Continuing my quest to more efficiency and productivity, I’d like to shine the light on another greatly underestimated culprit I mentioned in my previous blog: CLARITY or better the lack thereof.
It may sound obvious, but experience has shown me that it isn’t. Let me explain why.
At the end of every day I usually take a couple of minutes to reflect. I check what I wanted to do and compare it with what I actually did, how things went and what I would do differently in hindsight. I call it my ‘Insight & Action’ time. It took some discipline to get used to and stick with this routine, but what I observed makes it absolutely worth my while. The better prepared I am for the day, the better it usually goes, and the more I get done. Sure, there are exceptions, but that is not an issue if most days or the majority of days go according to plan.
What do I mean by ‘better prepared’? I have a crystal-clear picture of the work I need to do. I am specific about the actions I have to take. And I put these action items in my calendar at a time that best suits my workflow.
I found that this approach has a couple of advantages:
- I know exactly what due dates or deadlines are imminent. I don’t
react, I act. I don’t struggle with last-minute rushes or hectic (at
least most of the time 😊).
- I break projects up into specific action steps. That allows me to
better schedule my day because I know approximately how much time
it will take to work on something. And the best part? I have a
sense of accomplishment when I can strike out something that is
- I block time in my calendar for each action item. OK, not for all
the little things, but for everything that needs a chunk of time. It
is easier for me to see how much time I have left in the day if my
action items show as blocks in my calendar. It also ensures that I
leave room between action items. After all, I am a human and need a
break here and there. And it allows me to fit in some of the little
things that don’t need a lot of brainwork or only take minutes to
Why does this approach work? Because the moment you get up in the morning you know what is expecting you in the office or studio or at the workbench. You approach the day with purpose which translates into less temptation to procrastinate. And if disaster strikes and you have to divert form your planning, you have an easy way to get back on track instead of wasting time with throwing a pity party or pondering what you were working on.
Are you up for the experiment? Give it a try and let me know how it went. And if you have a brilliant idea, please share. I love to learn and improve on what I am doing.
Happy experimenting. See you next time.