For my first ever blog i chose to write about the productivity systems. How much do we need them, how they can benefit us and of course how it can help us put out our best. I could go on and on about this topic giving you a very in-depth information about each and every single one of these aspects but that is something for the upcoming blog posts, so just to name a few, here are the general ways we can benefit from productivity systems.
There are a lot of ways to take advantage of productivity systems but probably the first thing that people visualize while discussing this topic is agendas, people visualize it in many different ways including the common way of writing down a to-do list on a piece of paper and hanging it in the doorway but there are a lot of resources to help you craft your agenda, mainly, web and mobile applications and like Google Calendar and Todoist, for instance. Tools like these will let you visualize your agenda in a way that a regular human brain isn’t capable of doing. You might be surprised how much time you can free up for certain tasks. When you’re following predetermined schedule, you’re not going to run into a problem of miscalculating, tasks with undefined time overlapping during the day or a lot of other problems that won’t let you use your full potential. You just follow the advice of your past self which spent time thinking how could the time be used efficiently. And while some productivity gurus who have mastered their field and know all the details that go in the process of doing their work might argue that they are in no need of scheduling tools, it’s still a very good place to start.
Tracking your goals is, I would say, essential for staying on the right track. It’s very easy to go off the track and miss out on the things you considered important, so establishing a simple routine of reviewing your major to-do list on every weekend, checking the projects off and coming up with a strategy for the upcoming week will ensure that you are headed in the right direction. No matter how sophisticated your system is it will not remain smooth for a very long period of time and sometimes you need to adjust your sails to make sure that your boat doesn’t go wandering.
Another major benefit of using productivity systems is that it helps us build-up our focus. We all know that staying focused on our main goal is essential for success. As Warren Buffett says you should stay focused on your top 5 life goals and avoid the rest of them at all costs, it is a key to success to stay committed to your main goal and cut out all the distraction no matter how harmless they might seem initially . One person who has done a lot of research on this topic is Thomas Frank and he sums up his research in quote: “If u wanna be a superstar at something you can’t afford to diversify your attention through all of the interesting fields. You have to focus”.
Another field in which we can benefit from productivity systems is routine establishment. Establishing routines and learning new habits is a way of staying productive when our brain isn’t at its peak of consciousness. For example early in the morning after we wake up our mind is clouded and can’t make proper judgement or do serious day planning and going back to sleep seems a rational decision. But having an established task to do which can be something as simple as stepping outside and stretching out lets us wake up and get into a flow. Routines can build up our habit of getting into the task without any hesitation or need of powerful motivation.
Speaking of habits, they determine a lot of what you do on a regular basis. As Charles Duhig talks about it in his book “The Power Of Habit” brain has a separate independent part which is responsible for forming and performing our habits, making them so powerful that they make our body work even when we don’t think about doing anything. Habits are very much like an autopilot, once you program it, it’s going to run the system by itself according to the predetermined plan. So forming good habits is a great way of signing up for success.
One of the worst things that can happen to you as an entrepreneur is forgetting that game-changing idea that you got while having dinner, driving to work or doing similar routine tasks. Fails like this can be completely avoided if you transfer your idea from your brain to paper. As David Allen once said “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them”. Having a storage dedicated to capturing and saving ideas enables you to always have them in your reach. You can always come back to review and prioritize them. This way you don’t risk losing valuable ideas because, even though it’s less likely to happen, some of the most successful ideas come up spontaneously.
During the school at some point we’ve all had a moment when we thought that having one schedule for huge amount of students isn’t ideal for their performance. Productivity is a very individual thing and everyone has their own preferences which should be considered while planning. Having a custom productivity system gives you a lot of options which can be adjusted to your needs
Another way to take advantage of productivity systems is that you can collect data about your performance based on which you can make up an efficient agenda and have a deep understanding of what can you accomplish in a certain period of time. One way to use the collected data is to track our energy levels throughout the day and plan the most demanding tasks during the peak time of our energy levels. Another effective use of tracking your performance is keeping the record of your achievements to keep yourself motivated by your work. There’s no better motivation than knowing that you’ve successfully accomplished the similar task before, making it easier to get down to work. As a data geek I enjoy seeing charts and numbers based on my performance, this way you can turn your life into a RPG game and there are a lot of mobile apps which can help you with it like “Habitica” for instance. When you log the information about your work and based on that you get tables and charts, when you get your performance measured in numbers, this makes it very easy to spot the progress which is by all means the most powerful constant generator of motivation and confidence.
“Turning your career into a video game”, as ridiculous as it may sound, is a very effective way for developing our long-term thinking. Establishing the connection between everyday decisions and our main goals ensures that we stay committed to them and helps us realize how much does a single decision impact our long-term goals.
Some people might say that there are no need of management systems as long as you can work hard and have dedication but the reality is that there’s a lot more that goes into getting things done than just a simple discipline of getting down to work. Productivity systems can help us to see and measure our progress very precisely, manage our work more efficiently and getting useful information about our abilities.