Imagine that you’re a runner, and you’ve perfected the ideal running technique for maximum speed. You have the right shoes, the right breathing method, and a refined dietary plan to make sure you’re always running at your best. Now imagine you lose the race anyway, because you didn’t run towards the finish line.
Your productivity might be mind-blowing, but when it’s targeted at the wrong goals, it’s useless. Whether you’re a runner or a real estate agent, identifying your goals needs to be step one to true productivity.
Locate the Finish Line
If you think of your work as a race, you need to find the finish line before you start running. So before you start your day, take a moment to identify what your larger goals are, both for the day and in the long term. Will today’s to-do list take you one step closer to that finish line? It can be easy to lose a day into answering emails and checking small tasks off the list without realizing that you haven’t made any meaningful progress towards your larger goals.
Don’t Get Pulled Off the Path
Some tasks are necessary even if they don’t move you towards your goal. When those tasks come up, consider automating them, outsourcing them, and even dropping them entirely. Being radically productive means questioning whether or not accepted tasks are really as necessary as you may think.
You have limited hours in the day, but instead of seeing productivity as a way to carve out more hours, think of it as a way to ensure those hours are going towards the right tasks.