If you want to improve your performance, the easiest way to achieve that is to track your time.
This is not about time management because time cannot be managed. You can only manage your activities in relation to the time you have available.
If you make tracking your time a daily habit, you will experience a shift in your ability to complete things on time.
Reasons Why People Do Not Track Their Time
While it is common to use a calendar, diary or planner to manage activities, tracking how time is spent is not common with most people.
Reasons why people do not track their time include:
- They do not know the benefits.
- They view it as an inconvenience.
- They do not know how to do it.
- They are comfortable doing what they have always done.
- They may not place a high value on their time.
To make the best use of your time, you have to know how you are spending it. Tracking your time is one way to learn more about how you use it.
If you can take advantage of the end of year, you will give yourself a better chance of starting the new year well.
The end of year is usually a time when most people slow down. You can get a head start and set yourself up for a better year if you are intentional about how you use the end of year.
Things You Can Gain if You Take Advantage of the End of Year
The benefits of taking advantage of the end of year include:
- End the year on a good note.
- Prepare yourself well for the new year.
- Identify things you want to do differently next year.
- Feel excited and have something to look forward to.
- Acknowledge and accept things that happened during the year.
How Not to End Your Year
Here are ways not to end your year because you will not set yourself up for better success in the new year.
- Not having an improvement plan.
- Feeling rushed or pressured to meet deadlines that could have been addressed earlier.
- Hoping to have a better year instead of being intentional about it.
- Not identifying what to do differently to achieve new results.
Your ability to take advantage of the end of year will improve your chances of better accomplishments in the new year.
To achieve better productivity, there are simple things you can do every day, that will not require a lot of effort or time.
With the number of distractions you have to deal with daily, knowing how to stay productive is a major advantage.
The Costs of Not Focusing on Better Productivity
Your ability to stay focused has a big impact on what and how much you accomplish. If you don’t focus on better productivity, costs include:
- Not meeting deadlines, which means things will be delayed.
- Generating additional stress because you will constantly be catching up.
- Not feeling good about yourself, especially if you let others down.
- Lower levels of confidence.
- Not setting new goals because of your inability to deal with what’s already on your plate.
- Poor quality work.
Having daily reminders can help you start your day well and focus on what will benefit you most.
Having solutions to overcome your busy schedule can change the way you work and improve the results you achieve daily.
Most working professionals will admit they are busy most of the time. Allowing yourself to stay busy for long periods will not support you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The Benefits of Not Having a Busy Schedule
Not having a busy schedule has many benefits. These include:
- Not getting caught up with things that are a lower priority.
- Having time to think and form new ideas.
- Giving yourself a break from working all the time.
- Not feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
- Becoming more productive and effective by focusing on high-leverage activities.
Being busy does not always equate to being effective. Knowing the difference between being busy and being productive will increase your daily outputs.
Most times, the less you do, the better quality results you will produce. Overcoming a busy schedule does not just happen. You have to implement workable or practical solutions to overcome your busy schedule.
There are simple things that will increase your productivity daily, which means you will consistently be more effective.
Knowing what to focus on is necessary to work smarter and do the right things to get you closer to an outcome you want.
The Importance of Staying Productive Daily
There are many things competing for your attention every day. If you are productive, it will:
- Give you a competitive advantage over those who allow themselves to get distracted easily.
- Speed up the achievement of the results you want.
- Allow you to have more free time.
- Make you feel good about the progress you make.
- Ensure you meet your deadlines and maintain your level of self-trust.
The objective of increasing your productivity is not to do more things. It’s about bringing the best out of yourself consistently, so you can create the results you want in your life.
To stay motivated consistently, we must have strategies to prevent inaction if we want to achieve important things.
Inaction or lack of action, will cause us to not complete tasks to achieve the results we want. Most people will go through periods of inaction and how we deal with it, will determine how quickly we can move past it.
What Causes Inaction?
Whenever we fail to take action, common reasons include:
- Conflicting priorities.
- Confusion or lack of clarity.
- Overworked and feeling tired.
- Inability to say “no” to new demands.
- Over-committed and feeling overwhelmed.
- Internal dialogue based on fear of being judged by others or fear of making mistakes.
- Lacking knowledge or skills.
- Low self-confidence.
Unless we have strategies we can use to deal with inaction, we will continue to have low levels of motivation.
To accomplish the things we want to daily, knowing how to use a To-Do list effectively can make a big difference.
If used correctly, a To-Do list can accelerate our progress towards our outcomes and boost our performance. The key is to use it in a way that will be complimentary to our working style.
Why a To-Do List May Not Work
A To-Do list may not work for some. Not everyone uses a To-Do and reasons may include:
- Not having an effective system to integrate it into.
- Using random or multiple lists without sticking to a single list.
- Not having the discipline to use it the right way so it works for you.
- Not forming the habit of using a list.
- Believing a To-Do list will not help you and add more pressure or stress to your workday.
- Not having your list with you all the time.
- Finding it difficult to use it in a simple way.
Whether we use a To-Do list or not is not as important as having a method of keeping track of what needs to be done.
We won’t know how we’re progressing if we don’t have a way of tracking our priorities. Learning how to use a To-Do list the right way is a big advantage.
When we understand why consistency is an important habit to have, we can use it to our advantage.
It’s highly unlikely we’ll achieve great things if we’re not consistently making smart decisions and taking the right actions.
What Does it Mean to Be Consistent?
When we’re consistent, it means we’re dedicated to carrying an activity or completing a task. It means we’re clear on what we want to accomplish and are taking the necessary steps to reach it.
To be consistent is a commitment we make to ourselves and others. It’s about keeping our word to carry out what we’ve agreed to do. Our level of consistency reflects our values and standards.
When we’re consistent, it means we’re doing what’s required now to achieve a better outcome in the future. Therefore, consistency is about repetition. It’s about doing the same things repeatedly over time to reach a desired outcome.
Why Do We Struggle With Consistency?
There are several things that can cause us to struggle with consistency. These can include:
- Lack of patience.
- Desire for instant gratification.
- Lack of clarity and focus.
- Not having supporting habits or triggers.
- Having a “all or nothing” mindset.
Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”
When we know the reasons why consistency is an important habit to have, we can take steps to develop it.
Our willingness to use speed of implementation to achieve faster results will make a difference to our confidence and performance.
This one concept can determine if we make progress and meet our deadlines. To use speed of implementation doesn’t require special skills or additional resources.
What is Speed of Implementation?
Speed of implementation is how fast we can apply or act on an idea, strategy or tactic. It’s the speed we can put something into practice.
Everyone wants more in life. It can include more success, more happiness, more wealth, more fame, more status, more skills, more inner peace or more knowledge.
Even though we all want more, not everyone will act on ideas that can lead to getting more. Our ability to put into practice speed of implementation can affect whether we get what we want, when we want it.
Benefits of Using Speed of Implementation
Here are a few benefits of making speed of implementation a way we operate.
- We can validate an idea much faster.
- We can save time because we’ll find out a lot quicker what’s working or not working.
- We can save money if an idea isn’t worth pursuing.
- We can achieve our objectives quicker.
- We can get more things done.
Our capacity to adopt speed of implementation will determine how fast we get ahead and achieve what we want.
Having effective ways to develop competence can help us improve our performance and become better achievers.
As we give more attention to developing competence in any area, we’ll create better results.
What is Competence?
Competence is the ability to do something successfully or efficiently. It means we can do something well.
Having competence means having adequate knowledge and skills to carry out a task. Competence on a task means having the ability to think and behave that will lead to the successful execution of that task.
The Benefits of Developing Competence
When we develop competence in areas important to us, the benefits will include:
- Having greater levels of confidence.
- Completing tasks quicker or more efficiently.
- Making fewer mistakes which means we need less time to finish a task.
- Lower chance of compromising our safety.
- Becoming more knowledgeable and informed.
- Improving our chances of taking advantage of opportunities.
As we learn ways to develop competence in any area, we’ll not only benefit ourselves, we’ll also benefit others.