11 Keys To Double Your Productivity

27 Comments Posted in Personal Development

Image courtesy of spud

Are you working 16 hours a day for years yet you are not achieving much?

Have you met this situation before? Working so hard till you have no time to catch your breath and yet you don’t seem to be improving your financial situation or your life overall quality.

As a matter of fact, It is not how hard you work, it is a matter of channeling your energy to the right place.

Each of us has only 24 hours a day and if we tend to waste our time and energy into tasks that brings little or no value to us, we will only end up being not productive and hardly improving in our life.

So if we want to be the high achievers, the key would be to increase our productivity.

11 Keys To Double Your Productivity

1st Key: Purpose

You must be clear about what you want to achieve. Without a clear indication of where you are going to go, you will be running around like a headless chicken and dabbling in everything that is coming your way. Find out what you want to achieve and be specific about it. Give a time line to when you want to achieve what you want.

2nd Key: List generating

Once you know what you want, write it down immediately and generate an action plan. Your planning will help you to save time when you begin execution. You will need to list down the steps you will need to take in order to accomplish what you want. Have a daily check list and keep to it. Be sure to stick it at somewhere visible to you and keep track of it.

3rd Key: Finding highly valuable activities.

Scan your list and search for activities that will contribute 80 percent value when using 20 percent of your time. You will need to use your own judgment when choosing these activities. For example, my valuable activity will generating content on my blog and the lesser value activities will be checking my emails or fiddling with the design of my blog which will not bring in much value.

**A very useful diagram to help you differentiate your activities**

Ok, maybe my color combination doesn’t seems great but more importantly, this diagram will help you to differentiate between how valuable your task at hand is.

There are 4 quadrants in the figure. The important and urgent quadrant, the important and not urgent quadrant, the not important and urgent quadrant and lastly, the not important nor urgent quadrant.

Quadrant A: Important and urgent task.

This is the quadrant where we will frequently be in. Things such as the report that your boss want by the afternoon, the meeting you will need to attend now or the meeting with a client for signing a contract. These are the task that are of high importance and they must be done now.

Quadrant C: Not important and urgent.

You will need to slowly minimize the tasks that are found here in order to double your productivity. Tasks such as an incoming call, mails or a friend who want to chat with you about the latest gossips. These are the tasks that are pressing but the importance level is low. Spending lots of time in this quadrant will make it seems like you are busy but in the long run you will find that your productivity level is significantly reduced.

Quadrant D: Not important nor urgent.

This is the quadrant that you will need to get out of it. Tasks like surfing the web aimlessly and watching the movie re run on the television for the 299th time are total waste of time. These tasks are time consuming yet it adds no value to your growth.

Quadrant B: Important and not urgent (I save the best point for the last =) )

This is the quadrant that we need to be frequently in it because tasks in this quadrant will add the most value to us in the long run. Things like writing a book for future income, starting a side line income, investing in education and daily exercises. These are the important and yet not urgent activities that will aid us in the long run but we tend to procrastinate when doing it. If you have been putting off activities in this quadrant, get moving and start to put in more effort in it.

4th Key: Eliminate activities that are low in value.

Using the figure above, identify the low value activities and set up a plan to minimize or eliminate it.

5th Key: Focus

Focus on your task at hand. Do you have the habit of multi tasking? An example would be like typing a report and chatting on your MSN messenger or diddling with your Facebook at the same time. This habit will decrease your productivity as much as half. Focus on what you have on hand and do it without any interruption and see your productivity doubled.

6th Key: Have a sense of urgency

Move fast and act fast. Having a sense of urgency will help you to get more things done in lesser time. Keep on hustling!

7th Key: Work on things you are good at and delegate or outsource things that are of low value

Work on things you are good at because you can get it done faster and be sure that the task you are good at is a high value activity. Working on activities that are high in value and with you getting more proficient in it will only accelerate your growth and double your productivity. Delegating is a powerful leverage that we can use to free up more time for us to concentrate on higher value tasks.

8th Key: Time boxing

Time boxing is a technique where you set a deadline for what you want to do and just do the best work you can without thinking how it will turn out.(Maybe around 30 minutes to 2 hours) It can help to curb the perfectionist tendency or help to overcome procrastination. Use this technique to kick start your work (quadrant B work) whenever you find that you are procrastinating.

9th Key: Bunch it up!

Do similar activities at the same time. Reply your email, write your letters or do your errand at a single time. You will get faster with each task and just knock them off in a single session.

10th Key: Break things down

If you find the task that you are doing seems too huge, break it up into smaller tasks so it is easier to complete.

11th Key: Early bird

Wake up a little earlier and stay a little later at your work to squeeze the extra time out for completing your task. The benefits of the extra hour will be seen in the long run and it is this hour that will make the difference between the high achievers and mediocre ones.

These are the keys that will help to double your productivity. Follow the keys and it will serve you well. Make it a challenge to see how much more things you can get done over time and see the results. Be sure to frequently refer back to the figure above to differentiate your tasks, whether it is quadrant A,B,C, or D and concentrate your effort on tasks that offer the highest value to you.

Cheers
Vincent
Personal Development Blogger

**P.S** Do you have any tips for increasing productivity? Share with us in the comment section. Thanks for sharing! =)

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27 Responses to “11 Keys To Double Your Productivity”

  1. Relax says:

    Oh cool
    I also promote the same activity management ABCD on my blog.
    Thanks pal.

    I would also recommend you to read Getting Things Done by David Allen 🙂

  2. Vincent says:

    Hi Jeremy,

    I used too fail at prioritizing and I can see that nothing seems to be done until I incorporated list generating and prioritizing to help me get things done. It definitely helps too.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  3. Jeremy Day says:

    Hi Vincent,

    Great post. I gave it a thumbs up. I like keeping lists and focusing. Otherwise known as prioritizing. Those are the things that help me be the most productive.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  4. Vincent says:

    Hi Liara,

    I will keep up the good work and thanks for the compliment.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  5. Liara Covert says:

    You are exactly where you need to be right now. You always do enough. You are adequate, talented and inspiring. Keep up the fabulous posts!

  6. Vincent says:

    @Hi Diana,

    Thanks for the compliment and yes,you are right. Determination is definitely a key to success, nothing can be achieve if we have no determination to complete what we are doing.

    @Hi Raymond,

    You definitely seems to be a guy who take action consistently and this is a key to success. Keep up with the good work Raymond.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  7. Raymond Chua says:

    Hey Vincent,

    Thank you for sharing the 11 tips. I have picked a few to be applied right away.

  8. Vincent says:

    Hi Ross,

    List making is one of my favorite technique in getting things done too. It helps to keep me on track and I can actually see the progress when I tick off the checklist of “to do” stuff.

    Cheers
    Vincent
    Personal Development Blogger

  9. Great topic, I am a firm believer in making lists in order to “See” what is important.
    With regards to # 7, outsourcing. There are many annoying and time consuming tasks,that you need done in order to keep business going. A great resource for businesses is Virtual Assistants (VAs) – if you only need 3 hours a week of help, you can hire a VA for that,it’s very cost and time efficient. They do not come with the extra costs of in house employees. A good spot for business owners to get information on VAs is VAnetworking (http://tinyurl.com/6do82u), an organization that supports both VAs and people using their services.

  10. Ross says:

    Hi there.. Interesting post – I’ve implemented some (but not all) of these things in order to improve productivity.. I highly recommend list making / prioritising – this is something I neglected to do for some time, now I find it has really helped. Also setting time frames is great – helps you to ensure you actually get the things done!

  11. Diana Rupert says:

    I agree with some of what you said. But I believe that determination is one of the key to success. If you really believe you can do it, nothing is impossible. But you also must have wisdom and knowledge bout what you are entering. You got a really nice article. Keep it up