So, you're wondering how can you increase productivity. Well there's books on this and productivity gurus and lots of stuff you can read. I'm going to give you some simple tips.
It's basically two different things. One, focus and two, thinking about what you should and shouldn't be doing. Let me touch focus first. Focus actually means removing distractions. That may seem odd, but remember something. Do you have to have your phone on? Maybe not. You can turn it off. Do you have to have all three of your screens on? Maybe not. Turn them off. Can you lock your door? Can you literally put a note on the back of your chair that says "Don't talk to me til 3 pm?" I know I'm kind of teasing you in this regard, but the concept is true. If you don't allow people and things to interrupt and distract you, you'll be able to focus more. The goal of focus is to get to the zone. You've heard before of the zone right?
If you're in the zone, you're working it's almost like time stands still and you can really get some work done. How do you do that? Remove distraction. Do you want to close your window? Do you want to turn off the radio? Or do you want to even turn on the radio? Some people can turn on the radio if that's who you are and you'll drown out other things. The question with focus is removing distraction. Now I know what you're saying. Larry, I can't remove distraction. What if I get this email that's critical? What if the phone rings and it's my client? Whatever the case may be. Do you want to be productive or not? If you do, remove distraction.
Now if you know that sometimes the morning is a crazy morning, don't try to be productive in the morning. It's always a crazy morning. Instead, wait til the afternoon and then shut everything down and put your head down and get to work. Or the reverse, you know after lunch your phones ringing, emails are coming in. Then put your head down during the morning and get rid of all distractions. You must get rid of distractions to be focused, number one.
The second piece and that is what should you do or what shouldn't you do. Now even in this there's a couple pieces. The first one is, is it really important or is it just urgent? Urgent means it's in front of me now. Someone wants me to do it. Doesn't mean it's important. How do you figure this out? Two things. Number one, think about this through a prism of time. Here's my task, whatever I have to do. How will I think about this task a week from now? A month from now? A year from now? If this task is not completed, what will happen a month from now? Will it just be on your to do list again? How important is it? Will you get fired? Pretty important right?
Will I be upset? Will I lose a client over it? Will my client be okay and they'll wait for the next month? How important is it? You want stuff that you're doing, if you look a week, a month, a year out, wow it's critical. There's big impact if I do it or catastrophic consequences if I don't. Focus on those first and the rest later. But not just a prism of time, something else. Should even be doing it? Now I know you're going to say "Larry, I'm good at it. I do it well. Blah blah." I'm sure it's all fine. The question is not really should you do it, but can someone else? If someone else can do it, as a general rule, you shouldn't do it. So keep that in mind. If someone else can, you probably shouldn't.
Remember, focus and then should you do it or should you not do it. When it comes to focus, remove distractions. Should you or should you not, prism of time. How important will it be? What will be the impact or the consequences a week, a month, a year later? Lastly, can somebody else do this? If they can, maybe they should. Hope that was helpful.