You are busy….so busy. We all are, aren’t we?
That seems to be our mantra in this fast-paced, technologically-advanced age. The question is: “What kind of results does your busy-ness yield?”
At the end of each day, being able to say that you fully completed high-value activities that yielded results, is an indication that you are not just busy. You are productive.
Productivity, moreso than skill and intelligence, is what differentiates the successful people from the unsuccessful people–no matter the industry, no matter the field.
In this post, I am going to share five ways to ensure you are results-oriented and not just staying active, staying busy, accomplishing little. The five strategies are–
- Identify high-value activities.
- Determine key results areas.
- Prioritize tasks.
- Create 30, 60, 90-minute chunks of time to focus on each task with no distractions or interruptions.
- Work on each task with a sense of urgency until each is complete.
What are High Value Activities?
I learned about high value activities last summer when I read Goals: How to Get Everything You Want–Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible by Brian Tracy.
According to Tracy, high value activities are “the activities that represent the highest and best use of your talents, skills, experience, and abilities as they relate to your company, career, or organization.”
The first thing you must do is determine what those activities are. You must be honest with yourself. If identifying these tasks is challenging for you, you must solicit help from a mentor, a colleague, a coach, or a consultant.
Once you determine the high value activities, you must proceed to the next step: Determine your key results areas.
What Are Key Results Areas?
Key results areas are “those tasks that you absolutely, positively must complete in an excellent fashion if you are to achieve the most important results required of your company, career, or organization.” They largely determine your success or failure.
These are the areas that you must study and practice, study and practice. You must do whatever it takes to get better and better in each key result area every single day.
Think about this concept. It applies to you whether you are public speaker, a teacher, a doctor, a real estate broker, an athlete, a network marketer, a pastor, a web designer, a singer, a dancer, an actor, a musician, an author. There is not a field or industry for which this concept does not apply.
So, once you have identified your high-value activities and your key results areas, you must prioritize those tasks.
How Do I Prioritize My Tasks?
You can prioritize your tasks by using the 80/20 rule. Seems like this rule applies to a lot of things in life, right? Well, when it comes to tasks, the rule says that “20% of your activities will account for 80% of the value of your activities.” So, Kellie, what does that mean?
That means that if you have 10 things to get done in one day, only about 2 of those things will be more valuable than the other eight activities combined. Those two actitivities are the ones that will have “greater potential consequences than the other 80%.
In business, these activities are often referred to as “money-making activities.”
How Do I Manage My Time?
You are now on a roll. You have prioritized your tasks and now it is time to get them done.
This is the hard part. Honestly, it is.
It is hard for so many people for so many reasons, but we won’t go there in this post.
Managing your time boils down to doing two things: 1) Creating chunks of time in blocks of 30, 60, and 90-minutes and 2) Committing to not being distracted.
Yes, this means, focusing on a task without checking facebook every time your phone beeps or checking your text messages and emails. This also means not aimlessly and leisurely talking on the phone or daydreaming when you are supposed to completing the task.
And let me say that it certainly means not “getting ready to get ready” and wasting time on the low value activities that need to get done, but don’t increase your bottom line.
I told you it was going to be hard. But, it is definitely worth it.
How Do I Resist Procrastinating?
The final strategy in this entire process is moving with a sense of urgency. A sense of urgency means “Getting it done, now!!!” Brian Tracey calls this “creating a bias for action.”
Getting it done now requires you to be disciplined. You must constantly speak to yourself about what you are doing not what you are going to do.
When your mind tells you, “Awww, you are going through something, you can get it done, later”….or “Take your time. There is no rush. It will get done in due time”….or how about “You just need to study a little more, pray a little more, read a little more, meditate a little more, hear one more sermon, hear one more motivational speaker, have one more strategizing session, wait until you can clear your schedule, wait until your kids are in or out of school, wait until you get a deeper revelation, wait, wait, wait–and then you can proceed”….this is when you speak.
You speak loud and clear to yourself and say, “No, get back to work and get it done, NOW!!!” Then, just do it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, considered the supreme genius of modern German literature, said it this way, “The things that matter most must never be at the mercy of the things that matter least.”
So, I beseech you, therefore brethren, to become engaged in activities that yield results in every area of your life–every hour, every day, every week, every year that you are here.