Working hard, or hardly working?

Recognise moments like this? You sit down to begin work. First step is a quick trawl through social media to check out the gossip from friends and family. Next stop, you pop over to a few news sites (you’ve got three favourites) and it’s good to know what’s happening in the world – right?

Meanwhile, your Facebook messenger box is open and a friend is asking about dinner this Friday night. You check your calendar and reply with confirmation. A few more messages and you update each other on your weekend. Wow, it feels like its time for a hot drink. Next thing you know its 10.00am – where did your morning go?

Working hard or hardly working?

The challenge is we think we’ve been busy at work, yet when we get to the end of the day we wonder why we’ve hardly made a dent in our to-do list.  And it’s this slippery slope that can see us spend more time at our desks, achieving less.

Every now and then I have to remind myself of this scenario and ground myself back to the power of working with intention. You see, everything we achieve in life happens in the context of time. However, we often get caught up in a reactive state that has us responding to items as they arise, rather than stopping to assess them for their relative value to our goals and vision. If you are not purposeful about how you spend your time, then you leave your results to chance.

Set your intention (and this means writing it down)

Intentionality is your secret weapon for creating an extraordinary life. To create extraordinary results, you must choose to allocate your time to your greatest opportunities – and this means the opportunities that will have the biggest impact towards achieving your goals. Once you are clear on what it is you want to achieve (your big intention) then you can chunk the big-picture down to annual, monthly, weekly and daily intentions to guide you on your path to success.

Begin today by asking yourself exactly what it is you’d like to achieve by the end of the day, that when complete, will have the biggest impact for you right now?

List 2-3 tasks you know can be realistically achieved. Remember to set yourself up for success – the brain loves completion, so get in to the habit of setting yourself to achieve the tasks on your daily intention list.

Time blocking and 90-minute chunks

Time blocking is one of the most powerful ways I know to achieve this. It involves scheduling in set chunks of time (my personal preference is 90-minutes) to achieve specific tasks. For example, you might have a report you need to complete that will involve approximately 3 hours of your time.  This means you need to schedule in 2 x 90-minute chunks to get the report complete. Decide on when you want it complete by, and then book your time.

The next step is to ensure discipline. You have chosen to allocate your time to achieve this specific task, so be sure to dedicate your full 90-minute chunk to doing just that. You should consider turning off your phone, closing all web browsers and focusing only on the task at hand. You’ll be amazed at how much you achieve.

When you learn to use your time with greater intention you will not only be more effective, but you will also feel a greater sense of achievement, control and increased confidence.

Ask yourself: are you working hard or hardly working?

Signing off from a state of productivity,

Aleisha xo