As an Entrepreneur Architect I wear many hats. I’m a designer, a draftsman, a project manager, a construction manager, a book keeper, a marketing director, a salesman, a customer service representative, an IT manager, a boss, a partner, a CEO, a COO, a CFO… the list goes on and on. It can be very stressful. At times, it’s overwhelming. I have the same number of hours each day as everyone else.
How does one get it all done?
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (GTD), says, “our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential.”
For each of my responsibilities I have specific things that need to be accomplished. To make it all more manageable, I plan “projects” with a list of tasks required to complete. Breaking down the larger tasks into the smaller bits of an action plan makes it easier to see my progress and keeps stress to a minimum.
Due to the current economy, our business situation changes often, which does not lend itself to keeping “my mind clear and my thoughts organized”. In order to stay focused, I reassess my goals often to confirm they are still relevant. I remind myself what is truly important and review my action plans for each “project”.
In order to be most productive with my email, Allen suggests applying the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” rule to empty your in-box. Schedule specific times each day to organize your email. Address every message. If it will take less than two minutes to complete, do it. If it can be delegated to someone else, send it down the line. If addressing the item will take more than 2 minutes, defer it and schedule a time to address items requiring more attention. If the item is not important, drop it and move on to the next.
The single most important tip to productivity is to know what NOT to do. Be comfortable with saying no and limit tasks to the “projects” that will make a difference in your business.
Whether you follow the GTD method or another system of personal productivity, you need a system. You can’t just show up each day and hope it all works out. Success is planned and will not happen without focusing on the things that matter most.
How do you get it all done?