Cut To The Chase…Dammit!

Do you ever end your day wondering… “did I really get the important stuff done today?

Most entrepreneurs, both online or off, do. Here’s a quick strategy that’ll eradicate any lingering doubts you might possess about your productivity. Because you’ll be certain you’re getting the important stuff done.

In my work coaching many of today’s top Internet marketers these questions surfaced quite often:

  • How can I stop wasting time?
  • How can I get other people to stop wasting my time
  • How can I get more done in less time?
  • How can I feel good at the end of the day about what I accomplished?

Do any of these questions sound familiar? If so, you grasp increasing productivity is more than just working faster. In fact, it’s about discipline and purpose. Two traits entrepreneurs often struggle with.

Let’s talk about discipline first. If you find yourself struggling to accomplish what’s on your to-do list, or sticking to your schedule – these time-tactics often do the trick:

thinking productively1. Use The More Powerful Part Of Your Brain. Know your most important outcomes for the next day before you go to bed. You don’t necessarily need to know how you will spend your day when you hit the sack… but certainty about the results you want – gives your unconscious mind a chance to figure out the best ways to get it done while you’re sleeping. The next morning… plan your schedule for the day and you’ll be surprised with what you come up with.

ctivities2. Use Anchor Activities. First, transfer your to do list to your calendar. But make sure to position anchor activities to keep you on track. An anchor activity is a task that will enforce discipline even if you don’t have any yet.

(For example: left to my own devices when I am talking to a friend/peer the conversation might go on for hours, but if I have another important call to make 30 minutes later than I know I won’t spend longer than 30 minutes on the first call. So – the second call is an anchor activity.)

Anchor activities ensure what you might lack in discipline right now doesn’t interfere with what must get done.

thinking productively3. Do The Uncomfortable First. Attack your most important, most intense, and highest leverage activities first thing when you start work. Here’s why: Doing so generates momentum and confidence you can ride the rest of the day.

you4. Look At Yourself & Learn. At the end of the day evaluate your performance. If you did a good job-what specifically helped you get the job done? If you got off track-what took you off track and how can you prevent that in the future? This step is frequently neglected… which is a shame, because it’s the fastest path to ever-increasing levels of productivity.

Now, let’s talk about being purposeful…

Way too many entrepreneurs don’t keep their eye on the prize. They go into meetings, get on phone calls, talk to staff and contractors, and plan their day not being clear about the specific outcome desired in each of these activities.

The solution? It’s simple. Get into the habit of asking yourself “what’s my outcome?” every time you transition into a new activity. To make it a habit, put visual reminders everywhere you can see them until it becomes your default way of operating.

What I do when I want to develop a new way of thinking is this: I write it in my daily schedule, on post-its on my desk, on index cards around me, and on a label on the bottom of my computer monitors. I find having so many reminders makes it simple to be consistent and anything you do consistently develops into a habit quickly.

So there you have it. You now have a strategy to get more disciplined, more purposeful, and ultimately much more productive.

What do you think? Let me know and everyone else how you do with the strategies… and, if you’ve got strategies of your own-we’re all ears.