That’s a good way to get started, and it complements some of the other things I’ll suggest. Tracy does believe in those charts and cschedules, but he lets you draw up your own. He teaches a whole philosophy around it, which, he says, should be internalized.
He strongly believes in focusing on the highest pay-off tasks, and includes positive self-talk, modeling, visualization and other such techniques.
Then, there’s my friend Jason Fladlien’s approach, which is VERY heavy on the carrot side of the carrot and stick approach, and will transform how you’ve been thinking about time management. In fact, where Tracy uses the 80/20 technique (focusing on the hightst pay-off tasks), Jason takes that principle to a whole new level.
He includes lots of principles from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), but gives it his own twist, and manages to double, triple, and in some cases even quadruple people’s productivity, much of it by taking away resistance and ambiguity and helping them to get super motivated to tackle whatever it is that needs to get done.
When Jason put it together, he had especially internet marketers in mind as his primary audience. There’s a reason for that. That’s what he knows really well, that’s what his clients do, and that’s where there are a LOT of built-in obstacles to productivity, yet without producing you won’t get anywhere, especially not there.
And internet marketing is filled with distractions. All those enticing emails with the “next big thing”… And then, of course, there’s the “day job” that also requires attention.
That’s why his program includes a bonus called “Day Job Annihilator” that will help replace the money from the day job quickly.
Is this course only for internet marketers? Of course not. It’s great for any professional who works under a lot of pressure, especially time pressure, and who struggles with procrastination and difficulty deciding what to do first and next.
I’ve found his course very helpful in fact, I’m IN the course. I was one of the people in the original webinar, which is also included. That’s where Jason went in and gave people some laser coaching on how to overcome their biggest time challenges. The guy is brilliant!
Both those approaches have to do with increasing your productivity, and they both help.
Next time, I’ll talk about a couple of other approaches that will approach this issue from a rather different angle.
In the meantime though, don’t overdo the productivity thing. If you’re tired, you’re not going to be productive. If you’re stressed, you’re not going to be able to do good work. So it has to be a priority to take care of yourself FIRST.
Take a nap. Get help with stress management so you can tackle your deadlines and tasks with a refreshed body and mind. Trust me, you’ll be MUCH more effective.
Quick case in point if I have to grade papers, one particular paper might take me 5 to 10 minutes of focused attention, which will allow me to read it, understand what needs to be done to improve it, and write a few comments to help the writer to upgrade it significantly.
If I’m tired, that same paper will take me half an hour OR MORE because I end up reading and rereading it and my brain simply won’t cooperate. Should I struggle on? Absolutely not.
Getting through a stack of 10 papers will take me 5 hours or more, and the feedback will be far less useful than it would have been if I had been well-rested and could have done the job in an hour and a half, or maybe two.
So if you’re tired, go take a nap! And if you’re stressed, listen to a stress relief hypnosis CD or do some deep breathing or any number of other techniques designed to relieve that stress.