Most people think of work as their #1 goal. However, work is less important than results, namely delivering value to customers. Your goal is to become efficient especially since work is simply a step forward to reaching your true target: product or service delivery.
Stop confusing work with productivity! Too many people miss their goals while sitting behind their desktops frantically absorbed by daily work: incoming emails, various distractions etc. In the end, you spent your entire day at your desktop and what have you achieved in terms of value? Is your To-Do list just as full? Have you considered creating a STOP Doing List?
Since the world entered the digital era, people’s sense of urgency has radically changed. The more technology permeates work processes, the more we experience a warped sense of urgency where short-term deadlines engulf long-term projects as well as our main work goals. Fear of missing deadlines – experienced as personal failure – triggers multiplied fake deadlines and loss of energy. The main consequence is that following a working day full of deadlines, we realize that we are just as productive as the day before.
Productivity is never an accident.
It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
— Paul J. Meyer
Work is not a goal in itself; you need two things: a plan and deliverables
Stop working endlessly, and start focusing on your deliverables. For instance, if your goal is writing a book, you’re likely to experience what I like to call the ‘PhD syndrome’. First year, I’ll do my research; the second, I’ll take notes, the third I will start writing some bits… something, but we’ll see. Each morning, you need to set some goals, write them down on a post-it note and focus yourself in achieving those tasks. As for incoming emails, put them on the back burner for the time being. If needed, simply use the Pomodoro technique.
Efficient time management helps you reach tangible results useful on the long-term. Essentially, productivity must strike a balance between the time invested and the goals achieved. The more precise you are, the more productive and happy you’ll be!