe. What is the space of time that you are going to work with? I prefer to work in phases of 3 months, since it’s long enough to plan a major project, see some real progress and get things done – but still short enough to be able keep momentum going. This process will work for any time frame, but for this example, we’ll use 3 months.
- Brainstorm your possibilities. List out everything that you’d like to happen in this timeframe. Everything. Assume anything is possible – and just list it all out. Use a piece of paper or a whiteboard and pretend that the sky’s the limit. What are the possibilities?
- Sort into buckets. Which items go together? How do they match up? As you look at the items on your list, there will be several different buckets or categories. Putting matching items together will make it easier to set your goals. And make a bucket that’s called the “Parking Lot.” This is where you can put good ideas that need to be parked until a later point in time.
- Decide on your goals. What is it that you really want to get accomplished? If you could choose only one thing that was the marker of success – what would it be? And if you have multiple buckets, you will have multiple goals.
- Time-block your schedule. Use your calendar and schedule time block to work on each bucket. Remember to schedule in down time, administration time, and time-off. Be realistic.. Working 16 hour days for 30 days straight is not realistic. Set aside time to get the work done, as well as a weekly status review.
Stay tuned, Part 2 will be coming next week. Right now, knock out Part 1 and you’ll be ready to roll.