Q: Every day I come to work with the best intentions, but things keep getting in the way. The little things. Busy work. How do I actually clear my schedule for productivity?
A: I know the things you’re talking about. I call them Low Leverage Activities. They include wasted meetings, activities that others should be doing for themselves, prolonged phone calls and chasing down things you need because you are unorganized. They’re activities that don’t lead to the results you want. Most people burn 15 to 20 hours a week in things they shouldn’t be doing. If you want the best results, you have to get more organized and deliberate.
Think about how much of your time you spend doing the things that truly matter the most, and then think of all of the activities you do that waste your time each day. It can be a real problem. Let me give you my four keys to eliminating distractions.
2. Be organized to the max.
3. Schedule your time on your calendar! (In order to own your calendar, you have to learn to say “no” to certain things.)
4. Constantly audit yourself. At the end of the day, ask How did I do? Was I actually productive and focused on results, or did I just do a ton of activities? Activities don’t count! Results do!
Related: How to Stop Procrastinating
This article originally appeared in the Fall 2019 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
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Tony Jeary is an author, executive coach and presentation strategist. Jeary has published more than three dozen books about making presentations and strategic effectiveness. He coaches the world's top executives from companies such as Wal-Mart, Ford, New York Life and Texaco.