Join Dave Crenshaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the three principles of productivity, part of Time Management Fundamentals.
- In order to help you gain focus and find more time, there're three key areas we're going to cover: space, mind and time. While this may sound abstract, these represent the critical components of productivity you deal with daily. The first fundamental principle of time management is space meaning your work space, the physical items that are around you. How well are you using that physical space that you have? In particular, the more gathering points you have the more switches you make, so let's have as few gathering points as possible.
A gathering point is any place where things that are unresolved come together. I'll refer to these unresolved items as unprocessed. Typical gathering points include piles of paper, stacks of bills, drawers stuff full of miscellaneous items, even email inboxex, voicemail boxex and receipts stuffed in your pockets - all of these are considered gathering points. We'll go through the process of reducing the number of gathering points you have, which will reduce the switches you experience and help you regain buckets of time.
The second fundamental principle is your mind. In particular, keep your mind clear. Yet many people use their mind as a gathering point When this happens you allow to-dos, and tasks, and projects to swirl around in your head. Think about the last hour. How many times did you interrupt yourself when a new thought popped into your head? Each one of these little self-interruptions was a switch, and switches, remember, will cause things to take longer, cause you to make more mistakes and will increase your stress levels.
A mind filled with to-dos and action items is constantly in a state of switching. This is terribly inefficient, very stressful, and a recipe for lots of mistakes. I've even seen people who don't sleep well because they go to bed at night thinking about all the things that they need to do and wake up in the morning thinking about all the things that they need to do. One chapter in this course is devoted to helping you find an effective system to get all these things out of your mind forever.
This will allow you to better focus throughout your day on the tasks at hand and not distract yourself. The third and final principle deals with time itself, in particular, focusing your time on that which is most valuable. There're many ideas and opportunities that compete for your time daily. Those who are most productive have mastered the skill of making conscious choices about where they will focus their time. They've also become skilled at creating boundaries that protect their attention.
You can do the same. This begins with identifying your MVAs, your most valuable activities, and then creating a budget to spend time in those most valuable activities. It also includes underspending time to make sure you never go over budget. By underspending you'll actually get more done, have less stress and, paradoxically, have more time. For now, just remember these principles.
Focus on your most valuable activities and underspend time. By mastering the trifecta of space, mind and time you'll find yourself better prepared to stay more productive and focused.
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
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: This course was updated on 07/09/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover understanding the focus-chaos scale, as well as the Microsoft Office option. In addition, the following topic was updated: maintaining your productivity gains.