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.

Cristian  (@cristian510) - Profile Photo

@cristian510

Time Management

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

"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.

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.
  • 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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RELATED IDEAS

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. 

  • Fighting against your personal productivity curves leads to overwork, feeling overwhelmed, and burnout.
  • If you learn to work with your natural peaks and valleys, it can tell you exactly when you should schedule each part of your day.

6

IDEAS

  • Get some perspective. Develop a vision of what and where you want to be in a few years. 
  • Develop an action plan. Break down you vision into manageable steps that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
  • Take action. Use time management software to upload your plan and record your time.
  • Reflect on your progress. Review your performance regularly to to get new insights.
  • Ask for feedback. Turn to your boss and ask for their feedback. Be ready to take criticism.
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 busywork is the same as productivity.

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