Productivity is not just about systems and getting tasks accomplished. It’s more about where you spend your time and the specific tasks that you accomplish. One simple personal inventory task that you can implement for the coming year is to identify your most critical tasks and also the time waster/less important tasks that you need to stop doing altogether.
This is something that should take you maybe an hour to complete and once it’s done, will help you in your goal setting and planning for next year. The first step is to look at what tasks that you could engage in that would ensure personal success. This could be in any area of your life: financially, family, career, business, you name it. Whatever your top 5 core values are, game plan around them. This is important as we often know what tasks are important but we don’t commit them in writing and put a plan together for how we are going to achieve them. We just assume that because they are in our mind, that’s good enough.
When you have your important tasks laid out for yourself, then take out a piece pf paper and write down every activity/person that exists in your life that is a time waster or that you have identified as tasks you don’t want to do. If you aren’t sure if a task falls in this category then write it down anyway because it probably does belong.
Go through each activity and ask the following questions:
- Is it a task that you can eliminate entirely? If not, how can you reduce the amount of time spent on the activity?
- Do you need to hire someone to take care of the tasks that you can’t get to or don’t do well?
- Are there people you need to cut out of your life that are dragging you down?
- Is there a system that may exist that would allow you to handle the task more efficiently?
- Is there automation that exists in the form of technology that would allow tasks to be handled in a more time efficient manner?
This simple inventory can make a big difference for you next year. We have all fallen victim to time wasters (Social media, e-mail, talking at the water cooler etc.) that we can manage better. We all get stuck trying to handle the many tasks that we are responsible for when we should get help to manage them.
Take some time in the next couple of weeks to do this and get your upcoming year started in a more productive and efficient manner and prosper in ways that you didn’t know were possible.