How often do important meetings with other people happen without the meetings being scheduled? Rarely.
When was the last time you simply decided to not show up for an important meeting? Probably never.
When meeting with someone else how often do you start surfing the internet, jump on a phone call, or simply stand up and walk away? Pretty much never, I’d guess once again.
And why is this?
One word. Respect.
You have too much respect for others and their time to disrespect them in such ways.
So, if you want to experience a huge improvement in your productivity, start showing yourself the same respect.
Follow the 3S approach below, on a daily basis, and I promise you that your results will skyrocket.
What gets scheduled gets done. That’s why all your meetings happen! At the end of every day, schedule the top 3 things you will do the next day as appointments with yourself in your calendar. You’ll know exactly what you’re working on and when.
Try to write the appointments at outcomes rather than activities. So for example instead of writing “Strategy Document” for work you would like to do on your strategy, schedule the appointment as “Share Strategy Document with Leadership Team”. Now you know the outcome that you’re working towards in the hour, for example, that you schedule for doing this.
When the time rolls around for that appointment stop what you’re doing, and start working on what you had scheduled. Don’t even think about it, just do it, exactly as you do when meeting with someone else. Except this person is even more important. It’s you!
Take a moment to think about this. You most likely do this without much thought at all, when meeting others. The appointment rolls around, and no matter what you’re doing you close up shop and move on to that next thing. All you have to do now is start showing up for yourself.
For the duration of that appointment only work on what you had scheduled. Just as you wouldn’t start randomly working on an essay or surfing the internet when meeting someone else, don’t do this with yourself either.
I spoke about the power of single-tasking in a previous article and how mastering this skill can add 13 weeks per year to your productivity. That’s an entire calendar quarter!
The above isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And every time you schedule an appointment with yourself, actually show-up on time for that appointment, and single-task during its duration, you’re showing yourself the same respect that you show others.
Each instance is like a deposit in your personal productivity bank account. And as the balance grows, so will your willpower, focus, and output.
Schedule. Show up. Single-task.
You’re already a productivity genius when it comes to meeting with others. You schedule the time, you show up for the appointments, and you single-task during them.
This is an important insight, because in order to skyrocket your productivity you do not need to do anything you haven’t already been doing for years. You just need to decide to pay yourself the same respect that you pay others, and do these same core things with yourself.