The 6 Essential Elements For A Positively Productive Day
What does a productive day look like to you? In one of my training sessions when I asked that same question the answers varied greatly. A few examples include:
I would work on what is important rather than just urgent.
I could work without the interruptions of others.
I made time for my own growth and development.
I would have the chance for deeper discussions with members of my team.
Our goals for a productive day may be different but take about the same skills to achieve. We could all benefit from what I call my “6 Ps” of a positively productive day. I know, positively productive, even better right?
The “6 Ps” include:
1. A Simple Plan
The basis of a productive day starts with planning. The old phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail” rings true here. Whether you plan in the morning or evening depends on your preference. The crucial part is that you plan and take into account work obligations, your own needs, and your relationship commitments.
Be strategic as you plan rather than just making a list. Think bigger considering both your short and long term goals and what it would take to accomplish them.
2. A Mental Picture
Nothing will motivate you to carry out a plan like creating a mental picture. Aristotle once said, “The soul never thinks without a picture.” Start by envisioning what a productive day would look like to you and then formulate the action steps required to make it happen.
3. Prepare For The Inevitable Interruptions
If we are honest with ourselves, we know what our typical interruptions tend to be and when they usually make an appearance. So let’s stop “being surprised” and make a plan to manage our productivity well. If one of your main interruptions is people then check out my video, How to Handle the “Have You Got A Minute?” Request. If you tend to procrastinate, then identify the triggers and make the necessary changes.
4. Postpone The “Other Stuff”
Often, the daily tasks that you like or prefer can wait until later in the day. Now stick with me, I’m certainly not talking about morning coffee here. However, do you have to check email first thing? Would it be possible for you to work on higher priorities early and save some routine activities for later? Johnathan Milligan sums this up well when he said, “Do creative work first, reactive work second.”
5. Persist in Your Desire to Be Productive
Likely, others may not share your desire for a more productive day but don’t allow them to derail you. Explain how your completion of a particular task would benefit them and the overall goals of the team. Be the voice of reason that gets people back on track. Your persistence will pay off and benefit all involved.
6. Schedule Time To Ponder
Create time in your schedule to ponder questions that will make a difference in the future. We’ve all got 5 minutes or so to invest in thinking ahead. It’s essential to think deeper and rise up above the daily grind. Ponder questions such as the following:
What’s coming up in the next couple of months that I should be preparing for?
What do I just “endure” at work and how can I change that?
Who could use more of my attention?
As you reflect on your day, consider how you can answer these types of questions and take action steps toward a more productive future.
Embrace the “6 Ps” of a positively productive day and enjoy the difference it makes for you and those around you…by starting today!