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Few months ago, a good friend of mine was asking her contacts on Instagram to tell her how they manage their time, especially while at work. Her main focus was on ‘attention span at work Vs productivity’
Here is a summary of my contribution to my friend’s post on IG;
Whenever I have projects with tight deadlines or I want to concentrate on achieving a major task. The first thing I do is to switch off my phone and I also deliberately go off-line to avoid distractions.
What I usually do is to prioritize and schedule my daily tasks and assign timeline to them (though this can be a struggle, but I try anyways lol.).
I also know at one point or the other I have to let go of the phone and use the laptop to complete as many tasks as possible.
I will further advise that you…
- Have a daily to-do-list and always strive to stick by it.
- Write down flash ideas and attend to them much later.
- Prevent interruptions and every element of distractions- switch off your ring alerts, have a set time to respond to emails, avoid attending to unscheduled (non-crucial) appointments etc.
Over the years, I have come to realize that any day I failed to write down my to-do-list, I always ended up not achieving anything and not only that, I usually have a long list of uncompleted tasks.
As little or as insignificant we may think planning daily task is, it actually has a ripple effect on the achievement of both short term and long term goals.
If you want to achieve your personal or career goals, you need to start planning your daily tasks effectively.
Some tasks or projects are distractions and do not require immediate attention but failure to have a well-laid out ‘To-Do ‘List will make you spend quality time and resources completing these unimportant and non-urgent tasks and at the end of the day’s work, you look back and genuinely ask yourself,
‘What did I really achieve today?’- NOTHING
‘What value-adding activities did I engage in?’- NONE
‘Did I spend my time wisely today?- NO
You will agree with me, that some days are unproductive, not necessarily because you were idle all through the day but you, probably spent the whole day on tasks and activities that are not value-adding.
The 80/20 Rule
According to Pareto’s Law; you need to apply the 80/20 Rule to everything in Time and Life Management. This rule says that 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results.
“The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous. For this reason, you must adamantly refuse to work on tasks in the bottom 80% while you still have tasks in the top 20% left to be done” – Brian Tracy
Look carefully and make a list of your tasks, projects and activities and determine which of these falls in the top 20% of tasks that represent, or could represent, 80% of your results?.
The Daily Action Planner
In this post, I will be sharing the daily action Planner that will help you achieve your 80/20 rule. It is designed to help you identify, schedule and prioritize your weekly and daily tasks. The aim is to help you become more productive and ultimately, achieve both short-term and long-term plans at the shortest possible time.
Every career enthusiast, who is passionate about functioning at his or her optimum, needs to have a SMART daily_weekly plan and stick to it.