If you, like many others, think your schedule and calendar mean you’re being as productive as you can be, we have some news for you. Even though you may be going all day with no time to stop, are you really getting anything accomplished?
The average productive time most people spent in a work day boils down to just 17 to 28 minutes. That’s because just about every three minutes we are being distracted by something -- emails, coworkers, phone calls, the list goes on. Once we’ve been put off task, it takes about 23 minutes to regain our focus and get back to what we need to do.
So, while you may be moving and working nonstop, are you really reaching your goals and using your time productively? Well, after a Brian Tracy three-day event in Dallas, Texas, we’re happy to say we learned some valuable tricks to getting our time and productivity back.
One of the things you should do first is to really map out the goals you have. Harvard University conducted a study on their students and found that just three percent of their students had written goals and had plans to accomplish them. While 13 percent of students had goals in their minds, they hadn’t written them down, and a whopping 84 percent had no goals at all. None!
What Harvard found, though, was the three percent of student who had recognized and written goals with a way to see them accomplished, ended up earning on average 10 times as much as the other 97 percent of the class combined.
It’s not enough to have just have goals, though. Each goal needs to be specific. For example saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat,” is hugely different than, “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat in the next four months.” You need to have clear, defined goals.
If you have defined goals, you have an 80 percent higher success rate.
We often talk about clients and businesses needing what we call SMART goals. But these are also great for our everyday lives and the goals we have for ourselves.
Your goals need to be:
- Specific - What exactly do you want accomplished?
- Measurable - How will you measure your success?
- Actionable - How will you get your goal done?
- Relevant - Are you making your goal at the right time?
- Timely - In what timeframe do you want to complete your goal?
Not only do you need to make goals, but you also need to write them down everyday. What are your daily goals, goals for the week, and what do you want to do in a year? Write them down everyday, in a notebook. This way you can look back at what you've been able to do. Plus, there is also something in your brain that clicks when you use the tactile of a pen and paper. It just gets ingrained in you more than the digital.
You might be wondering how you are ever going to accomplish your goals with constant interruptions. Well, you need to feel free to say no. According to Warren Buffett saying no is the difference between successful people and really successful people. That’s because really successful people say no to almost everything.
So what do you really need to get done in a day? Think of the top three things you need to accomplish and focus on those alone. These are your must-do tasks.
Create a list of things you:
- Must Do
- Should Do
- Nice to do
- Items to delegate
Once you have your tasks for the day, you’ll need to block out uninterrupted time to complete what you need to do. The best way to do this is to focus on an objective for 90 minutes, and once those minutes are up, take a 15-minute break and reward yourself. Look at your personal social media, read a book, or take a walk. Whatever works for your to wind your brain down. You’ve just spent an hour and a half concentrating and working out your brain. What activity will relax you and give your mind the rest it needs?
We know this will be a hard habit to make. Ninety whole minutes on one task seems impossible, but we assure you it can be done. And, if you’re in the middle of your 90 minutes and get one task done, great! Simply move on to the next task until break time.
Once you determine the goals you really need to accomplish and take the time done get them done without distraction, you’ll be much further to becoming more productive. Get back your time and truly reach your potential!
That was just a little bit of what we learned. We discussed further tips to maximize your time on our Magnet Marketers session. If you want to hear the conversation and learn more tips and tricks, replay it here. And, join us next Tuesday at 4 p.m. EST for our next Magnet Marketers.