Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Determining your productivity style, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- What is your productivity style? Through years of working with people in a variety of cultures, industries, and careers, I've found that there are three primary styles of how people behave inherently when it comes to productivity. It's best understood with a graph. On the far left, we have focus. And on the far right, we have chaos. Those who are naturally on the far left, I call the Focus Masters. These are people who naturally understand organization and productivity.
The best of them have never had any issue at all with time management or organization. A Focus Master's biggest challenge? Being frustrated by the inefficiency of the people all around them. They may tell others, just do it my way. But this rarely works, simply because they're not talking to other Focus Masters. If you find yourself in the Focus Master category, go through this course with the mindset of learning a framework you can share with others to help them become more productive.
Those who are inherently on the far right of the scale I call Chaos Masters. Chaos Masters have always struggled with organization and productivity, almost from birth. This isn't to say that they aren't successful, it's just that they've learned to be successful in spite of their natural tendency to be a little, well more than a little chaotic and disorganized in everything they do. These are those who often have piles all around the office, yet claim they know where everything is.
The Chaos Master's biggest challenge? Learning how to be organized and productive in a way that doesn't stifle their inherent creativity. If you find yourself in this category, go through this course with the mindset of simplifying your life, freeing up time and space for you to do your greatest work. And those in the middle, these are the Nomads. These typically make up the most common productivity style. Often, they consider themselves inherently focused but have somehow been pulled away from that natural tendency to be organized.
Circumstances at work, or just life in general, have pulled them out of that focused existence, and it's frustrating for them. If you find yourself in the Nomad category, go through this course with the midset of discovering how you lost focus, and how you can establish new habits that will protect you from ever losing it again. Hopefully this helps you get a good idea of your productivity style and what to look for in this course. I share this with you for one additional reason, though.
Those who have successfully completed this program have often said how helpful it was for them to understand where I, your instructor, fit on this scale. The truth? I am inherently a Chaos Master. You would think by the way I operate now, that I am a Focus Master. Well 99% of the time, but in my past, you literally had to use a shovel to get from the front door to my desk. I was jumping around from career to career.
One day, I met with a psychologist, who gave me two tests, and then he said the words I'll always remember. He said, "You are off the charts ADHD. "If there was a fifth standard deviation, "You would be in it." This caused me to build this unified system that we're going to cover now. And that has helped other Chaos Masters, Nomads, and Focus Masters like yourself. The methods I'll share come from the standpoint of somebody who had to learn to compensate for an incredibly chaotic way of operating.
This might give you some hope, most other time management training you may have tried before were built by Focus Masters, they're typically hard for the rest of us mere mortals to grasp. The principles we'll cover here are simplified and universal. They apply regardless of your career, culture, and productivity style. Wherever you fit on the scale, between focus and chaos, there's something here for you.
Learn how to get more done in the shortest time possible and avoid the obstacles and distractions that can get in the way of good time management. Dave gives practical strategies for increasing productivity in three main areas: developing habits to be more organized and reducing clutter in your workspace; staying mentally on task and eliminate the to-dos you have floating in your head; and developing a time budget to get the most done during your workday and focus on your most valuable activities.
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- Finding your productivity style and motivation
- Understanding the principles of time management
- Avoiding the pitfalls of multitasking
- Narrowing your gathering points
- Consolidating email and voicemail accounts
- Practicing mind-clearing techniques
- Choosing and using calendar software
- Saying no with tact
- Mastering the what, when, where processing system
- Processing email vs. checking email
- Maintaining productivity gains