When it comes to time management I often recommend the ideas
of 2 business gurus. David Allen’s ‘Getting Things Done’ is full of useful tips and Kathryn McKinnon’s ‘Triple Your Time Today’ is a must read eye-opener for entrepreneurs everywhere.
- Procrastination, the great enemy of productivity and it springs from low self-esteem. I call it ‘head trash’ where your inner voice is saying things like; ‘will people approve of what I do?’ or ‘I can’t do this perfectly the first time, so it’s not worth trying’.
- Motivation to ‘DO IT NOW’ because nobody else is going to come to your rescue. You are the only person who can take responsibility for your future. A negative self image chokes off motivation and action before you even get out of the starting blocks.
- Desire is the first step on the road to maximum personal productivity. If what you are doing currently isn’t THE thing that makes you leap out of bed every morning to get to it, then you need to find your thing.
- Planning and the difference between it and execution. Planning is easy! Execution only comes with motivation and desire. Kelsey borrows David Allen’s 5 stages of ‘natural planning’ to help you ‘get things done’;
- Defining your vision and purpose
- Envisaging your end state
- Brainstorming actions
- Organizing them
- Deciding what to do NOW.
Kelsey’s 10 Principles of Productivity
1. Love your workstation. It’s the cockpit of the plane loaded with your future. You’ve got to enjoy being in it, controlling it and making it your own.
2. Invest in the right equipment. Especially communication equipment because the phone and email can save you days and weeks. Buy the best, so you can do your best. Make it a statement of your commitment to success.
3. Buy lots of stationery. and make it quality. Heavy bond paper and classy business cards are all part of your message.
4. ‘Corral your stuff’ as David Allen says. Get it all out in front of you, so you literally see the big picture, with no hidden surprises, then…
5. …do some filing. Like Mom used to say ‘a place for everything and everything in its place.’ Have you ever considered how much time you waste looking for things?
6. Finish that plan! Turn all your ideas and thoughts into a blueprint for action. Assign them priorities and put them in timeline order of ‘first things first.’
7. Write a checklist. This is not a ‘to do list.’ It is focused on your goals. It arises from your strategy and it is equivalent to a pilot’s essential pre-flight operating procedure and flight plan. It tells you and everyone else where you are going and how you intend to get there.
8. SWOT your strategy. Action without a strategy can only yield misguided effort and wasted time. Know your STRENGTHS and act on them. Be aware of your WEAKNESSES and overcome them. The same goes for THREATS you face. Watch out for those OPPORTUNITIES that willcome your way.
10. DO IT NOW. Make that call, chase that prospect, buy that machine.
Sounds like all good sensible and practical stuff doesn’t it? But personal productivity is something you do everyday and it takes more than reading to bring it to life. Each of these gurus make the same point in their own ways. And that point is, that personal change happens in an instant but that instant is the key milestone on an individual journey of discovery.
This originally appeared in my August 2014 Newsletter.