Productivity isn't about getting more done, but about getting what matters most done, according to an article on Entrepreneur.com. The author, business coach Kent Julian, says the most productive leaders follow these habits.
1. Productive leaders dump their to-do list.
You need to prioritize to be productive. Most to-do lists, however, prioritize the wrong activities. They tend to focus on important issues that feel pressing rather than on where your time can be most efficiently spent.
For example, a great alternative to a to-do list is a 80/20 List. An 80.20 list is built on the Pareto Principle, which basically states that 20% of your efforts create 80% of your results. Try this: Draw a line down the middle of a piece of paper. Write “20%” at the top of the left side and “80%” at the top of the right side. Then, only list what matters most on the 20% side. All other items go on the right side. If you do it correctly, you’ll end up with only a handful of tasks on the left side of the paper. Those are the ones you and your team should complete first.
2. Productive leaders slow down under pressure.
First, productive leaders create time and space to slow down before things get added to their plate. This time might be early in the morning or before they go to bed. When tough issues arise, they don’t have to scramble to find time to address them because they have already scheduled their lead-from-quiet time every day.
Second, they carve out significant chunks of time to lead from a place of calm and quiet. The most productive leaders block out a minimum of 30 minutes at a time so they can process issues thoroughly and deeply.
3. Productive leaders use simple math for their hardest problems.
Perhaps what sets the most productive leaders apart is how they respond to adversity. Most people buy into the myth that the events of your day lead to your outcomes. They adopt an E = O mentality, thinking if events go their way, their outcomes will be good, but if events turn sour, their outcomes turn sour as well. The problem with this equation is it’s based on what we cannot control: events. We don’t control the weather, the economy or people’s actions.
Productive leaders know this isn’t true and adopt the habit of approaching circumstances through an Events + Reactions = Outcomes equation. Leaders who use this equation commit to owning their responses no matter what events they face.