There’s a lot of noise about ‘productivity hacks’ on the interwebs. Type the phrase into your favorite search engine and you’ll be inundated with results that likely have one thing in common — they’re shifting your focus to the wrong things.
Yes, there are hacks out there to help us accomplish things more quickly and efficiently. And they work. But if we’re stuck in the weeds of the daily minutia or caught up in FOMO (fear of missing out) or endless online group think, it’s easy to skip right over the foundational step of considering whether something is even worthy of our time, energy, and attention.
It’s how hacks end up keeping us overwhelmed and stuck. They keep us efficiently doing the wrong things.
If you’re feeling like there’s never enough time to do it all, take a step back. Invest time in getting clear and focused on what you want for your life and how to tailor your business or career to serve that greater vision.
I know. It doesn’t make for a sexy headline or deliver instant gratification but what I can promise is it will save you a lot of headaches and heartache down the road.
Before going on another wild [Google] goose chase for some miracle productivity cure, take time to complete these three steps first:
- Create clarity around your 12-month vision so you can use it as a filter when it comes to making decisions about how you’ll use your time.
- Determine if your short term goals are in alignment with your vision.
- Consider if the actions you are about to take are in alignment with your goals.
When you identify things that aren’t in alignment with your vision and goals, set them aside.
It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice these things or banish them to never be completed but it is time to place your focus elsewhere… at least for the time being.
Use your journal to record these items or tuck them away someplace safe then pull them back out after you review where you’re at in about 90 days. At that point, you’ll have a measure of progress and can reconsider whether it’s the right time to add something back into your action plan and calendar or not.
Skipping these steps in favor of some trendy shortcut or productivity hack will give you a false sense of accomplishment. You may have a beautiful color-coded calendar and be getting things done, but not the things that really matter.
Don’t let well-disguised distractions rob you of your precious time.
You deserve better than that.