When people think about productivity, they often think about calendars and to-do lists and project management, and all of those things are a big part of what we will discuss in coming episodes. But there's a big difference between being busy and being productive. True productivity requires a purpose to guide the activity. In this episode we talk about a process for coming up with principles to guide our decisions in such a way that our activity is consistent with our true values.
A brief summary of the basic steps:
- Set aside a time when you can be quiet and undisturbed. Gather your calendar, your to-do lists, paper and pen, and your favorite beverage.
- List/describe the roles you play in life, and the relationships that are part of your life.
- Taking into account your personal values, prioritize these areas of your life. Don't forget to make your physical, mental, and emotional health a priority.
- For each role, answer this question: “What kind of ______ do I want to be?” For each relationship, ask yourself, “How do I want this person/these people to remember me when I'm gone?” Spend some time journaling your thoughts about what each role/relationship would look like if it was all you want it to be (your part, not theirs!).
- Honestly evaluate where you are today in each of these areas. Write it down.
- What will it take to get you from where you are to where you want to be? Write down two or three specific steps you could take in each area to move in the direction you want to go.
Tip of the Week: Back up your digital data.
- External hard drives (I use the Seagate Backup Plus)
- Cloud services, such as Dropbox and Box
- Online backup services
For more info, check out this article from the University of Pittsburgh's IT Department on Backing Up Your Data
Tool of the Week: Some great options for online backup services.
- Creating Your Personal Life Plan, a free ebook from Michael Hyatt
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, By Stephen R. Covey
- Time Management From the Inside Out, by Julie Morganstern
Next week's episode will be a discussion of my “Top Ten Tips for Managing Your Day,” and another upcoming episode will talk about setting achievable goals. If you have questions about either topic, please leave a voicemail message by clicking the pink tab at the right-hand side of my website, or email your questions or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the conversation at The Productive Woman's Facebook page.
I look forward to hearing from you, and welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions.