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High-leverage activities: how to identify your energy multipliers

https://nesslabs.com/high-leverage-activities

nesslabs.com

High-leverage activities: how to identify your energy multipliers
We all have an absolute limit on time, but high-leverage activities are energy multiplier. Reclaim your time and energy by identifying your best levers.

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Using our time on high leverage activities

Using our time on high leverage activities

We have 168 hours per week. If we remove the weekends, the time we sleep, eat, shower, and other basic needs, we have a maximum of 100 hours per week to play with.

We have so little time, yet we waste a lot of energy on low leverage tasks that leave us tired and unfulfilled. We should know how to focus our time and energy on high leverage activities.

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"Moving the needle"

"Moving the needle" is used by organisations to describe work with a noticeable impact. However, it can be exhaustive and counterproductive for an individual person to follow such a strategy.

A person should, instead of moving the needle, operate the most efficient levers. Moving the needle may imply hard work, whereas using a lever means using your input to amplify your output.

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High-leverage activities are energy multipliers

Everyone's levers will be different. But when used, they can turn a relatively small amount of time and energy into significant results.

Examples of high-leverage activities:

  • Automating part of your work
  • Creating and publishing original content
  • Joining a public speaking club
  • Taking a writing workshop
  • Mastering a critical tool
  • Building metacognitive processes
  • Learning a new language (such as coding)
  • Looking for a great coach or mentor
  • Shortening unnecessary long meetings
  • Investing in personal and professional relationships.

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Clarifying your highest leverage activities

  • Document your daily activities. For a few days, track how you spend your workdays.
  • Highlight the tasks you are best suited for. Or put differently, focus on the tasks only you can do.
  • Choose your levers. Select 2 - 3 high-leverage activities and ensure to commit to these levers. Delegate tasks you are not best suited for, and automate repetitive activities.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Personal Productivity Curves

A lot of the internal things that affect our productivity are out of our control. Our energy, focus, and motivation follow their own path or “productivity curve” throughout the day. 

Energy curves

We’re naturally more energetic and motivated at specific times of the day. Researchers call this our Circadian Rhythm. Every person’s rhythm is slightly different, but the majority follow a similar pattern.

  • Waking up. Our energy levels start to naturally rise.
  • Around 10 am. We’ve hit our peak concentration levels that start to decline and dip between 1-3 pm.
  • Afternoon.  Our energy levels rise again until falling off again sometime between 9–11 pm.

90 Minute Cycles

We work best in natural cycles of 90-120 minute sessions before needing a break. When we need a break, our bodies send us signals, such as becoming hungry, sleepy, fidgeting, or losing focus.

If you ignore these signs and think you can just work through them, your body uses your reserve stores of energy to keep up. It means releasing stress hormones to give an extra kick of energy.

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Don't waste valuable energy

Don't waste valuable energy

We can't waste valuable energy on mindless activities while putting off what matters most for later.

In business, wasting energy means working on low-value tasks, and thinking b...

Cut out the optional

Being overwhelmed may be the new normal, but taking on too many responsibilities may be watering down our overall impact.

Bring back your focus to what matters most. Work on the projects that are the real game-changers. Delegate the discretionary work and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

Design an action plan

Running a thriving business means understanding how to organize your work by importance and knowing when to delegate.

  • Find your sweet spot. When you consider taking on a project, see if it aligns with your purpose and the organization's broader goals. Ask yourself if you're the right person with the right skillset.
  • Automate. As your company grows, use automation tools for low-level work. It also allows your employees to make more meaningful contributions.
  • Set boundaries. Learn to say no to low-level tasks. Set your own limits about what you'll take on.

Free time is not wasted time

As long as you interpret time management as a tool to connect your desired outcomes and the time available to you, free time may turn out to be much, much more productive than what you were doing b...

Time management thinking improves your other skills

  • You learn to take your time and make calm, measured decisions rather than last minute, panicked choices.
  • You also learn assertiveness as you delegate and say no to commitments, and patience as you manage your goals.