Tasks You Must Terminate To Increase Your Productivity
According to the 80/20 rule, 20 percent of your tasks are responsible for 80 of your results. Whether 80/20 is the precise ration that applies to your specific situation I don’t know. But I suspect that principle still holds true: a few key tasks and activities are responsible for your results, while the rest can be classified as “supporting” tasks and activities (not to say “busy work’).
Thus, it’s likely that most of your activities aren’t the best use of your time; they’re not contributing that much to your bottom line. At the end of your day, you’ve done a lot of things but haven’t produced much.
To increase your effectiveness, you must learn to focus your attention and effort on activities that drive results. It requires that you progressively eliminate tasks and activities that are part of the 80% busy work. When you do, it will free you up to focus on the 20% of activities that yield results.
To identify the 80% tasks that produce little results, you must scrutinize your schedule. Once you’ve identified them, terminate them: eliminate as many as you can from your agenda. At least, these shouldn’t be the activities you focus on during your most productive hours: when your energy level and focus are at their best.
Tasks You’re Not Made For
Get this. You’re not good at everything. You have strengths and have your areas of expertise. As a general rule, you want to focus your energy on tasks that leverage your strengths and skills.
Terminate tasks that push you to operate in an area of weakness. You can delegate these to someone who is proficient at them. The beauty of it all is that your weaknesses are someone else’s strength. Thus, someone can help you with the tasks you aren’t made for.
Tasks You’re Asked to Do
If you’re not careful, people will fill up your plate with tasks they deemed necessary but in the grand scheme of things, produce little results. You must protect your time and your energy by respectfully say, “No.”
You can’t expect others to protect your time for you. Often, they won’t even realize that they’re infringing on your time. It’s up to you to determine which activities yield valuable outputs. And if you’re involved in such tasks and activities, you must terminate them.
Your time is precious, and you don’t have the luxury to indulge in tasks and activities that bring very little to your life. You may not be able to eliminate all of them, but being aware of the potential waste is enough to put you on your guard and reduce the waste.