I was skimming over an incoming spam email, but realized that it actually contained some information that I found quite valuable. So much so, that I printed it off and revisit the words as I can. Since they are helpful to me, thought I’d share them with you.
The message of the email started off with this: The very worst waste of time is doing something very well that need not be done at all.
Ouch. If that’s not wisdom to ponder.
The message went on to discuss the four steps to high productivity.
- Set clear goals and objectives in writing. Think through them carefully before you begin. What are you trying to do? How are you trying to do it? Whenever you experience frustration of any kind, go back to these questions: What are you trying to do? How are you trying to do it?
- Create a detailed plan of action for achieving the goal. This answers the question. How are you trying to do it? When you have done this, you will have the answers to what and how, something that very few people ever take the time to think through.
- Set clear priorities with activities organized in a hierarchy of value and importance to the desired result, with the 80/20 rule applied over and over again, day by day, hour by hour, before you embark on any task or activity.
- Single-minded concentration on the highest-paid off task leading to the goal is a must. This is the key to getting things done. There are real benefits from learning how to concentrate. For one, important task completion is a source of energy and enthusiasm and self-esteem. Incompletion or only partial completion of major tasks is not only a major source of stress, but it also has no motivational power. When you complete a task that’s important to you, you feel a burst of energy and well-being. But when you work on something that is unimportant, even if you complete it in a timely fashion, you get no feeling of satisfaction.
A final thought: Another benefit of concentrating on the job until it is finished is that task completion gives you confidence, competence and a feeling of mastery.
Well, if that isn’t some great advice for the upcoming month, I don’t know what is.
Go get ‘em!