The Accomplished Solopreneur

Issue 22.30

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Double your productivity with these 3 techniques

Of all the productivity techniques out there (I’ve tried just about all of them and invented a few of my own), here are the three that helped me literally double my productivity.

1) Know your priorities

If you don’t know where you want to be, and what you need to focus on now to get there, you will find yourself picking up and dropping stuff all the time. You may be working on a lot of stuff (and feeling really busy), but you won’t be making decent progress to where you want to go.

There are two parts to knowing your priorities:

  • Know where you’re going. Write down what you want to have done a year or two from now. Don’t overdo it and don’t plan out too far into the future—keep it simple.
  • Make a simple plan. Really simple. What are the next three things you need to get done to progress to your 1- or 2-year goal?

For example:

A year from now, I want the majority of my revenue to come from online product sales. To do that, I need to a) develop products and b) build a larger subscriber list while c) continuing to service my consulting clients.

To get there, I need to a) ramp my content marketing, b) build a larger following on LinkedIn, and c) develop 1 more online product.

Seriously, that’s the plan and what I need to do to get there.

2) Review and plan your week—every week

Make a standing appointment in your calendar every week to review the week that was and plan the week ahead.

I do my weekly review and planning on Friday afternoons. It takes about 45 minutes:

  • Review the week that was. Journal the wins and losses. Note what I can get better at.
  • Look at the calendar for next week. What commitments do I already have? Anything I need to prepare for? (Block out prep time in my calendar.)
  • Block out time to work on my top priorities. But always leave gaps in your calendar. (You will need time to deal with unexpected stuff.)

Valuable lesson learnt: the more I review and plan, the more relaxed I am over the weekend and the smoother next week goes.

3) Review and plan each day

These are also known as my startup and shutdown routines.

Start of the day: Spend 10 minutes to:

  • Look ahead in your calendar (today plus the rest of the week). Do you need prep time for anything coming up?
  • Write down the top 3 things you want to get done today. No more than 3.

I also review my Things task list for chores, admin or other tasks I need to do.

During the day: Focus like a laser to:

  • Get thing 1 done. Don’t work on anything else until it’s done.
  • Repeat for things 2 and 3.

End of the day: Spend 10-15 minutes to:

  • Review how the day went. What worked, what can I get better at? If you’re a journaller, journal it.
  • Look ahead in my calendar. Did anything today change what I need to do in the rest of the week? What am I going to do tomorrow?
  • Clean up desk and office. Nothing like starting the next day with a clean and organized office.

These three things literally doubled my productivity

Getting started isn’t difficult either. Take a few hours to define your priorities, and then schedule time in your calendar for your weekly and daily routines.

Challenge: do this for 1 week exactly and let me know how it went…

That’s it for this week. There’s more about how shutdown routines can help you leave work stress at work here.

Have a great weekend (and a productive week)!