Stephen R Covey

Personal productivity – How to achieve in record-breaking time; Part Three

Once we realize the importance of focussing on non-urgent but important tasks we are ready to set our diaries to work. When entering into your diary it is best to tackle the whole week and this can easily be done over a half an hour period. I review my coming week every Sunday as I find it puts me in a focussed state of mind for the week ahead.

 

I have to agree with Stephen R Covey that when planning your week it is best to consider when you are most awake. Are you a morning person or do you feel more productive in the afternoon? Leaving the most demanding activities for when you are most alert will result in superior work. Now you have your diary and you are ready to plan your week, Stephen R Covey recommends entering in time for all of your non-urgent but important tasks first, such as working on your goals.  After that schedule in your urgent and important tasks like working on goals or projects that are approaching a deadline for example. Leave slack or ‘free time’ for urgent but not important tasks such as phone calls and some mail which may crop up throughout the day as this will help make your schedule realistic. Last but not least, take time to schedule in fun and relaxation. If we fail to make time for fun and relaxation we can leave ourselves vulnerable to stress and even burn out. In my upcoming feature this December I will look further at stress and together we will explore how to not only manage our stress levels, but significantly reduce them too. So, in order to avoid our stress levels rising, it is vital to schedule in fun and relaxation, as no matter how focussed we are, we all need time to unwind and play. It is no exaggeration to say that this approach to time management has completely transformed my productivity.

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Personal productivity – How to achieve in record-breaking time; Part Two

It is worth being aware that we will frequently face distractions, demands and requests from others when pursuing our goals. However, if we are to keep on track with our goals and effectively manage our time, it is critical to learn the skill of saying no. It is worth remembering that behind every no is a greater yes – you are simply saying yes to what is most meaningful to you when you say no to others. If we continually say yes to others requests and demands we can end up spending most of our time fulfilling others priorities and fail to prioritize what is truly important to us. When saying yes to others would mean saying no to you, choose instead to politely say no to outside requests and demands. For a more in-depth look at learning how to say no, please refer to June’s 2014 series ‘Sick of over-extending yourself? Learn how to say no.’

 

According to the Pareto Principle, created by an Italian economist of the same name, just twenty percent of our efforts can bring eighty percent of our rewards.

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Personal productivity – How to achieve in record-breaking time; Part One

When it comes to time management, I’ve had a bumpy ride. In an effort to increase my productivity I finally bought a diary and created a list of goals. I could never have anticipated the enormous impact those two simple steps would have. Eager to develop effective time management, I continued to read all I could on the topic. Although I’m still learning I’m now in a place where I’m dedicating time to what matters to me most and making more progress than I ever imagined was possible. If you feel, as I did, that the days pass you by without your consent and you are always running against the clock, effective time management may well be your new best friend.

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