Review & IDEAction

Well we’ve done it folks! We’ve now gone through all 10 (+1 bonus) of my Productivity Tactics for rockin’ out your resolutions or goals this year.

To recap, these were:

Tactic #1: Simplify – The fewer goals you have, the more likelier you are to achieve them. Narrow your list down to 10 or less, and keep them simple & actionable.

Tactic #2: Prioritize – Multi-tasking is a myth! Assign an order of importance to your goals and keep this in mind as you attack them accordingly.

Tactic #3: Think Big, Act Small – Break up each goal into smaller bite-size steps, and then tackle them one at a time according to their priority, giving yourself no more than 2 CRITICAL to do’s each day.

Tactic #4: Set Deadlines – Give yourself a time frame to accomplish all the steps in each goal. Be realistic and remember Parkinson’s Law: any task will take as much time as you allot it to get it done.

Tactic #5: Don’t Justify – Often the things we least want to do are the things most needed to get done. Ask yourself, “Am I inventing things to do just to avoid the important?” Remember: the sooner you do it, the sooner you don’t have to do it!

Tactic #6: Outsource – Can any of the steps toward your goals be automated or done by someone else? Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and remember: the key to having more time is doing less.

Tactic #7: Imitate -Why reinvent the wheel? Learn from what your colleagues have done, use that as a helpful jumping off point, and then make it your own.

Tactic #8: Define Your Space – Identify those places where you feel most productive and then make that your regular workspace. Organize all your necessary materials there, and keep out any other irrelevant clutter.

Tactic #9: Teach It – One of the best ways to learn something yourself is to try teaching it to others. Find a friend or colleague who wants to learn what you are doing and share with them along the way.

Tactic #10: Stay Positive – Stay focused on the Chaos you can influence. Don’t waste time on things you have no control over, or things that may go wrong. Learn from the past and quickly move on to improve the future.

Bonus Tactic #11: Make It Your Own! – Stop defining your goals based on what others tell you is important. Define your own definition of what success means to you, then go for it and never give up!

Hopefully through this process, I’ve demonstrated exactly how you can go about implementing these Tactics and using them to achieve your goals. You just need one final key to tie them all together – a solid plan for how to use them the most effectively. So I’ve incorporated each of my 11 Productivity Tactics into a simpler 5-step process. I call it my IDEAction Plan:

Step #1: I is for Identify

  • Define your list of goals, and the spaces & materials you will use to achieve them. (Refer to Tactics #1 & #8)

Step #2: D is for Devise

  • Deconstruct your goals into actionable steps, with priorities and deadlines. (Refer to Tactics #2, #3 & #4)

Step #3: E is for Energize

  • Get moving! Put your devised plan into action, and don’t let procrastination or mistakes slow you down. (Refer to Tactics #5 & #10)

Step #4: A is for Analyze

  • Evaluate your progress & your process, and find opportunities to outsource or learn from others in your field. (Refer to Tactics #6 & #7)

Step #5: S is for Systematize

  • Develop your personalized routine & optimize your workflow to give yourself maximum freedom to do the things you want to do, or share what you’ve learned with others! (Refer to Tactics #9 & #11)

I hope these prove useful to you in your own personal and professional journey.

Happy trails!


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Questions? Comments? Absurd Ideas? As always, please share your comments below and tell us how these tips have been useful for you!

Resolution Tactic #11: Make It Your Own

“I must create a System, or be enslav’d by another Man’s.” -William Blake

OK I’m cheating and giving you one more tactic to help you achieve your resolutions this year – because there was just too much to fit into only ten! And because the most important thing to remember as you embark on this new productive journey is to know what you want and never give up on that.

I know it’s tempting to overvalue other people’s advice (especially if you trust and respect them) and it seems easier to just do what they recommend. But it’ll never be exactly the right solution for you unless you make it your own, and it may only end up slowing you down.

So my advice is to stop defining your goals based on what other people tell you is important. It really doesn’t matter what any of your family, or friends, or society say – or even what I say really – if you truly know what you want, never let anyone tell you it’s not worth it.

I’ve had my own story of struggle with this, and I can’t say I’m out of the woods yet – but I’m definitely on my way. And one of the most crucial steps I took to get this far was to create my own definition of what success means to me, not what I’ve been told it should mean, or what I know others consider it to be. This is so important to achieve that feeling of fulfillment and contentment, in your work and in your life. Define what success means to you, and then go for it and don’t give up!

If not, you’ll always be playing someone else’s game. And you can’t win at someone else’s game.

So make up your own game. Make your own rules – or at least take the rules dealt you and decide how you want to score the points. Choose to be in charge and then you are in charge – it’s not that complicated. I know it’s hard, and you have a lot to overcome. But the solution can be that simple, if you have the passion and the guts to believe it.

So go out there and make me proud…

No scratch that, make yourself proud!

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Questions? Comments? Absurd Ideas? Comment below and tell us how you define success and how you plan to pave your own path to get there.