Stephen Covey is reputed to have said, ‘The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities!’. I have to agree. To increase productivity, you have to be ruthless in prioritising! Ruthless, I say.
Does this sound familiar?
It is the start of the weekend. Good times are finally here. You start the day with your morning cuppa and decide that this is going to be it. This is the day when you get it all done. All those nagging little items that you have been putting off forever. Today is the day you crack it!
Four hours later, its lunchtime and you’re lolly-lagging around in your PJs, the TV is blaring, your disgruntled spouse is glaring at you over his/her phone and you haven’t gotten a thing done. Again! This is the sound of your weekend going to hell. But, there is always a silver lining.
Next weekend, try these 3 simple-sounding (but hard as hell to follow-through on) hacks to get your groove on and increase productivity on the personal front before your spouse is provoked to justifiable homicide!
1. Separate office time from personal time
How many times have you carried work home on the weekend? Or maybe a better question to ask is – how many times haven’t you carried work home on the weekend? If you work 5 days a week and carry home work on the 6th and 7th, chances are that you’re not going to get anything done on the personal front. So. If you want to increase productivity on the personal front and it is a priority (and I assume it is if you’re reading this), then you need to STOP. NOW!
Be ruthless about not letting office work infringe on personal time. Whether that time is spent on lolly-lagging before said TV or getting things on your personal work-list done, is a different matter. You first need to create that space in your schedule before that space can become productive. Easier said than done. Warned you.
2. Pick just one thing to achieve per weekend
Let’s not get overambitious here. It is pretty darn unlikely that you’re going to get to the bottom of your considerable personal list in one weekend. I’m pretty sure that you don’t even have a list yet. (On an aside, make one).
So, pick one thing you want to get done this weekend. Something that would take you 2-3 hours of uninterrupted work. Maybe a blog you’ve been wanting to write. Or is it that quality time spent playing a sport with your child? Could it be that dental appointment you’ve been putting off? Or is it that workout you’ve been meaning to get to (forever)?
Whatever that is, pick it. Choose it. Slot a time for it. Get it done. Enjoy the righteous afterglow 🙂
3. Plan for the next weekend now
Choose your top item for the next weekend. Put it up someplace you can see it daily. And then plan it in your head until it seems like an inevitability. Warn everyone that you are going to get it done. Ignore the head-shaking and nay-sayers. What do they know? (Set an alarm so that you don’t prove them right)
Prioritisation exists in our heads but putting it down on paper makes it a reality. Reality happens. Now, get started. Your spouse is starting to glare!