How to double your effectiveness in a week

July 24, 2011
Image by http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1046648

Where do you think you would be if you had always focused on the essential tasks? What goals would you have achieved if you had paid no attention to all those unnecessary, time-devouring tasks?

How much time would you have saved, which you would have been able to spend on more interesting things?

Getting rid of unimportant time wasters
A major problem leading to poor efficiency is the preoccupation with unimportant tasks that consume time without bringing us closer to our goals. Unfortunately, time wasters are usually not visible at first glance. But if you learn to identify those tasks, you can eradicate them quickly. By giving time wasters little to no attention, you automatically have more time for tasks that advance your other goals.

A good way to identify time wasters is provided by the time-management matrix. In this type of task management system, time-eaters are kept in a separate category (the lower right quadrant) and, thus, no longer get in the way of important tasks.

More motivation through a sense of achievement
The completion of unimportant tasks (yes, it's back to the aforementioned time-eater) is usually rather unsatisfactory, since it does not bring you closer to any of your goals. Focussing on important tasks, however, leads to the completion of goals and to the celebration of successes. Each completed important task, whether large or small, gives us the feeling that the effort expended on it was worth it as long as it actually brought us closer to a target. Precisely for this reason, important tasks also have a motivating effect, which incites additional acts, while time wasters pose a danger to motivation.

Additionally, important tasks are identified easily in a time-management matrix, since they also receive a separate category (the two upper quadrants).

Double effectiveness
You can now increase your own effectiveness by the very fact that you have prioritized important tasks over unimportant tasks, and their associated feelings of success will, in turn, motivate you to complete additional tasks. The same process also eliminates time-eaters, giving you even more time for the important things in life. In this way you can easily at least double your own effectiveness.

Try it once
For the change to the time-management matrix, no learning effort is needed. Try this type of task management system for just a week. Continue to simply use your old task management system during the transitional phase as you add new tasks to your time-management matrix. You will see how the time-management matrix facilitates the selection of essential tasks and how your motivation and effectiveness will be increased.

You can find additional information on how to create your own time-management matrix here.

Next generation task management with LifeQuadrants
TasksOnSteroids LifeQuadrants offers a convenient way to use a time-management matrix for task management.

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