you are the only one

The One Question to Increase Productivity lOX

Are you always busy and on the go?

Is your calendar and time maxed out?

Are you productive and effective in your work?

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no correlation between how busy you are and how productive you are. In fact, the less you do… the more you can accomplish.  How is this possible?

When I coach clients on maximizing their productivity, the first order of business is to identify strengths and challenges.  Then together we identify goals and an action plan for reaching those goals. A key question is, “What do you do in your business or your career that no one else can do?”  In other words, “What is your superpower and where do you shine?”  The next step is to determine how to maximize your superpower and eliminate or at best downsize those areas where you are least effective.

Here’s how:

  • Describe an ideal day where you are working in you strengths and using your superpowers the majority of the time. 
  • Create a list of all the various tasks that you do and then keep track for a week where your time is  spent.
  • Highlight the times where you are working in your strengths and compare that with the amount of time that you are not.  
  • Now comes the creative part;  determine how to increase the amount of time you are working in your strengths and decrease the amount of time you are spending working on other things.  Here are some ideas:
    •  What can you eliminate altogether?  Time lost when you were distracted or swallowed-up by the social media black hole?  Tasks that used to be useful but now are unnecessary?  Tasks that are irrelevant and not conducive to increasing your business?  Tasks that could be combined or scheduled together to make better use of your time?  
    • What can you automate?  Are there tasks that you routinely do that with a little effort could be automated so that you only monitor them occasionally?
    • What can you delegate?  What can you hand off to someone else?  What can you train someone else to do just as efficiently?  What can you hire someone to do in order to free up more time for you super skills?

Here are a few mental blocks to explore:

Are you holding on to some tasks because of job security?  In other words, its not that you do it well so much as it is that you don’t want someone else to take over.  Is it difficult for you to share your knowledge and expertise?  Keep in mind that the less you do the more you enable others to grow and accomplish. When you grow others, you open the possibility of growth for yourself and the business as a whole.

Are you afraid that your authority as a leader would be in question if you acknowledge that others have competences that you do not?  Being in charge doesn’t mean you do everything well.  It doesn’t even mean you need to micro manage everyone to make sure they are up to your standards.  It does mean that just as you recognize your super power, you are also sensitive to the strengths of others and provide opportunities for them as well. 

Do you feel guilty when you assign unwanted tasks to someone else?  Do you feel that because you don’t want to do it that no one else would either?  Of course there are some tasks that are perhaps the dirty work of the job and everyone just has to grit their teeth and make it through.  But do explore the fact that what is distasteful to you might actually be something that someone else could enjoy.    

Taking the time to discover your superpower and maximizing your opportunity to excel can make the difference between a thriving business and one that is mediocre.  It can make the difference between work you love and one that has you stressed and dissatisfied.  Ask yourself, “What is the task that only I can do best?”  Then make that one thing your priority.


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