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A Simple Yet Powerful Secret to Productivity

By Michael Zipursky

Do you want to get more done?

Here’s a simple trick to help you become more productive and get more meaningful work done every day.

In fact, it’s so simple I think you might laugh at me for sharing it with you.

My Prediction
That’s alright though, I’ve prepared myself for that. I figure most of you won’t make it to the end of this post because you think you’re doing it already and because it’s nothing new.

A few more of you will think it’s a good idea … but won’t follow through an implement it.

But the real reason I wanted to post this up for you is because I KNOW there will be a small group of you that really are serious about getting more done and becoming more successful.

You won’t overlook this simple technique and you’ll make sure to try it out for a couple of weeks or a month. And then it will become a regular part of your day.

Okay…so enough preamble and let’s get to the juicy stuff…

Strategic Planning Made Simple
If your organized you’ll likely be planning your week out in advance. On Sunday night you’ll look at you next week and see how full it is with meetings and deadlines.

You’ll then think about what you need to get done, other priorities and you’ll schedule them in.

That’s pretty straightforward. Here’s where things take a turn however…

Likely, you’ll start working through one of the items on your list for that day. You’ll become distracted with a phone call, talking with a colleague or friend, reading a blog, checking Twitter or looking up the latest World Cup scores on TV (as it’s going on as I write this).

Results Are What Matter
The result of that process is that you’ll get some work done, but more often than not you will leave a good amount of work unfinished … the day will just slip away.

Here’s what you should do … again, I know it sounds very simple, but it works. And that’s all that counts.

Take a look at your list for that day. First thing in the morning or just after you’ve checked emails or made the calls you have to, get out a piece of scrap paper and make a list of the most important items for that day, with most important first and least important last.

Now, turn off the TV. Close all your social media sites, blogs, and other browser windows. Put a do not disturb sign on your door or tell the colleague beside you to “be quiet!”.

Where You Go From Here

Next step? Work through your list. By creating a list and removing all distractions you become 10 times more productive if not more.

Look at your list, conquer the first item and then cross it off. DO NOT check email or start doing other things between items. Go to the next one and move forward from there.

Of course, it’s all good to take a break, read, each lunch or do whatever you need to do, but have a set 10-30 mins for that. When you’re taking your break, take your break. When you’re working, work!

KISS (keep it simple stupid) really rings true here. A very simple yet amazingly powerful technique. Go on, give it a whirl!

Share Your Productivity Tips
What have you found to be the best way to stay productive? I’d love to hear your tips below…

2 thoughts on “A Simple Yet Powerful Secret to Productivity

  1. Just got a nice comment and follow up tip from a reader that got in touch through LinkedIn. I like what Rolf has added.

    Here it is:

    “HI Michael. OK I followed your advice to the end and am glad I did because you are 100% correct. I even go one step higher….
    What i do is take block of 2 hrs and in that period of time I work on one important task without interruption (email is shut down phone is on mute) and one thing only. No disturbances unless my building is burning down. I stay focused on the task at hand and my productivity has gone up 10 fold……….”

    By Rolf Wilhelm Kungl Coach/Business Consultant/Trainer

  2. Vishal0soni says:

    Really nice way to be productive.
    I am already following this, not exactly the same way, but yes, it works.
    For me, I have fixed office hours for 5 days of week, and on weekends I like to complete many other non-official works. For the whole week, we keep thinking to do certain things on the weekend, but by the time weekends, those things are also gone. This keeps us postponing things for several weeks.

    Then I started writing the important tasks on a to-do-list for weekends. On Friday night, i look at the list again, and plan for the things that I want to do next morning. By this, I can finish up most (or at least the important ones) on Saturday itself, and can take out a happy and satisfied Sunday for my family also.

    It really works well !!

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