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Last Updated on February 7, 2018

Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

Want To Know How Much You’re Getting Done In A Day?

I’ve always been interested in finding new ways to boost my productivity.

Recently, a colleague of mine recommended an online productivity assessment tool that he’d tried out. His words caught my attention, especially as he mentioned that the assessment was free – and only took around 2 minutes to complete!

For most people (including myself), productivity is the difference between success and failure.

Just think about your typical working day… However well you plan your tasks at the start of the day, if your productivity falls below par, you’ll quickly find yourself running out of time to complete all your work.

So, what is the online productivity assessment that my colleague recommended?

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It’s called the GTD-Q® assessment. Developed by David Allen, the assessment evaluates two key elements of self-management: control and perspective.

While the assessment is not supposed to be a comprehensive overview of the way you work, in just 2 minutes of answering some simple questions, you’ll be able to gain valuable insight into what your personal productivity level currently looks like.

Could a 2-Minute Quiz Help You Get Things Done?

David Allen created his Getting Things Done®(GTD) system after he came to the realization that: “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.”

GTD is the work-life management system that has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order from chaos.

People who have undertaken the system report greater performance, capacity and innovation. On top of these things, the system helps alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed, while at the same time instilling focus, clarity and confidence in the individual.

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What does the assessment look like? Well, here’s a screenshot of the first five questions…

    There are 18 questions in total, and as I’ve mentioned earlier, it should just take you a couple of minutes to answer them all.

    As you can see from the screenshot above, for each question (or statement) that you are presented with, you’ll have a choice of selecting one of the following answers:

    1. Strongly Disagree
    2. Disagree
    3. Neutral
    4. Agree
    5. Strongly Agree

    It’s important to remember that there are no wrong or right answers in the quiz. Instead, focus on answering all the questions in as open and honest manner as possible. By doing this, you’ll gain the most benefits from taking the assessment.

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    Once you’ve submitted all your answers, you’ll be immediately presented with an appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses. It’ll look something like this:

      The above image shows in a striking visual form how your self-control and perspective determine the way you work – and your level of productivity.

      On the results page, you’ll also be given a brief written overview of your strengths and weaknesses, and what you can do to improve these. For instance, the example above has the following wording associated with it:

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        How the GTD-Q Assessment Can Help You

        You’ll probably already know where you stand on some of the questions. For example, “My life is too chaotic” is a dead giveaway, as is “I have a good way to track all of my things to do.”

        However, not all of the answers are as straightforward, and it’s the totality of your answers that draws together the assessment’s conclusions.

        As you’ve seen from the image above, your test results will place you into one of four quadrants:

        1. Visionary (Crazy Maker)
        2. Captain and Commander (Autocrat)
        3. Responder (Victim)
        4. Implementer (Micro Manager)[1]

        Whichever quadrant you’re placed into, you’ll be given some insights for improving your productivity – or, at the very least, confirmation about what usually challenges you.

        Finally, it’s only fair to warn you that the 2-minute assessment is definitely a tool to help sell the GTD system. However, the good news is, that you don’t have to buy or sign-up for anything to see if you’re a Visionary (Crazy Maker), Captain and Commander (Autocrat), Responder (Victim) or Implementer (Micro Manager). You’ll also get the basic insights and advice for free too.

        So, don’t hesitate, head over to the GTD-Q assessment now – and discover how you work, and how you could improve your work.

        Reference

        More by this author

        Brian Lee

        Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on September 17, 2018

        How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

        How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

        Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

        Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

        All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

        Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

        How bad really is multitasking?

        It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

        Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

        This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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        We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

        So what to do about it?

        Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

        Now, forget about how to multitask!

        Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

        1. Get enough rest

        When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

        This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

        When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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        2. Plan your day

        When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

        When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

        Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

        3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

        I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

        I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

        Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

        4. When at your desk, do work

        We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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        Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

        5. Learn to say no

        Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

        Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

        By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

        6. Turn off notifications on your computer

        For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

        Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

        7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

        Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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        You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

        The bottom line

        Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

        Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

        Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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