Everybody procrastinates, said Brian Tracy. But what separates high performers from low performers is what they procrastinate on. Productive procrastinators procrastinate on unimportant and less important tasks in order to concentrate on their most important tasks.
You can move from general productivity to Excelerated Productivity™. Excelerated Productivity™ means you’ve done the right things right, and that you are being efficient and effective. You know where you want to go and you know how you’ll get there.
Both the clock and the compass are important to managing our time and our lives. You must first use the compass to be sure you’re heading in the right direction. Let your compass tell you what truly matters. Then the clock can help your efficiency in doing the right things right.
Excelerated Productivity™ involves improving efficiency AND effectiveness, not only getting more things done but getting more of the important things done. It requires the realization and acceptance that we can’t do everything – even the important stuff – so we must concentrate and focus on the highest priority tasks.
Productivity is easier when you plan and prepare. Planning allows you to look ahead to what you’ll need to know and to do. Preparation helps you move forward in your plan without wasting time. Plan and prepare to be productive.
When we procrastinate, we “voluntarily put off tasks despite believing ourselves to be worse off for doing so. When we procrastinate, we know we are acting against our own best interests.” (~ Piers Steel) If your aim is to reduce procrastination, you’ll want to increase Expectancy and Value or decrease Impulsiveness and Delay. Either will work, but the quickest way is to do both at once.
Efficiency is “doing things right”. Effectiveness is “doing the right things”. Productivity entails both – doing the right thing in the right way. Excelerated Productivity comes when you improve both efficiency and effectiveness.
The Lioness And The Vixen
“A Lioness and a Vixen were talking together about their young, as mothers will, and saying how healthy and well-grown they were, and what beautiful coats they had, and how they were the image of their parents.
‘My litter of cubs is a joy to see,’ said the Fox; and then she added, rather maliciously, ‘But I notice you never have more than one.’
‘No,’ said the Lioness grimly, ‘but that one’s a lion.'” (1)
Becoming Effective And Efficient
This Aesop fable comes with the moral “quality over quantity”. (I leave it to you to decide if one lion has more “quality” than a litter of foxes.) But we can also read it in terms of efficiency – the lioness had only one baby – and effectiveness – that baby was a lion!
Many of us have more to do than we can get done. To improve personal productivity, the solution isn’t to find better ways to do more but to find ways to do less . . . of the unimportant things.
Choosing The Right Thing To Do
“As Jesus and his disciples went on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him in her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the feet of the Lord and listened to his teaching. Martha was upset over all the work she had to do, so she came and said, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!’
The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha! You are worried and troubled over so many things, but just one is needed. Mary has chosen the right thing, and it will not be taken away from her.’” ~ Luke 10:38-42 Good News Translation (GNT) [Bible Gateway]
“The purpose of time management and getting more done in less time is to enable you to spend more face time with the people you care about and doing the things that give you the greatest amount of joy in life.” ~ Brian Tracy
From Brian Tracy, motivational speaker, author, and expert in human potential and achievement, we learn that there are 4 rules of time [Tracy]: