So, you want to make progress in 2014? Perhaps you have a new business venture that you want to start? Perhaps you just want to improve yourself? Either way, chances are that you will run out of steam pretty quickly.
However, there is hope. I am highly productive and motivated, and I get an enormous amount of things done. So, here is a brief response to the question that I get asked all the time: “how do you get so much done?”
1. Write everything down – clear your mind
Write down everything that you think you need to do. Ideally include everything that you need to do in your personal life too. This stops your mind having to remember silly details, and allows you to focus on getting stuff done.
2. Motivate yourself by prioritising by value
This requires honesty with yourself because there are always tasks we know we should do, but would rather do ‘later’. Ordering your work in light of each requirement’s value means that you will work on items that will bring you the most amount of benefit now. The flip side is that this also means only working on items when you need to and not too far in advance.
3. Focus on one thing at a time
Okay, sometimes you will need to work on two things, but multi-tasking is rubbish. Work on as few items as possible and focus on getting each one done before starting work on the next item.
4. Don’t watch TV (or play Candy Crush)
Some studies suggest that the average person in the UK watches TV for 30 hours per week. That’s over 1,500 hours per year (or 17% of life)! Just think what you could do with all that time. Watch less TV.
Along with the TV, there are numerous other ‘distractions’ that can eat up time: Candy Crush seems to be the current popular method to ‘waste’ time. But you know where your weakness lies. Well, sort yourself out and stop it. If you want your goal enough, you will happily sacrifice TV, Candy Crush or other frivilous things.
Of course, be careful what you cut out. Some things that people criticise as a waste of time are not: I don’t consider the time I spend talking to people on Twitter as a waste (however, it does depend on how you are using it).
Just think about how you are spending your time. You know (deep down) if you are using it well.