Productivity Tactic #1: Simplify

OK Productive Artists! At the beginning of this year, I listed out my 10 Tactics for how to rock your 2012 resolutions. Once you have a good idea of your resolutions & un-resolutions, whether for your personal life or your business, the next step is figuring out how you’re going to achieve them! And if you are still uncertain on the how, I’m going to break down each one of my 10 Tactics for you over the new several posts. Stay with me, and I promise these will help you become significantly more Productive in your creative endeavors.

So with that, let’s start with the first productivity improving Tactic #1… Simplify!

I can’t stress enough how crucial this step is, and how applicable it can be to just about any area of your life. It should always be your first step, to make sure you are set up for success before you go diving into that big ol’ pile of mess.

So how does this relate to your resolutions, or goals in general?

Well let me ask you this: Have you made up your list of resolutions and are now wondering how the hell you’re going to actually do them all? Well before we get to the part of breaking those goals down into more easily digested pieces, let’s get a bit more realistic about the size of your plate.

Look at your list of resolutions and ask yourself:

  • “Do I really need this many goals?”
  • “Are any of these less important or too much to tackle all at once?”
  • “Can any of these be consolidated together?”

And be honest.

If you have more than 10, try narrowing your list down a bit.

Keep your list simple and actionable, and you’ll have a better chance of actually completing them all.

For example, I could have made a resolution to reorganize and redecorate my entire house, but that would have been biting off more than I can chew, and might have taken longer than 1 year. Instead, I kept it simpler and easier by aiming to organize the clutter in just my work space only. Now getting this piece done may give me the motivation to continue on to the rest of the house. But if I don’t have time to get to the rest of it, I don’t have to feel disappointed. I still accomplished something significant and worthwhile. So for now, I’m keeping myself focused on this reachable goal first, and giving myself the option of saving the other rooms for another year.

Now let’s look at another example. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions of 2013, and very likely every previous year, is to lose weight. But try not to set your sights too big (or in this case, small). You may not reach your goal weight in one year – in fact, depending on how much weight you want to lose, it may not be terribly healthy to drop that much that fast. So instead, set your resolution to more realistic figures, and include other useful measurements besides just weight, like your body mass index (BMI), or calorie intake, or amount of daily exercise.

Simplify by keeping each resolution to something you can actually measure and meet. Simple may not mean having a really short list with really few words. It’s good to keep it concise. But it is far more important to make your resolutions simple to achieve, than just simple to read.

So go to it, and Happy Simplifying!

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Questions? Comments? Absurd Ideas? Please feel free to comment here and tell me about one of your resolutions or goals this year, and how you can simplify it to make it more achievable!