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Want to improve your productivity 5%! 10%! Even 50%! … No I’m NOT selling anything for $19.95 and you don’t need to make “4 Easy Payments!” What I’m talking about is FREE! … This is no gimmick and you can begin at ANY time. TODAY. TOMORROW. On your NEXT BIG PROJECT. Or you could procrastinate and never do it. The choice is yours. It’s SIMPLE. You may have experienced it yourself already.
In the spirit of full disclosure, despite my background in engineering and quantitative tools such as six sigma, I have not measured the actual increase in productivity nor run descriptive statistics (you know, average, median, standard deviation, etc.) on any empirical data. But … I know it works and can be observed by others. I can see it impact my “To Do” List. Items that have been on there for days (ok, sometimes weeks) melt away. Bang! Gone! Taken care of! Addressed! Dispositioned! Completed! Struck off my list! Ahhh … freedom!
Anyone can use this tool. Teachers. Business professionals. Stay-at-home moms/dads. Retired grandparents. Realtors. Pilots. Students. Pastors. Engineers. Surgeons. OK, here’s the SECRET: You have to pretend like you’re going on vacation (or actually GO on vacation). Yep. That simple. … Actually, it will work as long as you pretend you’re gonna do something that you LOVE to do (that has a deadline associated with it). Examples: 1) Vacation with my wife to Chile & the plane leaves Monday at 8am from Atlanta, 2) Clemson plays USC (… no, SOUTH Carolina) and I have tickets on the 50 yard line & kick-off is 1pm on Saturday, 3) Teaching leadership course in Ecuador & the plane leaves Charlotte at 7am Friday.
ALL these examples (you’ll have to fill-in YOUR OWN events based on your passions), caused my PRODUCTIVITY to SKYROCKET in the days prior to the event. EXTREME PRODUCTIVITY! Even if the event is imagined, you can still enjoy the boost in productivity. Of course better if it’s REAL than imagined, but most of us can’t live EVERY day of our lives with BIG events that excite us. So, I suggest a combination of real AND pretend events.
Why the boost in productivity? Why such phenomenal results? In layman’s terms: 1) Focus. … During these periods of EXTREME PRODUCTIVITY, I really focus. REALLY. I don’t let distractions sidetrack me. I prioritize better. Some “to do’s” get scratched off my list because they aren’t important. WHY are they on my list? Not sure. But during periods of EXTREME PRODUCTIVITY, my attention is focused. I see more clearly. There’s nothing fuzzy about I need to get done PRIOR to doing my fun “thing.” Things needing done get done. Others get deleted. I work more efficiently, effectively, AND tirelessly. I work “better” – maybe even “more better.”
The days when I’m most productive (by an order of magnitude – 10X or greater) are the days leading up to a great vacation (or other awesome event). I know I can’t go on vacation unless I get certain tasks done (and even if I could, there are certain tasks that, left undone, would hamper my vacation – they’re hanging over my head – know what I mean?).
I’m NOT talking about cutting corners or striking off tasks that should be done. I’m talking about being “in the zone” – EXTREME PRODUCTIVITY! I’m talking about getting more done in 4 hours that I’ve accomplished in the previous 2 weeks. Though I often joke around in my blogging and approach my topics with a warped sense of humor (maybe showing too much of the inner ME), I’m very serious when I say that I enter a zone of EXTREME PRODUCTIVITY! prior to a big event. … I’ve learned that if I bottle this feeling (by faking a COOL event I’m passion about & hanging a deadline on it), I can get close to the productivity burst I experience with the “real” thing.
Leaders have a LOT to accomplish. There’s a LOT on our plates. Same with organizations – at least the ones with whom I’ve worked. The pace is FAST. The expectations are HIGH. There are FEW resources. The list is LONG. If you bring the same focus and energy to your work that you do prior to going on vacation, you can accomplish AMAZING things.
Going on vacation anytime soon?