If this list becomes overwhelming, I would bubble it up to some key themes that should live within your mindset:
- You should have an innate belief that less is more. Mostly people subconsciously think the other way. That will cause you to think critically about your task list to filter out the more important things. It will cause you to strategize how to make meetings shorter. It will stop you from enrolling too many people to solve a problem. It will cause you to say yes to only the important things, etc etc. Some call it a minimalist mindset.
- You need an end goal for productivity. Even if that means doing nothing (which is a valuable thing in our marathon called life). You need incentive to drive productivity because it will allow you to ________________. And you fill in the blank with something you’re passionate about in the key life domains of career, hobbies, relationships and health. Without that nugget you are treading water at work until 10 pm or only getting 4 hours of sleep when that shouldn’t be the case. Otherwise there is no incentive to get out by 6pm for example because you’ll have to find something to do with your time which doesn’t really fix anything.
- You already hold some current beliefs about where you are being unproductive. If you don’t currently in your mind and heart think you are unproductive in certain areas of your day or life you are not going to make changes with conviction. Some of the great thinking in this article for example would be tough to apply in real life because you’re unsure of what you’re trying to fix. That will slow your progress and dampen your ability to gain traction with new behaviors.