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Focus on the Process and Not the Tools to Get Things Done

Focus on the Process and Not the Tools to Get Things Done


    We live in an incredible time. Thanks to the genius of Steve Jobs, the way we communicate, the way we get things done, and how we look at design have been dramatically changed forever. That is the upside. The downside of course is that through the creativity of app developers across the world, we have a tough time deciding which app will best help us become more productive. We end up spending more time finding the right app and less time getting things done. The result is something I like to call “App Attention Disorder”!  In this post, I will talk about how combat this problem by focusing in on the process and not the app.

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    The problem with getting things done on a smartphone app is that some very smart developer created a program designed the way he or she thinks we want to be more productive. The downside of course, to no fault of their own. is that we end up “hacking” their app. We tinker. We tweak. We complain on their site that there is no:

    • sub-projects
    • workspaces
    • due dates
    • notifications
    • integration with Google Calendar or Google Tasks
    • sync with Dropbox or iCloud or Evernote
    • …and the list goes on

    Feeling as if we can still force a square peg into a round hole, we continue to tweak. Eventually, we realize we have spent more time playing with the app and less time actually tending to our commitments. So how do we get around this epidemic to our productivity? By focusing on the process and not the tools.

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    Whether you are a follower of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, Pomodoro technique, Personal Kanban, Franklin Covey, or some combination of all of these plus your own system you’ve invented, stick to it. Research them all to figure out what will work best for you and then choose one organizational system and become a master of its principles.  Make the process a habit. Once you’ve picked a workflow, the question becomes of course, but which app do I use? In my consulting work, I always tell folks to focus on the process and the tool will come to them. What if we didn’t have an iPhone or Android? What if you just had paper? How would you organize your tasks, projects, and goals?

    Take a giant step backwards and ask yourself these big questions:

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    1. What few things must absolutely go right in order for you to have a productivity workflow that works for you? 
    2. What challenges have you had in the past?
    3. What has gone right for you?

    Being able to honestly answer those questions will allow you to better understand which app (or paper) may work best.  That is the key: just knowing what works for you and what will keep you motivated and productive in conjunction with a structured time management system will help you best understand what tool(s) you need to help you get things done.

    Once you get that right, you will undoubtedly have a “mind like water” and will be well on your way to getting things done!

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    Last Updated on August 20, 2018

    The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Skyrockets Your Success

    The Importance of Time Management: 8 Ways It Skyrockets Your Success

    No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Time is a finite resource, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.

    If you lose money, you might get a chance to make it back; but a wasted hour is irreplaceable.

    While we can’t add hours to our day, I can help you understand the importance of time management, and how time management helps you maximize the time you do have. This isn’t just a skill for entrepreneurs to master. Everyone could benefit from managing their time more effectively and appreciating it for the finite resource that it is.

    The importance of time management

    The importance of time management comes down to how much it impacts your personal and professional life. Time management is organizing your day so that you find the best use for every moment.

    Excellent time management allows you to create a healthy balance in your workflow and home life.[1] The consequences of failed time management include missing deadlines and living with excessive stress.

    Even if you’ve failed to manage your time in the past, it’s never too late to change. Set deadlines, get organized, delegate tasks, and prioritize your to-do list to get the most value from your time.

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    Why time management matters to you

    With the right time management skills and tools, you will experience a lot of benefits from good time management. Here are 8 reasons why you should start to manage time better:

    1. Do more with less

    Knowing how to manage your time means that you’ll be able to accomplish more in shorter periods of time with less effort. Think about how much more you accomplish when you truly focus.

    Prioritizing and matching tasks to blocks of available time is one way to do more with less effort. Instead of trying to do deep work in the ten minutes between meetings, complete a minor task. This frees up larger blocks for projects that require concentration.

    If you find an extra hour of productivity in your day by using your time wisely, that gives you an additional 250 productive hours at work every year.[2]

    2. Make work fulfilling and life meaningful

    There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a day being completely busy but also entirely unproductive. A feeling of accomplishment helps you stay motivated at work. At home this translates into being able to relax and enjoy your time.

    By being conscious of how you use time, you’ll have more of it to spend on the things you love.

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    3. End indecisiveness

    Worrying about whether you have made the right choice can be time-consuming. Naturally, big decisions take up a lot of time but the small decisions you make every day can also be huge time-wasters. Deciding what to do next on your to-do list, for example, can have a major time cost.

    Instead of staring blankly at your to-do list wondering what to tackle, create a plan or a routine.[3] This keeps you from using any of your precious minutes questioning what you should do next.

    4. Achieve goals faster

    Many people have big goals to feel fulfilled. But without understanding the importance of time management, these goals could sit on the shelf indefinitely.

    For example, perhaps one of your goals is to lead a healthier lifestyle but you can’t seem to carve out time for gym sessions. Chances are, the time you need already exists. You just have to find it. By making the time to attend to your health, you can make necessary and desirable changes quickly.

    5. Boost confidence

    Time management can improve your confidence. You’re more likely to take care of yourself properly if you have the time to do so. You’ll look and feel more put together before you even set foot into your work space.

    In addition, you’ll get a regular boost from feeling a sense of accomplishment. Meeting your deadlines and exceeding expectations is a huge motivator. On the flip-side, failing to meet deadlines and struggling to keep up leads to burnout.[4]

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    6. Have more energy to achieve more

    Constantly feeling worn out and stressed is miserable. It also makes it hard to take on new challenges. An efficient workflow gives you the time to build new skills to improve your work.

    This doesn’t only apply to work, though. Think of how much more exciting life is when you feel energized. With a boost of energy, you’re more likely to try a new hobby or go on an adventure instead of planting yourself on the couch.

    7. Make more time to do the things you love

    After you consider the amount of time that it takes for you to sleep, work, eat, commute and attend to your personal hygiene, you have about four hours per day to devote to the things you do for fun.

    By learning to manage your time, you’ll have more opportunities to work on personal growth, spend time with family or visit friends. This quality time is priceless.

    8. Reduce stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed

    In a given day, you might be tasked with creating a mock up for a project, taking your child to practice, leading a discussion at work and buying groceries. When every task on your to-do list seems equally important, you’ll become overwhelmed.

    Good time management allows you to look at your to-do list, categorize, and prioritize everything that’s expected of you. You’ll readily see the distinctions between work-related and personal tasks. You’ll know whether you can delegate some tasks or shuffle items so that you can be more effective.

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    The result is a calmer and more-accomplished you.

    Start managing your time

    Time isn’t an infinite resource for us. By becoming excellent at time management, everyone can make the most of the time they are given. Failing to manage your time means a lot of time wasted and you can never get it back. Succeeding opens a world of possibilities.

    By sharpening your time management skills, you can expect to be more confident and effective at work. You will feel a strong sense of purpose when you produce your best work.

    You’ll also have more time to spend with your family, take care of your own health and wellness. Overall speaking, you’ll drastically improve your life!

    Find out how you can boost your time management skills here: 20 Quick Tips For Better Time Management

    Effective time management leaves you energized, which translates into living fully and trying exciting things in the new time you’ve found in your day.

    Featured photo credit: Stocksnap via stocksnap.io

    Reference

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