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Creating Structure By Learning How To Prioritize… pt 1

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Create your Own Productivity Plan

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be productive when you are disorganized? It’s nearly impossible. You spend time you should be using to complete tasks just keeping afloat.

Something that trips up many people is trying to find the perfect system, when there is none. You need to build your own productivity plan, taking bits and pieces from various techniques until you find just the right combination for you.

GTD (Get Things Done)—In his best-selling book, David Allen recommends many different methods, but perhaps the most global for our purposes is to get your tasks and ideas out of your head and onto the page. You may choose to keep your duties listed in a notebook, an app or in your Outlook Calendar—it just needs to be portable and simple to use. Once written down, Allen recommends prioritizing your tasks by urgency and writing down the amount of time each should take to complete.

There’s an app for that—You can choose from tons of productivity apps if you prefer to go digital, just keep in mind that you want the most basic tool that will work for you and then stick with it. Don’t waste time jumping ship every time a new cool app is released. That defeats the whole exercise. Remember that if the program is overly complicated, you probably won’t use it long-term.

Time it—If you consistently ask yourself, “Where did the day go,” you might consider setting a timer when you begin each new task. If you take Allen’s advice and write down the amount of time each task should take, this will make it easy. When the timer goes off, you can choose to move onto the next task or reset the timer to finish that project.

Minimize distractions—No matter how carefully you plan for all contingencies, there are going to be disruptions in every entrepreneur’s life. But, some can be avoided. Try one of the distraction-free writing apps if you get caught up in trying to edit while you write a first draft. Or, maybe you spend too long researching because you get engrossed in articles on peripheral topics. To squelch that urge, try one of the extensions available that block certain websites so that you are forced to stay on task during a particular time period.

Whatever combination you choose, commit to it and tweak your system as you go along.

(Check out part 2 of this blog post next week to get more helpful tips!)

Here's To Your Success!

Rebecca Hurt

RH Business Solutions

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