A friend of mind Jimbo asked a question in a Facebook group the other month:
“Who thinks they could be doing more and making more happen for their business?”
The results were quite interesting.
There was the majority saying they are operating at 70% of their potential.
I got engaged with some of the comments and there were some common responses so thought that some of you might like to know some ways to become more productive.
I want to start by saying there’s a difference between effort and effectiveness, basically doing twice as much of what you’re currently doing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get twice the result.
As I like to say “it’s not the hours you work but the work you do in the hours.”
That said it’s worth introducing a productivity tool to you I like to use myself and with clients.
Many people have seen the Stephen Covey version of this but this one is Tony Robbins version and it’s my preference.
So you have the 4 zones:
Dimension of Distraction
These are all the time and energy wasting stuff which you do every single day. Whatever you can classify as Not Important And Not Urgent.
What are examples of time wasters? Well, all the frivolous things which you do whenever you feel bored or stressed out. They include surfing the web, checking your Facebook page (repeatedly), playing games on your smartphone, checking Facebook again, watching TV, snacking unhealthily or checking Facebook just one last time.
It’s essentially “No Man’s Land” – an area where nothing can be achieved or gained.
Dimension of Delusion
These are the things that are Urgent But Not Important.
They include the numerous interruptions that you may face from friends, colleagues, associates or telemarketers who call, text, message or email you over something fairly innocuous like when to schedule the next meeting, courteous replies to people, etc.
Those of us who spend a lot of time on social networks for work need to be careful here, it’s easy to think that we are ‘need’ to reply to that comment instantly but do we really? We can spend all our time going for all the events, errands, meet-ups, networking events and never get the really important stuff done.
Dimension of Demand
If you’re someone that’s highly stressed then it’s likely you’re spending too much time in the Dimension of Demand. This would cover all other things which are Urgent And Important which often = stress!
What would constitute activities which belong to the Dimension of Demand?
Well, the firefighting activities we have to do as entrepreneurs. Beyond this, the sickness of a colleague, dealing with an urgent order that must get out to a big client that’s got lost or an irate client who called and threatened you would constitute things which are urgent and important.
Handling these items require expediency due to their urgency. They are also extremely disruptive to your life. To resolve these, you should try to plan ahead as much as possible to anticipate them.
The Zone – Dimension of Fulfillment
Finally, the bull’s eye in the target board is The ZONE or the Dimension of Fulfillment) which covers stuff that is Very Important, But Not Urgent.
To succeed and be a highly productive entrepreneur, your primary area of focus should be in doing things in the Zone, because these are things that truly matter to you and the business. However, you need to find ways to manage all the other activities in the other circles such that they don’t crowd out your time such as delegating, outsourcing and sometimes just deleting!
What are some of these items? Well, they may include planning the next quarters budget, writing your book (or blog post), or building relationships with big potential clients and existing clients.
You can visualise these different concentric rings by the visual below:
My challenge to you is if you’re one of these that not operating at the productivity level you would like to be reaching then identify what percentage you are currently spending in each of these areas and then identify what your ideal percentage would be.
- The Zone – Dimension of Fulfillment Current …………….. % Ideal …………….. %
- Dimension of Demand – Current …………….. % Ideal …………….. %
- Dimension of Delusion – Current …………….. % Ideal …………….. %
- Dimension of Distraction – Current …………….. % Ideal …………….. %
Tips on Getting into the Zone
How can you spend more time in the Zone then? Here are some tips for you to start off with.
First, you should try to eliminate all the distractions and take them out of your life. Change your life habits and convert your time to doing something more meaningful by time blocking your diary, turning off notifications and signing out of Facebook!
Next, choose what and to whom you should respond to, rather than be obliged to accede to every request which comes your way. Create processes for who deals with different levels of things. Learn to say “NO” and let others know that your time is valuable to you.
Finally, it is very important to manage your emotions, remember Event + Response = Outcome! Don’t sweat the small stuff or let gossips, rumours and slanders influence your emotional state.
Focus your energies on what’s positive rather than negative, while not becoming totally oblivious to the reality of what’s happening around you.
By living a life of purpose and focusing on the things that are important and not urgent, you are able to reduce your stress levels, improve your personal effectiveness, and be well prepared to travel on the road to success.
If there are there other strategies you use to be more productive, I’d love to hear them. Just message me on Facebook, oh wait…
Until next time… make it happen.
p.s. if you would like a free 60-minute opportunity session with me or a make it happen life coach to see how you could get more done click here to find out more.