Get to Work to Double Your Performance
Since we started this series, the bulk of what I shared with you is preparatory to getting down to work without any strong emphasis in doing the actual work. The reason is that I understand that if you set certain things in place, execution becomes possible, easy and efficient.
For instance, I know that if you are tensed, you can hardly get anything done, that’s why I started by sharing with you why you should calm down and not panic irrespective of the volume of works you have to do.
I also know that when you are better organized, you will be able to tackle the most important work and that’s why I shared with you the need to outline the tasks at hand and prioritise them for efficiency.
I went further to show you how you can reduce the volume of work you have to do by delegating and outsourcing some of them. Then, last time, I encouraged you to eliminate distractions and learn how to handle them so that once you get to work, you have the clarity of what you have to do and stick to it.
Today, I want to get to the real deal – the work/task. You see, it’s not enough to know what you have to do and strategize to get them done. If you do all these without going to do that actual work, they are a waste and you won’t get the intended result.
If you don’t have a problem with executing your task, you will be wondering why I have to tell you to get to work. But I know that there are people that have challenges with the execution of their plans. I don’t fully understand why this happens, but I know that it happens to people.
One of the most important truths you need to bear in mind to carry out excellent execution of your plan and task is to get focused on it. Focus on your task at hand gets the whole of your being immersed in the work and that comes with a great deal of mental, physical and emotional energy needed to overcome natural resistance to start and sustain the work.
Getting your tools for work around you and ready is a way to start directing your attention to the work. That’s why if for instance you are a student, a very important step you have to take to start doing what you should do is to get the books you want to read before you and ready. If you are like me with lots of work to do on the computer, I first power it, get internet connection and open the software I need to work with. I locate an environment where I won’t be distracted and sit there.
Aside getting focused, another reason why I am emphasising getting your tools ready is that it’s not proper time economy to start working on your task without gathering all the tools for your work. The frustration that comes with not having all that you need to work with can drain the psychological energy to even start. I mean, study becomes very discouraging when you get to class to read only to realize that someone removed your notebook from your bag without your knowledge or that you forgot to carry it along. In the same vein, it’s discouraging and counterproductive to get ready to work; but don’t have sufficient internet connection to work there or don’t have the materials for your production.
At the risk of repeating what I shared with you on distractions, let me point out that if you give your attentionto other less important things seeking your attention urgently, at the expense of your planed activities, you will fail in your quest to make the most of your limited time. That’s why I tell you to be ruthless in saying ‘no’ to distractions. Be firm but as gentle as possible.
One strategy I use in achieving focused-work is that I divide the work I have to do into timeline and unless I am done with this bulk, I don’t allow myself to move. Even when I started feeling hungry, I discipline myself to settle down and finish just this last one before going to eat. You need discipline not to take that call, respond to those messages or join a hot argument or interesting conversation going on around you until you are done with your work.
Applying discipline in executing your task becomes easier when you realise that those things can wait and nothing will go wrong. It becomes even easier when you keep before you the gain of completing your task or the danger of your failure to complete it. If it means changing your study environment, please do. Whatever it will take you to keep your mind and energy on the task at hand, please do it. It’s worth it completely!
Please understand that focused-work does not mean you can’t rest; rest is rejuvenating but should be planned in a manner that it doesn’t take lots of your time. Please don’t tell me you have too much work to do. No matter how small it is, avail yourself some time to rest and sleep. You achieve more result when you have rested and slept before getting back to work. For me, 10 minutes uninterrupted nap in the afternoon can be so refreshing to me and does magic in my whole work day.
While you are at work, ensure you have sufficient energy to get your work done. Like we were told in elementary science, energy is that ability to do work. If you really want to be at your best in executing the volume of tasks in your hand, you should, as a matter of necessity, have a good supply of energy and replenish it as it diminishes.
It’s common to find workaholics who don’t feed well due to time constraint. While I can relate with their situation, it’s important that they understand that feeding is not optional but a necessity. Don’t starve yourself or eat junk such that aside diminished energy, you weaken your immune system.
Go beyond the preparations of keeping your cool, prioritizing and removing distractions and get to the actual work. Get focused on the work and ensure you don’t suffer energy deficiency in executing your task.
PS: We are not done with this subject matter; so, join me tomorrow as I share with you another insight on managing plenty tasks within limited time. Meanwhile you can listen to our 10-minutes podcast on this subject HERE.