Want to do 160 Productive Hours a Month? You Need Systems, Not Goals
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People work an average of 45 hours a week; they consider about 17 of those hours to be unproductive.
If you check your emails first thing in the morning, **you're setting yourself up to react.
You're not planning your day and prioritizing, you're giving your best hours to someone else's goals, not yours.
Most goals are out of our control. We have limited control to reach them. In a system, your focus is on all the parts that you do control. And system is a fancy word for “repeatable process”...
When you focus on developing systems and work every day, your work compounds over time, developing exponential growth.
The more advantages you create, the more your next advantages pay off. A 1% gain every day compounds to almost 38x increase over a year.
Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to accomplish.
Writing daily with no objective is just practice. If you want to achieve something, you need to commit to a certain output, like publishing a post on your blog weekly. At the end of the day, a system is a way to control how to achieve an output.
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Having no routine or structure is so much more draining mentally, physically, and emotionally than any routine could ever be.
... to get you into a positive mood for the day ahead. Put your mind in a good state right away, because left unchecked it will try to tell you the things that are wrong.
Pick a phrase or question that resonates with you. It could be as simple as smiling and saying "thank you" out loud, acknowledging that you have been gifted with another day.
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The idea of a productivity system is to organize the stuff you need to do.
There are many systems out there. But you may have no idea which system to pick. You may start we...
There are only three different kinds of systems:
Building a habit of a productivity system is about creating a buffer between you and your temporary emotions or external pressures.
Any system is designed using a particular set of assumptions about your work. The assumptions need to fit your situation.
For instance, the weekly/daily goals system works well when you have a number of concrete tasks to complete. But if your tasks are open-ended or contain only one task, then the system doesn't fit the task.
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Uncompleted commitments take up psychic energy, each one making you just the tiniest bit more tired, more distracted, and therefore less productive.
The first step to managing your life an...
Before leaving your workspace, or before going to bed, take 10 minutes to look over the next day’s commitments.
Decide what you’ll do first. Look at that to-do list and decide whether any tasks on it can be delegated to someone else or crossed off the list altogether.
Every one of us has one or more tasks on our to-do list that we dread doing.
Do it first thing. Writer Michael Hyatt talks about slaying your dragons before breakfast—there’s nothing more motivating for the rest of your day than crossing that monster off your list first thing in the morning.
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If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.
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Most of us fail in our endeavors at some point in our lives, whether it's a New Year's resolution or a health goal you are working on. These setbacks make us human, not a failure.
Schedule your habits by giving them a specific space in your daily waking hours. You can put it in your calendar, or link it to your current behavior patterns.
Create a system around your existing life to incorporate the new habit.
Even doing something small towards your goal can help build a daily routine.
Example: Instead of skipping the morning jog entirely due to lack of time, one can jog for a few minutes.
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To be more productive in a w...
When companies have more work than they can handle, they tend to ask, "Who will do this work?" But the better questions are:
Identify what can be automated, delegated or be replaced in favor of something else. Even if it only saves you a few minutes, it will add up over time.
Efficiency is not limited to how you perform specific tasks. Consider how the general way you work impacts your efficiency.
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Most leaders have familiar approaches to managing time: setting goals, planning, delegating, tracking commitments, and creating to-do lists. While these approaches do help in self-organization, the...
Instead of increasing the number of productive hours, we can focus on getting the right things done in a timely way. We also need to restore and balance ourselves, our colleagues, family and environment, instead of a neurotic or pathological focus on deadlines.
Find out what's truly important to us and use the finite resource of time wisely.
Phantom workload looks like real work but results in massive unproductivity and even conflict in an organization. The pressure to meet unrealistic expectations causes a vicious cycle of further workload.
Leaders need to take a hard look at what is being avoided or not addressed. Facing difficult tasks that were 'swept under the carpet' earlier strengthens them further to make hard decisions and face difficult people and situations.
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You must challenge yourself to take action sooner rather than later.
Planning and strategizing are important parts of the beginning of a new project, but be careful not to lose yourself indefinitely in these steps.
Blame is nothing but an easy way out of taking responsibility for your own outcomes. It’s a lot easier to point a finger at someone or something else instead of looking within yourself.
Blame is not constructive; it does not help you or anyone else.
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