image by P. Alfonso Miranda

Overworked does not mean productive.

Why this misconception might be damaging your business… And your life.

If you are the being the victim of lack of time it is caused either by bad planning or incorrect time management.

It may seem harsh at first and this may even feel like a kick in the pants, but if you are serious about getting more productive there is no other option but to take a hard look at how you are managing your time and to make changes when necesary. But let's take a closer look at the word productive.

Productive comes from the word/verb to produce. To produce means to deliver and ship, and that is what you should focus on. Being overworked is as unproductive as doing nothing all day long and often times is quite more draining. So…

  • An author who works 3 hours a day writing 4 to 6 pages can be 10 times more productive than the average worker who works 9 to 5 six times a week.
  • The blogger who writes only one post a week can be ten times more engaging than the one who struggles to write something new every day.

You can work on a coal mine for 16 hours a day or in an office filling spreadsheets all day long, but this is not being productive.

What's the difference between somebody who is highly productive and someone who is not? What's the trick?

The trick is not to work more than necessary. The name of the game is to do more with less work.

Here is how you do it:

Start to focus on the things that are important and prioritize them.

Here is what I want you to do:

Open your projects folder (and you should have one) and take a hard look to all of the projects you are currently working on. Pick the ones that are the most important and pick the ones you are close to be ready to ship. Be completly honest about this.

Now, I want you to take a piece of paper (typing it is not allowed, you have to write it) and write the names of the projects which are more the most important and the ones that are almost done.

To choose if a project can be actually considered important you must consider the three following aspects:

• The level of financial revenue it can give to you.
• The scale of the project.
• The level of fulfillment it will bring to your life.

The point of this exercise is to prioritize those projects which are not only going to get you more impact in the financial aspect of your life but in the personal aspect as well. They are both as important.

Once you know which projects are the most important you must start working on them.

Well, all of this sounds pretty legit. I get it, but now I have another question and that is…

How do you stay productive in these projects?

Well, we need to go back to that list.

Now, I want you to write down those tasks that are important and that have to get done or the project won’t see the light of day. And…

Trash those activities that take your time away and are NOT bringing you closer to your goals.

Organizing you email filters or moving your folders into your dropbox account are not important. At the end of the day they are nothing but optional tasks.

It is easy to fall in the assumption that the more you work and the more you feel busy the more productive you are, but this is a lie.

The trick to “get” more time is to do less.

There are two principles to achieve “having” more time and these are:

Do what is important.
Do not do what is not important. (Duh!)

The best way I have found to achieve this is to ask myself the following question everyday. I want you to ask yourself the same questions:

If I could get done one single thing done today, what would that thing be?

Once you have the answer get it done.

I will leave you with a last thought.

Do not try to do more things or multitask. Just get the important tasks done.

– Peace