does your productivity ever get hampered by your desire to find the best possible solution? as you search for the easiest or fastest route to your goal, you may find yourself stopped entirely. sometimes you may even do this on purpose, to keep from having to make a decision. however, there’s a work-around.
maybe you’ve heard of the term, “heuristic.” heuristics are rules that allow a solution to be found more quickly. with a heuristic, a resolution can be found even when the entire path isn’t clear from the onset.
so let me give you an example: there are no roads, but you need to get from New York, where you live, to California.
a heuristic might be:
1. walk west as far as you can.
2. walk around any obstacle, if possible or necessary.
3. if faced with a mountain range, walk toward the space between 2 small peaks.
4. repeat until reaching California.
now, does this heuristic give you the most efficient solution? heck no! however, you’ll get where you’re going, and on the way, you won’t be wasting time with making decisions. and that’s the point!
so, posted below is a list of behavioral heuristics that you can use for increased productivity, and get to California faster.
1. choose the right time. just about everyone has times of the day when they are most effective and times when they tend to drag. pretty self explanatory. do your most critical tasks at your most efficient time of the day.
2. toss it. if a task doesn’t really need to be done, just get rid of it altogether.
3. get the bad stuff out of the way. do the unpleasant items quickly and as early in the day as possible.
4. set daily goals. before you go to bed at night, make a list of what needs to be done the next day. doing it at night is more effective, because you know what you completed already for that day. this gives you a true sense of direction, and allows you to spend your time actually getting things done, rather than spending time trying to figure out what’s next.
5. eliminate all communication. while you’re working, disconnect. turn off the phone/cell phone, and don’t check your email. if necessary, put a “do not disturb” sign on your door. i’m not saying to do this during all of your working ours, but for your more difficult, or concentration necessary, tasks.
6. put similar tasks together. all emails should be taken care of at one time. all phone calls need to be made at once. you mail in your mail box, set aside a time to go through it. you’ll waste less time this way.
7. set a timer. even if a task might take hours, starting will seem easier if you simply give yourself 30 minutes to get as much done as you can. a time limit seems to help many people concentrate and work better, too.
8. set targets. for example, if you have to make cold-calls for your sales job, tell yourself that you’re not getting up for any reason until you’ve made at least 100 calls. regardless of what happens, refuse to stop until you hit your target.
9. set a deadline. having a specific endpoint will really help to focus your time and energy. if a task doesn’t feel necessary, chances are that it won’t get done.
10. increase your speed. it sounds silly, but this can really help. try doing everything a little faster. walk faster, talk faster, type faster, and read faster. implement these heuristics into your life and you’ll find yourself getting more done, in less time. the ultimate secret is to stay on task and not waste any time. these rules will help you do just that.
In the comments below, tell me something you may do in your day to increase your productivity.
To Your Success & With Love,