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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

        100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier 10 Best New Products That People Don’t Know About Book Summary: The Power of Habit in 2 Minutes 1 Minute Book Summary: How To Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less 2 Minutes Book Summary: Thinking Fast and Slow

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        Last Updated on November 14, 2018

        Hard-Working People Climb to the Top, Smart People Hack It

        Hard-Working People Climb to the Top, Smart People Hack It

        Have you ever played the team-building game called Bigger or Better?

        The game is like an adult version of Trick or Treat and works in the following way:

        You start off with a small item such as a paperclip or pencil, and you have to try to turn it into something more valuable by doing small trades with other players. If you play the game skillfully, you can eventually exchange your small item into something more expensive (e.g., an iPhone or a bicycle).[1]

          The reason the game is often played in team-building exercises, is that it demonstrates how successful people get from the bottom to the top. The game also shows how insignificant items (like a paperclip), after trading with different people, can end up becoming something big and substantial.

          Just as in the make-believe game of Bigger or Better, there is a little-known way of reaching the top in your chosen career.

          Stop Climbing, Start Hacking

          The method involves not just finding a career ladder and trying to climb it, but switching ladders at appropriate times, with the aim of bypassing ‘dues’ and accelerating along your very own Bigger or Better cycle. The idea of switching career ladders has been well developed by author Shane Snow in his book Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.

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          Shane Snow is a journalist, web entrepreneur and the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Contently – a tech platform that matches qualified freelance journalists with online media outlets in the rapidly changing world of publishing. He was named Inc Magazine’s “Inc. 30 Under 30” in July 2012, and Business Insider’s “Silicon Valley’s 100 Coolest People In Tech,” also in July 2012.

          The framework Shane created (and showcased in his book) is for anyone who wants to take their career to the next level in the most efficient way.

          His framework is very similar to Bigger or Better. However, instead of switching small items for bigger ones, and bigger ones for even bigger ones – you replace these items with your career choices. The idea is to create a winning cycle that accelerates your achievements and success. After lots of small wins, eventually you find yourself with a major win (think paperclip to bicycle).

            It’s the same for your career. Rather than following the traditional way of going step-by-step along the same straight path – you switch paths when the one you’re on is not working – or you switch based on your previous success to get something better.

            In his acclaimed book, Shane tells the story of how he ‘hacked’ his career ladder.

            He had a goal of becoming a writer for WIRED magazine, but knew that without relevant experience, this could take years to achieve. So, he put his creativity to work, and came up with the following process:

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            1. He put together a list of sites and magazines that if he wrote for, would impress the editor of WIRED.
            2. His list looked like this: The Next Web > Gizmodo > Mashable > Fast Company.
            3. He then applied to write for The Next Web (which is certainly not a simple feat – but definitely easier than trying to become a writer for WIRED).
            4. Once he was established as a writer for The Next Web (and had articles under his name as proof), he then applied to write for Gizmodo.
            5. I’m sure you can guess the next steps, which eventually led to him securing work as a writer for WIRED.

            Now, here’s the amazing part. From starting on the path to achieving his goal of writing for WIRED, Shane took just six months![2]

              It worked for him, and it can work for you too. Let’s see how.

              How This Method Fast-Tracks Your Success

              I’ll say it again, traditional career paths are slow. Mostly, this is caused by the conventional waiting periods needed to move up the ladder to higher positions.

              If you don’t mind spending years in the same role before moving up – then the traditional route may be the way for you. However, if you want to be competitive and innovative, forget the traditional way. It will frustrate you – and your career ambitions!

                So, what to do?

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                Well, firstly, think laterally rather than just vertically. By thinking laterally, you’ll immediately step outside of the career path that most people are trying to move along. This will give you an advantage over them.

                Just to be clear, by moving from time-to-time in a sideways direction doesn’t mean you’re changing your end goal. In reality, you’re just making your route to the top more flexible and adaptable.

                Now, here’s the key thing to remember. Once colleagues and managers see you as a success in one role, they’ll automatically assume that you’ll be successful in any other role that you’re placed in. In other words, success breeds success!

                Let’s dig a little deeper into how this method works.

                Every time you move to a new role or company, you’ll meet and attract new and varied people. And if you’re doing a good job, then these people will become your allies and partners. Think of it this way: you’ll be rapidly building your own personal network of individuals who can help support your goals and dreams.

                On the other hand, if you choose to stick to the traditional career ladder, it’s likely that you’ll have a limited network of contacts, as you’re only growing within a small department – or within the same organization.

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                  The method is really just common sense. But it’s not something that we’re taught at school or college.

                  So, are you ready to fast-track your career? Here are my recommended steps:

                  • Know exactly what your end goal is.
                  • Meet a minimum standard of credibility for any required tasks (either show years of experience, or show that you’ve ‘made it’ somewhere comparable).
                  • Once you start off at the ground level, think of ways of how you can get to the next level (don’t limit yourself to the same ladder).
                  • Keep going upwards by using new ladders and with the help of your ever-increasing network of contacts.

                  Don’t Leave You Career to Chance

                  Climbing the traditional career ladder is often a slow, laborious and frustrating experience. You may wait years for a promotion, only to find that a younger, less-experienced colleague has been given the job.

                  So, decide on the big goal that you want to achieve, and then implement the methods suggested in this article to help you reach it. By following these little-known methods, you can enjoy a fun, adventurous and rewarding career.

                  Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

                  Reference

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