Clarity is the most important concept in personal productivity. The number one reason why some people get more work done faster is because they are absolutely clear about their goals and objectives and they don't deviate from them.
-Brian Tracy, Eat that Frog!
One of the best things about Brian Tracy is that all of his advice is fundamentally simple; it's things we all know, but that we forget or that we haven't really explored directly. And that's the exact point of his tip here - we often lose sight of where we are going because we get too wrapped up in ancillary tasks and our day-to-day whirlwind. If we can stop, take a deep breath, and clear our heads, we can reevaluate what we are doing and take clear, decisive steps in the direction of our goals.
So try this 5-minute activity to clean off the dust from your schedule::
- Write down your current goals as column headings (if you don't have any right now, get yourself to this list, and STAT). Do this on paper or in your computer/phone; whichever you are most comfortable with.
- Now, list all of main tasks you have for the next week, placing them under the goal columns.
- For each item that doesn't fall under a goal, ask yourself, "Why am I doing this? Do I really need to do this? What's the benefit (to me or others)?" If you can't answer this satisfactorily, find a way to fix it.
- For all of your other tasks, evaluate them in terms of how well they will help move you closer to your goals, replace/delete tasks as needed, and prioritize them.
- Repeat this process (or a simplified version of it) periodically to maintain a clear focus.