Imagine how much more you could achieve if you were to free up as much as twenty minutes from each work hour to concentrate on “wealth-creators” rather than “chores.” This is how I described high-value work compared to low-value work in a previous newsletter. It is a vital prerequisite for personal productivity improvement that you distinguish between the two.
Successful, effective people make time for work that really matters, all the while resisting the draw of the urgent and the illusion of activity over real work. A deep work focus on high-value tasks is what separates the successful from the everyday. It is your ability to distinguish low-value chores from high-value wealth creators AND process them appropriately that is key to your success.
High-value wealth-creator actions bring your vision, values, and goals closer every day. They are things such as those product and marketing innovations lurking in the depths of your mind. Or that presentation you must make to big potential clients. Or that exciting start-up idea you are drawn to. Here are four mind-resets that will help you make time for your wealth creators:
1. Automate Those Chores. They are ripe for automating. List out all those tasks, big and small, that you find yourself repeating daily. They are the ones that require little or no mindfulness. Ask yourself “how can I make these things happen automatically and with minimum time commitment from me?” For example, I keep a steady flow of business-related aphorisms posting to Twitter via a spreadsheet.
There is an app for almost everything these days. Check out Zapier, which makes it a simple matter to link between apps. So whether it’s scheduling, acknowledging communications received, or building an agenda for a regular meeting, you can use the time spent on them in more valuable ways.
2. Deliberately Target Less Time For Low-Value Chores. By limiting the time you spend on those urgent but non-priority tasks, you drive yourself to work harder in short bursts. This way you are much more productive and save time for the high-value work. So, for example, put the stopwatch against your email-answering chore and turn off the notifications, so you won’t be tempted to go back to them again and again.
3. Give The Chores To Someone Else. Learn to delegate with my previous newsletter “Work ON your Business. Not IN it. The Power of Delegation.” Proactively hand over or eliminate work that is very low value. This ensures you aren’t distracted constantly and don’t fall into the trap of false achievement. It’s not the number of items ticked off your to-do list that matters; rather, it’s the progress towards your must-do goals.
4. Say “NO!” To “Time Bullies.” Time given over to high-value wealth-creating tasks must be sacrosanct. You must protect it from all those outside factors that cry out for your attention too. Make “No” your default answer to requests for input. But make it polite and share your rationale. People will understand. For example; “I’m sorry; my business is at a critical stage right now, and I can’t take my eye off the ball. Even for your very worthy cause.”
Begin today by looking in detail at all the things you plan to achieve. Review each activity under your mind’s microscope. Question whether they align with the bigger picture of what you want from life and business. Focus on the true wealth creators and set to work on your priority SMART goals. With focus and determination, you can switch time, minute by minute, and build your personal productivity.