As we enter Week 3 of 10 Weeks of Productivity, it’s a good time to check in with yourself and your team. How are you doing with Topics 1 and 2? Have you taken the time to investigate what issues might be causing your lull in productivity? Are you practicing defining tomorrow’s goals at the end of each workday? Are you accepting change as an impactful solution?
It’s also a good time to be reminded of the purpose of this series and being productive, in general. When optimal productivity is achieved, your work becomes more meaningful and valuable. Every minute has a mission that brings more purpose to your day, leaving you with more minutes to spend on the people and activities that bring you joy.
Knowing your resources will bring you one step closer to finding and maintaining your optimal productivity.
Week 3: Know Your Resources
Resources come in many shapes and sizes. As a busy professional, we’ll discuss your most valuable resources as Time, Technology and Talent. Just about anything that impacts your workday will fall into one of these three categories. Although volumes could be written about each of these resources individually, we’ll break each one down and give you a high-level overview.
You could argue that it all boils down to time, that every productivity-impacting factor at its core, is time. You wouldn’t be wrong. Time is what it’s all about. We want more time to get our work done. We want more time with family and friends. We want more alone time. More…more…more… The bad news is you can’t create more time in the day. It’s metaphysically impossible. The good news is we all get the same 24 hours in each and every day. How we choose to use those hours is the essence of this category.
Three Time Management Tips
- Know Your Focused Time. We’ll spend the whole post next week discussing just this. That’s how valuable focused time is. Until then, think of it as finding that sweet spot in your day where you’re a productive genius.
- Prioritize Your Day. We talked about the importance of having goals in Week 1. Priorities are a bit different. Take those goals and categorize them by importance. Then, spend your focused time working on your top priority.
- Make Decisions. Whether it’s deciding not to do something, which emails need an immediate response and which can wait, whether or not to shut your office door, or which meetings to attend, you must make decisions. You can’t do everything. Decide which tasks align with your priorities, and make the decision to complete those before the mundane.
The tricky thing about technology is that it seems as if just when you get a good grasp on it, it’s outdated and time to learn the latest and greatest. With that being said, my purpose isn’t to go into details about any particular program, software or system. It’s to bring you awareness on how to leverage the technology available to you for maximum results.
Maximize Your Technology
- Know What Technology You Can Access. Often when meeting with clients, I find that there exists a tool at their disposal that makes their job infinitely more efficient. I love those magical “How did I ever live without this?!” moments. Seek, search, question. Know what’s available, and take advantage of it.
- Master Your Email. Again, volumes could be written about this topic, but most importantly: Don’t let your inbox rule (ruin) your life. Save your inbox for the to-dos of the day, and archive the rest. Know how to search, and make sure your team is consistent and persistent about subject lines!
- Don’t Be Afraid. A major reason people don’t use available technology: fear. Fear comes with the unknown. If the technology is available to your organization, someone is an expert. Find that someone, and conquer your fears.
Talent can best be described as you, your team and the roles you play in the success of your organization. Here are some quick suggestions on how to make this resource impactful to your personal productivity and that of your business.
How to Leverage Talent
- Know Who’s Who and Who Does What. Remember that org chart your were handed on your first day on the job? Find it, brush the dust off and memorize it. These are your people – your support system. Know their roles, so when you need help, you know where to go.
- Reach Out and Be Reachable. Speaking of needing help…don’t be afraid to ask for it when necessary. Now that you know who’s who, you can efficiently use this resource to your advantage. On the other hand, when a colleague asks for your expertise, that means they value your talent. Whenever possible, and especially when it aligns with your priorities, provide help when asked.
- Only Do What Only You Can Do. Your talents and passions are not random. These are your calling. If you’re not using them in your current role, it’s time to start looking elsewhere. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, but don’t forget what you are passionate about. Doing work that brings you joy is the definition of success.
Remember, knowing your resources isn’t just about knowing what they are. It’s about using your time efficiently, being a master of the technological tools available to you and realizing the full potential of your unique talents.
Next week, as promised, we’ll dig deeper into Discovering Your Focused Time. In the meantime, ponder this:
One of my greatest talents is recognizing talent in others and giving them the forum to shine. – Tory Burch