That’s right, I am guilty. Guilty of being obsessive. I can not deny it. The particular obsession I want to focus on is productivity. The flip side is not wasting time.
Do not confuse activity with productivity. I see people, especially lawyers, confuse the two all the time. Activity is being busy. Lawyers are busy all the time but are they being productive? In fact, I like to think of it as profitably productive. That means—will the activity I am engaged in produce revenue immediately or within the next 30 days. I recognize that some activity must also be engaged in now that will produce revenue beyond 30 days. The trick is to make sure you are focused in both of these types of activity and that you recognize if the activity is connected to revenue generation or not.
The way to accomplish this is to plan. Five minutes of planning can save a lot of time and eliminate wasting time! I just read an article where this particular executive literally walks out of meetings when he thinks they are a waste of his time.
One way to make the most of your day is to plan the day each and every day. One method is to take five minutes at the end of each day and determine the MOST important things you need to get done tomorrow. Three things, three revenue generating things may be on the list. You determine what is most important for you and your business—the key is the habit and the action. I use a good old yellow pad.
The first page only contains three things. Sure there are more to do items but they are listed elsewhere. Some use the computer, Palm, Blackberry, iPhone, Outlook, your tool of choice doesn’t matter. My choice is actually tied to the good old yellow pad because I do not want to check my email as my first activity when I get to the office each day. My reason is based upon an experience which seems to be almost universal, that being, once I look at email I’m at the mercy of the latest email activity and not committed to my plan. If my top three are that important, get them done, the emails will still be there. The urgent emails will still be there and if it is that critical someone might even call. The other aspect of this is that you will begin to train everyone around you that you do not look at emails until 11am!
The results of the new habit will be profitable productivity. Try it, it will not be a waste of time!
Sanford M. Fisch
CEO & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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