The Programme Director of a large and well-known NGO gave me a very interesting document at the end of a training. She had shared the article with her colleagues and said she was putting most of it into practice, with good success.
The article “7 things highly productive people do” is indeed well done. It gives you 7 principles with many additional tips to become or stay productive.
- Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks.
- Stop multi-tasking.
- Be militant about eliminating distractions.
- Schedule your email.
- Use the phone.
- Work on your own agenda.
- Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals.
So, how can you start putting these in practice?
- Select one of these principles (you might want to start with points 3 and 4);
- Decide to practice them militantly for the next three weeks;
- Imagine what would be a good reaction to have when you are confronted to situations in which this principle is hard to practice. For instance, when/if I am interrupted often by the same person, I will propose we meet shortly once (or twice) a day to review their questions together.
- Review and adapt.
- Congratulate yourself for each time you have done this. Don’t beat yourself for the times you haven’t. You can just pick up the next day. Make sure you put forward the benefits you are getting from this new practice.
- Once you feel the principle is well ingrained. Pick a new habit to form.