Starting 2014 with Your Best Self Yet: Improving Productivity and Enhancing Performance
Last May I wrote about my journey creating good workflow habits. I joked that the challenge for me was in creating good habits for the un-habitualized (did I really make that word up?). Of course, the reality was, it’s not that I didn’t have habits, I just happened to have some bad habits…and we all grapple with such demons.
With the New Year here, I feel inspired by the notion of starting off 2014 with “Your Best Self Yet.” And so I reflect on my own journey improving productivity and enhancing performance. Such a practice helps to boost my own confidence as I embark on taking things to the next level. Plus, I hope my experiences shed some light for your own efforts as well.
Support for the Journey
Seeing as how I help others sustain the change they seek to create, I realized I needed my own support network. And so in August, I joined Womack’s online coaching program, Get Momentum. Change is hard. Habitual change takes time and when we tackle such challenges alone we’re more apt to slip and not regain footing to reach that higher ground.
The thing about getting support for the journey is that you don’t always want to hear what they have to say. I remember in October I asked a question during the monthly webinar and Womack’s answer caused me to have a critical, “Doesn’t he have anything new to say” reaction. But then I thought about it some more and realized I was blaming him for a lesson I failed to internalize…(be forewarned, whenever you’re inclined to “shoot the messenger” take a moment to look inside yourself first.)
The Simplest of Tools: A Timer
Womack’s suggestion was to make better use of just 1% of my day. That’s 15 minutes. Could that really turn things around? I’ve got planning tools, checklists, organization practices, etc. But the most powerful tool for improving my productivity has been the simplest, a timer.
How easily we can get lost in the moment when we don’t set boundaries for ourselves. A quick email check can last 30 minutes long. Take a little break on Facebook and lose an hour. Or what about that project when your gremlin insisted upon perfection and you spent an extra two hours on something that was good enough after 20 minutes.
Setting a timer has created huge productivity gains for me. Sometimes I realize I need more than 15 minutes for a given task, which helps me plan better in the future. But often I find that I can complete things faster than I thought, eureka!
Focusing on What Matters
One of the things I’ve realized in this process is that I don’t want to improve my productivity only to get more busy work done. I’ve spoken with many clients on just this topic, sure you’re getting a
When it comes to enhancing performance, it helps to do some soul searching; practice deep reflection and inquiry. But make sure you’re asking the right questions. Joe Calloway’s book, Be the Best at What Matters Most has provided me with wonderful insights and prompts for this process.
We will be discussing Be the Best at What Matters Most and Your Best Just Got Better at EntrepreNerds on January 17th at the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. Register online today!