Personal Productivity

Do you wish you had more time in your day? time-371226_640

 

This short series will help you organize your work flow and priorities. You will learn how to set goals, schedule yourself, and tackle procrastination to maximize personal productivity.

 

 Quick Reference Sheets  

Scheduling Yourself

Daily planning and routines should form the framework for your day.

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. William Penn

 

Daily Time Management Reference Sheet

There is no secret or magic button for effective time management. You must explore different methods and find a solution that works for you. 

  • Electronic Solutions: Most email applications (Microsoft Outlook and Gmail) can store calendar, task, email and contact information in the same place.
  1. Keep personal and professional information in separate locations.
  2. Take the time to learn about about the features of each application and how to use them to be more productive. Young Automotive Group University has a library of software training materials that are available to you and your teams.
  3. Try to use the application as much as you can. Switching between your computer and a paper system will waste time and increase the risk of missing information.clock-163200_640
  • Paper Solutions: If you prefer a traditional day planner, try these tips to get the most out of your paper tracking solution. 
  1. Get a notebook and label it as your Personal Productivity Journal or your Daily Planning Journal.
  2. Label each page with the day and date and what needs to be done that particular day. Next, prioritize each task in order of importance.
  3. Highlight the top three items and focus on those first. Cross off tasks as you complete them. Tasks that are not completed should be carried over to the next page.
  4. You can keep a long-term calendar in the back of the book to record upcoming events.
 
 
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Routines can increase your spontaneity and fun because you will have more energy to spend on the tasks that will bring you closer to your goals.

You can build a routine in these three steps:

  1. Identify the task
  2. Identify the time and/or trigger
  3. Identify the Sub-Tasks

An exercise routine might look something like this: I want to build an exercise routine right after work. I will go to the gym right after work, change clothes, stretch, run on the treadmill for 45 minutes, perform three reps of weights, shower, and go home. 

 

Professional Routines

Here are some routines that will help you maximize time at work:

  • Instead of checking email, news, and web sites throughout the day, set aside one or several periods for these activities. For example, morning, noon, and end of the day. 
  • Set up a system for maintaining your task tracking system. Set aside time at the end of the day to create a list for tomorrow and time to update your list throughout the day.
 
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
  • The One-Minute Rule: If you can do a task in a minute or less, do it! For example in one minute, you can: check for new voicemails or emails, quick replies to emails, accept meeting invitations, or stretch quickly for an energy boost.
  • The Five-Minute Rule: If you're stuck on a task or have it a roadblock, set aside five minutes each hour to work on it until you've hit the desired progress point. For example in five minutes,  you can: clear one part of your desk, work on a report, or clear your inbox.clock-163202_640
  • Block off solid, quite time at your desk without interruptions. No phone calls, no meetings, or visitors dropping in unannounced. Make sure people understand you're unavailable during those times.
  • Leave the most convenient time for callers to call on your voicemail. Also, ask them to leave you a time that's convenient for you to call them back.
  • Meetings can be a big time waster. Suggest start and finish times for meetings to adhere to them. After 45 minutes, most meetings lose steam. When possible, use conference calls and web conferences to save travel time.
  • If you're leading a meeting, prepare a meeting agenda. Email the agenda in advance to everyone. Set a good example by starting and finishing on time.
 
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Urgent-Important Matrix, Personal ProductivityManaging time effectively means spending your time on things that are important and not just urgent. 

Quadrants: 

Urgent and Important: Activities in this area relate to dealing with critical issues as they arise and meet significant commitments. Perform these duties now.

Important, but not Urgent: These success-oriented tasks are critical to achieving goals. Plan to do these tasks next. 

Urgent, but not Important: These tasks do not move you toward your own goals. Manage these tasks by delaying them, cutting them short, and rejecting requests from others. Postpone these tasks. 

Not Urgent and Not Important: There are trivial interruptions and distractions. These tasks should be avoided if possible. However, be careful not to mislabel things like time with family and recreational activities as not important. 

Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Tackling Procrastination

The ability to overcome procrastination and tackle the important actions that have the biggest positive impact in your life is a hallmark of the most successful people. 

Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. Wayne Gretzky

Can you think of reasons you have procrastinated? By understanding your personal reasons, you will create a solution that will work best for you. 
  • No clear deadline
  • Inadequate resources available
  • Don't know where to begin
  • Task feels overwhelming
  • No passion for doing the work
  • Fear of failure or success

Your ability to select your most important task at any given moment, and then to start on that task and get it done both quickly and well, will probably have greatest impact on your success than any other quality or skill you can develop! If you nurture the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks quickly finished, the majority of your time management issues will simply fade away.

Here are some ways to get moving on those tough tasks.

  • Delete it. What are the consequences of not doing the task at all? Maybe it doesn’t need to be done in the first place.
  • Delegate. If the task is important, ask yourself if it’s really something that you are responsible for doing in the first place. Know your job description and ask if the task is part of your responsibilities. Can the task be given to someone else?
  • Do it now. Postponing an important task that needs to be done only creates feelings of anxiety and stress. Do it as early in the day as you can.
  • Ask for advice. Asking for help from a trusted mentor, supervisor, coach, or expert can give you some great insight on where to start and the steps for completing a project.
  • Chop it up. Break large projects into milestones and then into actionable steps. As Bob Proctor says, “Break it down into the ridiculous.” Huge things don’t look as big when you break it down as small as you can.
  • Obey the 15 minute rule. To reduce the temptation of procrastination, each actionable step on a project should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.
  • Have clear deadlines. Assign yourself a deadline for projects and milestones and write it down in your day planner or calendar. Make your deadlines known to other people who will hold you accountable.
  • Give yourself a reward. Celebrate the completion of project milestones and reward yourself for getting projects done on time. It will provide positive reinforcement and motivate you toward your goals.
  • Remove distractions. You need to establish a positive working environment that is conducive to getting your work done. Remove any distractions.
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

frog-48234_640"If the first thing you have to do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!"

Your frog is the task that will have the greatest impact on achieving your goals, and the task that you are most likely to procrastinate starting.

Another version of this saying is, "If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first!"

This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else. You must resist the temptation to start with the easier task. You must also continually remind yourself that one of the most important decisions you make each day is your choice of what you will do immediately and what you will do later, or postpone indefinitely.

Finally, "If you have to eat a live frog, it does not pay to sit and look at it for a very long time!"

The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is for you to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. Don’t spend excessive time planning what you will do. You must develop the routine of "eating your frog" before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.

Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete.

In the business world, you are paid and promoted for achieving specific, measurable results. You are paid for making a valuable contribution that is expected of you. But many employees confuse activity with accomplishment and this causes one of the biggest problems in organizations today, which is failure to execute.

Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Setting SMART Goals

 

You are most productive when you have clear objectives and priorities. Some people blame everything that goes wrong on something or someone else. They take the role of victim, giving all their power and control away. Successful people dedicate themselves toward taking responsibility and accountability for their lives, even with unforeseen or uncontrollable events. Live in the present: the past cannot be changed, and the future is the direct result of what you do right now. 

It is important to make sure that all of your goals unleash the power of the three P's

 

  • Positive: Goals should be phrased positively, so they can help you feel good about yourself and what you're trying to accomplish. Instead of "I will sell more cars," think "I will learn about new career-111932_640models so I can help people make sound vehicle purchases."
  • Personal: Goals must be personal. They must reflect your own dreams and values, not those of your friends and family. When crafting your goal statement, always use the word "I." When your goals are personal, you'll be more motivated to succeed and take greater pride in your accomplishments.
  • Possible: When setting goals, be sure to consider what's possible and within your control.
 
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

SMART is a convenient acronym for the set of criteria that a goal must have in order for it to be realized.

top-257883_640 

  • Specific: In order for you to achieve a goal, you must be very clear about what exactly you want. Creating a list of benefits that the accomplishment of your goal will bring to your life, will give your mind a compelling reason to pursue the goal.
  • Measurable: It's crucial for goal achievement that you are able to track your progress toward your goal. All goals need some form of objective measuring system so that you can stay on track and become motivated as you enjoy quantifiable progress.
  • Achievable: Setting unrealistic goals will de-motivate you. A good goal will challenge you. It is not so unrealistic that you have no change of accomplishing it.
  • Relevant: By defining your values and life purpose, you will decide how and what goals you choose. Goals, in and of themselves, do not provide success and happiness. Goals that are in harmony with our life purpose do have the power to make us happy.
  • Timed: Without setting deadlines for your goals, you have no real compelling reason or motivation to start working on them. By setting a deadline, your subconscious mind begins to work on that goal. 
 
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload

Achieving challenging goals requires a lot of mental energy. Instead of spreading yourself thin by focusing on several goals at once, invest your mental focus on one goal, the most important goal right now. When you are prioritizing, choose the goal that will have the greatest impact on your life right now. 

A large part of goal setting is identifying what you must give up in your life in order to reach your goal. Most people are unwilling to make a conscious decision to give up the things in their life necessary to achieve their goals. 

 

man-318584_640

Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload
Drop files to upload