Key to Being More Productive
Dear K&K: I am on a mission to figure out the key to being more productive. I already use a To Do list everyday. As a result, I am more productive than I would be without it. But, I still feel like half of the time I’m not getting things done on my To Do list. Signed: Not Productive Enough in Pasadena.
Dear Not Productive Enough: To Do lists are powerful tools for Classics, Organic Structures and Smart Structures. These types achieve amazing things when using To Do lists in conjunction with their calendars and/or planners. BUT, the problem with To Do lists is that stuff flies at everyone throughout the day throwing us all off course. It would seem the obvious key to being productive is to simply — in our favorite Star Wars quote — “stay on target”. Ignore the inevitable daily distractions. It’s true but it isn’t the key because we all know we often can’t ignore these daily distractions. Like this week when Kelly’s 22 month old had a no pants party in his crib and played with his poop filled diaper. This isn’t something one can just IGNORE. N’est-ce pas?
The real, secret key to being more productive is to PLAN for the unexpected. It’s the secret to all organization really. Leave space. A jam packed closet doesn’t leave room for new items. Likewise a jam packed day doesn’t leave room to handle the unexpected. Remember there’s nothing stopping you from reaching into tomorrow and doing THOSE To Do’s.
Here’s an exercise for you. See the photo above? It’s Kelly’s daily To Do list. On the left, she plans and strategizes. Then on the right, she lists ALL of the extra things thrown her way. It started out blank and throughout the week, she added things she ended up doing that were not on the list. It’s eye-opening when you realize how much you actually do versus what you put ON your To Do list. Hope that helps! All our best, Katie & Kelly