Your to do list is endless. It’s overwhelming. You don’t even know where to begin. In fact, half the time you’re so overwhelmed you don’t begin.
We often spend so much time in the midst of the rat race that we never stop and ask – “Am I heading in the right direction?”
My purpose in writing this article is twofold. First, I am going to share a question that can revolutionize your productivity and effectiveness. Second, I will explain how to implement it into your life.
Here it is: “What is the highest value activity I can do right now?”
Before we jump into tackling how to implement this question let’s discuss it.
First, let’s define “high value.” High value activities are those things that will lead to an increase in your bottom line. If you are in sales, you want more sales. If you are a blogger, you want more subscribers. If you are a coach, you want more clients.
Next, let’s define “activity.” Activities are the actions you must take which will lead to the increase in your bottom line. For example if you are in sales, this can mean reaching out to new prospects. If you’re a blogger, it can be developing content. If you are a coach, it can be creating a specific product.
The last portion of the question is incredibly important. Notice it says “right now.” We have to take into consideration 1) how much time we have and 2) our current energy level. The worst thing you can do is try to take on a task that requires immense focus and time but you only have 30 minutes and you’re dead tired.
So putting it all together – your job is to identify the single most important action you can take right at this moment.
Now, let’s discuss how to implement it.
1. Ask the question to start your workday.
As soon as you get to work and sit at your desk (or wherever you initially start the day), take a deep breath and then ask yourself: “What is the highest value activity I can do right now?”
2. Think for 60 seconds.
As soon as you ask yourself the question, immediately start a timer. Allow yourself 60 seconds to think about the answer. Don’t write anything, talk to anyone, or do any other tasks.
Most often, the highest value task will immediately come to the forefront of your mind.
3. Write it down.
After the 60 seconds are up, write the following on a post-it note, a planner, a piece of paper, anything you will be looking at over the course of the day:
“The single most important thing I can do right now is: ________”
There are a few reasons it is important to write this down. There is an abundance of research that shows when we write things down we are more likely to do them. On top of this, by writing it down you have now provided a concrete message to your subconscious “This is important and I must get it done.” Lastly, you are exposing yourself to this message for a second and third time (the first time is when you thought about it, the second time is writing it, and the third time is reading it).
Combine all of these and it becomes incredibly powerful to write it out.
4. Immediately start on the task.
Without any other thought – immediately begin on the task. By taking action, you will establish momentum.
Since you have identified this as your highest value activity, it will be incredibly inspiring and motivating.
5. Complete the task and repeat steps 2 through 4.
Once you have completed the task (or finished as much as is possible) – go through the exact same process with your next activity.
You can do this as often as you like throughout the day. Ideally, you would do it after every activity.
Here is the reality – most of us rush through our day without taking any time to step back and ask what we should be doing. By simply taking 60 seconds out of your day, you can revolutionize your productivity and effectiveness.
Imagine how effective you could be if you were constantly working on the most important thing possible.
Featured photo credit: Under the space rocket via Shutterstock
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