Why does productivity always seem to be about getting more done? Does being truly productive really mean finishing more tasks than anyone else? Henry David Thoreau may have answered this question when he said: “It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” That productivity is measured by how much you get done is a myth. The true measure of productivity is the degree to which you are effective in terms of the life you are trying to lead.
If the number of tasks and projects you complete is your definition of productivity, you may want to reconsider it. Ask yourself: are you productive or are your hands full? Michael Hyatt, author, and productivity coach says: “The most productive business leaders I coach recognize productivity is not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done. It’s about starting each day with clarity and ending with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and energy to spare. It’s about achieving more by doing less.”
“The most productive business leaders I coach recognize productivity is not about getting more things done; it’s about getting the right things done. It’s about starting each day with clarity and ending with a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and energy to spare. It’s about achieving more by doing less.”Michael Hyatt
So, how do we ensure we’re doing the right things? “The challenge is that there is no simple A-B-C, 1-2-3, high-medium-low prioritizing formula that makes much sense in the day-to-day, minute-to-minute real world—though these have been promoted ad nauseam. When you decide to take a nap or spend quality time with your daughter (or your puppy), is that a “high priority” on your list? And if you’ve identified some high-priority tasks on your list and fail to do them in the moment, does that feel good or bad? Does that mean you’re doing the wrong things?”, says David Allen, the author of the classic Getting Things Done.
Allen believes having organized lists maintained using GTD methodology, rigorous coordination of your conscious commitments, and your intuitive knowing should help you make the right decision. In my opinion, asking today’s knowledge workers to use “intuition” to make the right decisions is a tall order—given all the advancements in technology. An AI assistant that is privy to your calendar, your preferences, and your commitments might help you make much better decisions on where to focus your attention.
SkedPal 3’s breakthrough design on prioritization is now out of beta. Tested by hundreds of busy professionals over the past 2 years, SkedPal now enables you to trust your system on what should get your attention for today or even right now. So, instead of diving into a long list of to-do’s or trying to refer to your ‘intuitive knowing’, you rely on a trusted AI algorithm that does all the hard work of ensuring that your schedule is optimized. That no commitments will fall through the cracks and tasks that move the needle for you are prioritized with an improved share of your attention.
SkedPal provides a number of levers to adjust your priorities, work-life balance, project dependencies, deadlines, etc. Then, SkedPal uses this information and produces a balanced schedule based on your preferences. Here is an example of an optimized plan produced by SkedPal for the next 7 days.
If you would like to limit the hours of focused work and enjoy a more balanced focus time, simply change the Daily Budget to reflect your desired change:
After you make that change, SkedPal limits the focus work to 2 hours a day and allocates more time your personal routines – based on how you have set up your priorities. This is what the next 7 days are going to look like:
This is your most important measure because it tells you whether you’re looking ahead to make progress on the things that really matter. If you don’t see the right balance, you can reshape your calendar with the tools that SkedPal empowers you with.
The bird’s-eye view of your zones (or categories of work) is only a cursory overview of the detailed schedule you can view on your calendar: