- Did you make progress on your most important project? Productivity isn’t how many things you scratch off your to-do list. You can have days where you complete all kinds of tasks, none of which have anything to do with what was really important. Productivity is doing what’s important.
- Did you move closer to your most important goal? If what you did today did not move you closer to your goals, you may not have been as productive as you might have been. Goals are achieved by taking disciplined action day after day, not all at once. If what you’re doing isn’t aligned with your long-term goals, you may have gotten things done without being productive.
- Did you do the three most important tasks that needed to be done today? I like the idea of having three major tasks to get done. It seems like the right number of major tasks. Maybe three 90-minute blocks of time invested in the above projects and goals? You might be able to do more, but if you have a list of twelve major tasks to do, you are kidding yourself.
- Did you make a difference? Did the things you do today make a difference? Did they make a difference in your business? Did they make a difference in your personal life? Did they make a difference in someone else’s life, maybe someone who needed your help? The most important work you do makes a difference. A lot of things we do fail this test, even if it makes you feel busy.
- Did you invest the appropriate time and energy in one or two of your most important relationships? There isn’t anything more important in your life than the people you care about and the people who care about you. You might be so busy doing “what” you are doing that you forget “why” you are doing it and for “whom” are you doing it?
- Did you learn something today that will help you improve your future results? Productivity isn’t only about doing what needs to be done now. Being productive also requires that you sharpen your saw. You are the saw. You’ll become dull if you don’t take the time to do things to keep sharp.
- Did you take care of your physical health? This one should have probably been first on the list. You need physical energy to be productive. You also need mental energy and stamina. You won’t have these things if you don’t eat well, drink water, exercise, and sleep (likely more than you are now, and likely more than you want to). You can’t be productive if you are wiped out.
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