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Productivity Helps You To Set The Right Priorities

“A wind that blows aimlessly is no good to anyone.” – Rick Riord​an

My wife and I love to take our Jeep Wrangler deep into the Rocky Mountains and off-road on old pioneer wagon trails. These trails wind up and down back and forth and at times, the ride can be pretty darn scary. On one particular off-roading adventure, we found ourselves in a ditch. Good ole' Murphy's Law got the best of us on this day. We were in a ditch, stuck in 3' of snow, at an elevation of 11,500' and two hours of daylight left. Yikes! Time to WIN!

I love the acronym WIN, which stands for "What's Important Now?" At this very high altitude and only two hours of daylight left, and in the winter, we knew we had to get moving and do the right things. Prioritization was very important. We calmly, yet quickly discussed a plan of prioritizing and it was all about WIN.

Here is a bit of what we focused on:

1. Made sure we could stay warm and hydrated.

2. I took the shovel and began to dig snow out from under the Jeep.

3. My wife began to bring large rocks which eventually would be placed under the Jeep tires.

These were just a few of the things we did but they were the most important things and we stayed on task and with about 15 minutes before the sunset, we got out of the ditch! Listen, we wanted NO part of having to spend the night at that elevation with the temperature dropping to -15 degrees below zero! Prioritizing and staying on task was hugely important to our success and safety.

One of the best habits we can develop is the habit of prioritizing. Think about it. When has prioritizing hurt you. On the other hand, not prioritizing tasks or goals is kind of like just being blown and tossed wherever the wind pushes you.

Off-roading by the Allie Belle mine near St Elmo, CO.

3 Things Highly Productive People Do Differently

1. Create and observe a TO-DON’T list.

A ‘TO-DON’T list’ is a list of things not to do randomly. It might seem amusing, but it’s an incredibly useful tool for keeping track of unproductive habits, like checking Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, randomly browsing news websites, etc. Create one and post it up in your workspace where you can see it.

2. Ruthlessly eliminate distractions while you work.

Eliminating all distractions for a set time while you work is one of the most effective ways to get things done. So, lock your door, put a sign up, turn off your phone, close your email application, disconnect your internet connection (of course I'm kidding) LOL! You can’t remain in hiding forever, but you can be twice as productive while you are. Do whatever it takes to create a quiet, distraction free environment where you can focus on your work priorities.

3. Focus on being productive, not being busy.

Don’t just get things done; get the right things done. Results are always more important than the time it takes to achieve them. Stop and ask yourself if what you’re working on is worth the effort. Is it bringing you in the same direction as your goals? Don’t get caught up in odd jobs, even those that seem urgent, unless they are also important. Remember, when you choose to do the right things, you get the right results.

Being productive is not a natural talent; it’s simply a matter of making prioritizing a habit in your life so that you can efficiently get the right things done.

Your turn...

I'd love to hear from you. What things have you done which help you to prioritize?

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