There is a good way and a bad way to become more productive.
The bad way is to become a box checker. The box checker makes a long to-do list just so they can cross things off the list. It feels good, the act of checking a box. So they maximize that feeling by creating a slew of low level, pointless tasks that they do each and every day. And at the end of the day, when it comes time to sign off and go home, they can rest easy knowing how many “tasks” they completed. They feel productive.
The good way is slightly different. There may still be a long to-do list. But the things at the top of that list are value tasks. These are priorities, both for the individual and for the company. They recognize that these tasks may not be things that can be completed in one sitting, one day, or one week. They may not even be things that can be completed by one person.
But the crucial difference is, when these tasks are completed, they add value to the business. They add an immediate impact to the organization.
These are the tasks that get people promoted, that get teams noticed, and that get individuals raises.
Each and every day, you have a chance to make an impact on your company. Don’t squander it checking boxes. Instead, be deliberate about how you spend your time.
Prioritize your workload, putting those items first that will have the greatest impact
Divide large tasks into smaller sub-tasks and set milestones
Block out time on your calendar to work on those tasks and advance them as far as you can
Set reminders for team members whose input or assistance you need and stay on top of them
Automate or delegate items that don’t add impact, but that must be done anyway
When you focus your efforts on adding value, your company benefits. When your company benefits from the things you are doing, you get noticed. When you make an impact every day, you become indispensable.