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… In reality it isn’t productivity. – Rather it’s more like something that amounts to one task distracting the other, while we’re thinking or pretending that ‘staying busy’ means being productive.
Busy-ness = productivity: WRONG.
As a result of this task-distraction we may tend to forget things, and lose track of exactly what it is we set out to do, with a result at the end of the day of tasks that are only partially-completed in a somewhat lacklustre manner.
Yes the good ol’ 80/20 rule is at work here. I’ve already written a couple of pieces about that to date. You might like to have a read yourself if you haven’t already done so. – You’ll find one of them here.
How do highly productive, efficient, and effective, people manage to get everything done? The answer is that they use a pre-defined system: They work smarter rather than harder. – As a result they are often less busy than those who are overworked and overwhelmed.
Here are a few time-management tips for you to use to help build efficiency and productivity into your day, every day.
Tip Number 1 – DO NOT Strive For Perfection
As a musician/entertainer as well as an an entrepreneur ( – You’re not? – I suggest you become just that if you seriously want to get anywhere. – ) you’re hopefully self-employed, and there is no boss breathing down your neck to make sure everything is perfect. There are no set guidelines. The only people judging your ‘stuff’ is you and your potential audience; the majority of whom will be not be taking all that much action themselves, if any at all. – Although they may well be critical; constructively or otherwise. They will, most certainly, be somewhat impressed that you are doing well enough to consistently be putting consistent and usually pretty decent content out there at all.
That said though, it does not mean that you can lax off and write crap full of tonal or grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
“Just getting your stuff out there” is so 10+-years-ago. We’re not blogging for the sake of blogging now. We’re not just singing and performing to get heard: In fact, more than ever these days, it’s important to create a great product with substance and awesome content plus superior layout. – Whether that’s a blog post, an information-product, a poem, lyrics, a whole song – whatever it is; Google is watching. So are your audience. Your audience is expecting a great performance in whatever manner. Google will drop your rank like a stone if you produce crap full of errors. Your audience will go elsewhere if they’re getting substandard output from you.
You should always be creating content that provides value to your audience. Illegible drivel and/or out-of-tune maladies do not provide any value to anyone. – You will, however, make mistakes at some point; no matter how good you are: A typo perhaps. A note sung or played just a semitone out perhaps… (Mistakes can happen or slip through the net even after multiple checks.) If you make a mistake it’s really not the end of the world, but learn from each mistake that you make, derive positive outcomes from the negative circumstances, and move on – a little wiser each time.
You are a lot more likely to provide value, despite it being with imperfect material, than with putting absolutely nothing out there. – However the less imperfect your material is; the more value it imparts. (Fake news is a no-no!)
Think of a precious stone as an example: You are more likely to impress an audience enough to keep opening your emails and listening to/attending your performances with good but nevertheless imperfect material than you would by producing nothing at all. – But always bear in mind that the better that material is the more the audience will like it, the more Google will like it too, and will rank you accordingly. That will give your audience more incentive to return to you and imbibe your future material.
Tip Number 2 – Prioritise
Time management is about simplifying how you work, doing things faster and relieving stress. It’s not about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. – Unless you’re a masochist who wants to suffer from burn-out.
As an analogy; ants and bees are busy and productive little creatures. They follow a simple system – possibly largely by instinct – the hive mind – which gives them optimum productivity depending upon their immediate environment.
Remember the 80/20 rule of time management – 80% of the importance of what we do in any given day lies in only 20% of the activities.
SO prioritise and systematise. Learn to prioritise the activities that take up 20% of the effort but give 80% of the results. You may find it better do the least-productive tasks first, get them out of the way as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible, and then press on with spending more time on the productive part of the day while carrying out the tasks that bring results. Identify the tasks that are the most productive, and spend more time and effort on them, while relegating those activities that take up 80% of resources but produce very little in the way of anything beneficial – the ‘low-hanging fruit’.
Tip Number 3 – Focus
Try not to multitask: Multitasking is unproductive. – When you’re multitasking you’re splitting your concentration and only giving each task a fraction of the level of attention it deserves. – I mean you wouldn’t go on stage and try to do a music gig on one end of it while performing a scene from a Shakespeare play on the other end would you? – No. – So why try to do similar when you’re out of the limelight? Are you expecting different results from doing the same thing? – ‘Surely not! 😀
Research confirms that we are actually less productive over all when we try to multitask. So once you’ve prioritised activities for your day, concentrate on just a single task at any one time and give it your all.
You might even find, sometimes, that you need total solitude – and that you have to lock yourself away from pretty much everything in order to be able to give a project your full attention. =- If that’s the case then do so if it helps.
Tip Number 4 – Take Breaks
“All work and no play makes Jack a lazy boy.”
(That might sound a bit sexist. – It works for girls called Jill too.)
Take some down time now and again.- Walk away and chill for a few. You might work better in blocks of time? Perhaps even setting a timer might be an answer?
– For example working in 60 minute blocks with a 10 minute break in-between perhaps?.
Tip Number 5 – Stay Healthy
Nobody wants to be unhealthy; so drink plenty of water, eat a healthy diet, and exercise.
It might sound odd, but the fact that a healthy life-style can improve productivity has been proven in numerous studies.
You don’t have to take it to extremes and become a total health nutjob, as it seems the woman in the illustration has… But just stay alive and well.
Prioritise your day.
There is no need for perfection – just give everything you do your best, and check it for errors before the public get to see it, in order to ensure that it is indeed your best effort. – Take action NOW rather than Later!
Analyse your activities and make a list of which are the most productive. Devote more time to and prioritise those activities that are more productive, and devote less time to those activities that give little results in the way of productivity.
Take breaks and enjoy your spare time; but don’t allow leisure to dominate.
Outsource if, when, and where, necessary. – If you have the resources to be able to do so.
…And most important of all:
Stay healthy, and GIVE IT 101%.
For more on time management and productivity
I suggest you go here.