Productivity: To-Stop List – 5 things you should forget today
By Andrew O'Connell, 01.12.2015, Approx. 4 min reading time.
Take a quick look at your time management skills: do your days simply have too few hours? Do you never know where you should begin? Would you preferably like to flush your to-do list down the toilet and start again? The bad news is that every hamster wheel seems like a career ladder from the […]
Take a quick look at your time management skills: do your days simply have too few hours? Do you never know where you should begin? Would you preferably like to flush your to-do list down the toilet and start again?
The bad news is that every hamster wheel seems like a career ladder from the inside. The good news: when you stop trying to run, you will find the way out. Those who try to stuff every day with more and more tasks should ask themselves the following simple question: “Why?”
Productivity is more than simply completing as much as possible. Productivity means doing the right things; that also means leaving the others. What exactly, will be explained here.
Live for the CV
Internship? Study abroad? New job? “Life is what you write on your CV” is the motto that many of us make our decisions upon, often resulting in achieving targets that are not within our personal aims. Yes, life is no picnic, but remain true to what you want to be and do. Would you like to look back on your life, at the frail age of 80, and say “Yeah, but I had a nice CV.” Next time you are facing a career or life decision, don’t ask “what’s right?”, rather “what brings me closer to my goal?”
[pullquote]Take a job that you love. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?
– Warren Buffett[/pullquote]
Multitasking doesn’t lead to more results, rather to more loose ends. Productivity is unfortunately not measured on the number of tasks begun, but the number of tasks completed. Check off your to-do list step by step as you complete tasks – your brain cells will thank you.
Do it (yourself) – doubled if possible!
Ok, this point is actually three points, but “all good things come in threes!”
1. Don’t finish everything!
Not every task is important. Do not be afraid to move or to delete the unimportant. A short to-do list is a good starting point for real results.
2. Don’t finish everything yourself!
Most of us believe that a task cannot be completed without us. You don’t have to load everything upon your own shoulders – trust your fellow humans to carry some of the burden.
3. Stop running both sides of the show
Doubled means better? That’s not a guarantee for calendars, to-do lists and the like. The effort caused by doubling is not adequately rewarded. Instead, there is a distinct risk of losing an overview: “where did I write that short note down again?” Keep your working toolbox small, yet refined: as a result, you won’t just collect information, but you’ll also remember where you put it.
Don’t satisfy deadlines
Deadlines don’t shift by magic. They only shift because we close our eyes when faced by them. Those who miss critical deadlines are met by stress, reduced chances and bad reputations amongst fellow persons. You would ideally like to be punctual, but are continually misjudging yourself and your time? Perhaps a tool to manage your project times would be of benefit.
Contemplating what you should NOT do
An average of 65,000 thought processes flow through our heads on a daily basis. Every single one has the potential to influence our actions. The exciting fact is that our brain doesn’t understand the word “no”. You can quickly test yourself: do NOT think of a green elephant. Recognise the problem? That little word “no” is simply ignored. This phenomenon is therefore responsible why so many New Year’s resolutions go amiss! Try to incorporate your to-stop list into further steps in your to-do list!
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