Productivity and Time Management–NOT the same thing

Self-improvement gurus often look at productivity from a
“time management” perspective. Absolute malarkey. BS. Balderdash. Pure
unadulterated bunk.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Productivity isn’t
about managing time, it’s a about discerning among options. In short, it’s
about prioritization, not time.

Here are 3 productivity techniques I drill into my
stretched-too-thin executive coaching clients :
  1. Decide in advance what’s important, but don’t build a list out of concrete. I know that sounds like a paradox, but we need to know, in calm times, what we believe is important—let’s identify that. But don’t be such a slave to your list that you cannot adapt opportunistically. Needing to read some staff-driven emails may be momentarily important, but don’t close your door when a highly-engaged, usually productive asks “do you have a minute?”
  2. If it isn’t important enough for a calendar, it’s not important enough to do. Deep-six the countless, burgeoning lists that inevitably create a monument for failure at the end of the day. If something needs to be done, put it on your calendar. Then, of course, pay attention to deadlines.
  3. My quote above from Star Wars’ Yoda is appropriate for individual productivity, particularly as it relates to procrastinating. Either do it, and do it now, or DON’T do it, and either do something else or give yourself permission to just relax, surf the web, or stare at the ceiling. Worrying incessantly about something you’re “supposed” to be—but not—doing is simply a time-sucker and entirely unproductive.

Identify and focus on what’s important, let your calendar
then drive your day, and don’t beat yourself up when you can’t (or simply
won’t) get to something. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, “sometimes it’s
ok to delay… if you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute.”

But that’s just me…


Kevin Berchelmann

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