Living Productively: Go Get Your Summer Back!

We’ve all done it… read the books, attended the seminars, written our lists, and yet most of us still don’t take the time to integrate productivity methods into our daily lives. But the thing is, when our productivity suffers in our professional lives, it directly affects the amount of time we have left for what really matters…. Whether that’s fun days on weekends with the kids, walking the beach with the love of our lives, or simply “chill-axing” at home and taking a load off. So, although it’s not the most tantalizing topic, I thought in light of the fact that summer is here, and the fact that we’d all like to enjoy as much of it as possible— we’d better GET PRODUCTIVE.

First, a word of caution: avoid organization overload – meaning, please don’t try to apply everything at once.  Speaking personally, when I’ve given myself too many things to remember and implement, I just ended up frustrated and decided to forget the entire thing. From a logical perspective, applying one method at a time gives you more of an opportunity to asses if it is working, needs to be tweaked, or dropped. 

With that out of the way, I’d like to share the things I’ve gleaned and applied to ensure I have a real summer this year:

5 Minute Rule

After making your daily to-do list, figure out how many of the tasks could be completed in 5 minutes or less. The rule is, if you can complete it – not a part of it, not make progress on it, but complete it – just do it and cross it off of the list.

The 5 ‘D’ Process

After getting the 5-minute-or-less tasks off of the list, process the rest of the tasks with this reasoning technique:

  • Can it be dropped? – sometimes we take on nice-to-haves, but is this task actually necessary?
  • Can it be deferred? – if it is necessary, does it need to be done now?
  • Can it be downsized? – do you need to complete it to the extent you are intending?
  • Can it be delegated? – is there someone else better suited to complete this task?

Of the tasks that have made it through the process, there’s nothing left to do but prioritize and DO them!

So, that’s my approach to living more productively. Hopefully, you’ve found something you can use to go get your summer back!