Are you productive or just busy? Follow these tips to be more effective.
Everyone wants to be successful. This really isn’t hard, all you have to do focus on what works and start getting rid of what doesn’t. Sounds simple doesn’t it. We all have habits that we hang onto year after year without even realizing it. The trick is to simply wake up and pay attention.
Let’s start with a simple scenario. If you saw my articles, What is your time worth? or How to be more successful this year you know how to increase your net worth this year with small systematic steps. If you didn’t see my articles, you can read them here and here. Now let’s take that same simple premise one step further. To make that increase in your income, you need to focus on tasks that generate higher income and let tasks that produce little or no income go by the wayside. Two huge time wasting activities are email and social media. I have to admit, it was a problem for me and it is an addiction for many. Unless you are generating significant income through email or social media, you need to limit how much time you devote to these two activities. Both activities can actually generate large incomes, but my guess it is more about being busy than being profitable (I have a future article coming soon on how to change that for you, so stay tuned). If you are currently making $20 per hour and you want to make $30 per hour, you need to reduce or eliminate tasks that keep you from doing just that.
In the book, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” Tim Ferriss stated he only checks email at certain points in the day, like noon and 4 p.m. and found this simple rule proved adequate. In fact, he said to avoid checking email first thing in the morning since it could keep you from doing the most important things that day. While there are pros and cons to this advice, I do subscribe to limiting checking email to two or possibly three times a day. Quickly address issues and get back to tasks that are more profitable. The goal is to limit the time on email and get the important things done that day. The same goes for social media. Largely this is a personal activity and it keeps you from professional goal attainment through avoidance.
Now I certainly do not have anything against email or social media, I rely on it heavily for business, but we need to set the priority of importance to everything. Try this as an experiment for a week. I would suggest you would eventually agree if you break the habit of instantaneous checking every time you hear those alerts. I have turned off the sounds to those alerts and so-called emergencies are seldom a real emergency, just someone else’s sense of urgency. The expression, your emergency is not my crisis is often true. You could argue there are times when you need a quick response, but if you go back and really examine it, I bet it is rare.
Focus on business and busy-ness will take care of itself. Try the experiment of checking social media and email for only brief spurts a couple of times a day and I believe you will be surprised how much time it actually frees up to help you achieve more toward productivity and your goals.