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To help you understand how to increase your productivity, I’d like to introduce you to Allison. She manages a team of 12 civil engineers at a large company and she frequently is pulled in many directions; before we met, she used to always feel she was operating in a reactive mode.Attention management now empowers Allison to live a life of choice and intention. She has increased her productivity in both life and work. Learning attention management skills can do the same for you.
Your significant results are the plans and goals you set for yourself, with regard to things like career, health, and relationships. You believe achieving these outcomes will have a positive impact on your life. The significance typically changes with the time horizon.
The more progress you make toward your significant results, the more productive you’ll feel and the happier you’re likely to be. So focus your attention on tasks that move the needle toward achieving your significant results.
When you perform these tasks, you’ll feel excited about your progress. You’ll feel productive! And there’s a good reason for your internal glee; you know these tasks are helping you to achieve your goals and design your life.
Once you define your significant results, you have a better chance of doing work that will move you toward what’s important in your life. However, you can’t focus only on your most important results, because there are always tasks that need to get done, even though they aren’t significant. (There are also tasks we’d like to do, even though these tasks aren’t really necessary.)
If you examine your task list carefully, you’ll often find low priority items that you can shift to a ‘someday/maybe’ list. These are items you’d love to do if you had all the time in the world. But realistically, at this moment, these tasks don’t need to be done. Completing these tasks won’t move you closer to your significant results, so doing them will not increase your productivity.
A workflow management system can help you organize all the disparate parts of your work and personal life. This system is a collection of habits and behaviors. A workflow management system helped Allison learn to store, organize, prioritize, manage, and execute all of her commitments, communication, and information. It enabled her to have increased control over all of her responsibilities.
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