In last week’s post, I shared a quick productivity quiz you could take to gauge the probability of whether or not you’ll be weighed down by time management challenges.
As I mentioned in the post, if you chose certain answers, you have a higher probability of remaining productive throughout the day, as well as getting refocused more quickly when things don’t go your way.
How can you possibly come to that conclusion from only your answers to those three questions?
Let’s unpack the quiz to determine how these questions can possibly predict you’ll struggle with productivity.
Overall, you’ll notice that this quiz has nothing to do with hacks and shortcuts. Instead, it focuses on strategic decisions that you’ll make in life. The mantra that I consistently preach is, “Time management is all about mind management.” While hacks and shortcuts can save you a few minutes here and there in the short term, it’s decisions about strategies you’ll implement that will affect your long-term productivity success.
Question 1: Where do you park your car?
This has to do with analyzing your return on investment – or ROI. Folks who struggle with time management often don’t pause to calculate the long-term cost or gain of a decision. Deciding where to park your car is a practical application of this.
How much did you spend on your vehicle? $20,000? $30,000? $40,000? $50,000 or more?
Do you protect this expensive investment by parking it in the garage?
Or do you instead choose to protect $5,000 worth of stuff you rarely use?
A person who analyzes that they will get more benefit from protecting their vehicle than protecting their odds and ends collecting dust will also most likely take the time to analyze the cost of time and money when making a decision about how they’ll use their time.
Question 2: How many seconds do you pause before giving an answer to a request?
This question gauges whether or not you protect your time. When you instantly say yes without pausing for at least a second or two to determine what level of priority the request is, this means you react instead of respond. When people react, they jump on requests in the order that they were received, which is usually not the same as the order of importance. Because of this, they struggle with completing high value tasks in a timely manner. When you instead respond to questions and requests, you are triaging the situation and choosing to complete higher priorities over low hanging fruit.
Question 3: How would you describe your relationship with your phone?
If you chose answer A, your phone is your tool. You understand that it’s there to support you. It’s there to supply software programs on the go so that you’re not tethered to your desk. You’re productive because you don’t allow it to control you; instead, you control it. If you chose answer B, your phone is the boss of you. You react to its every ding, whistle or vibration, or grab it to dive into a random app rather than pause for a few silent moments to think or plan. If you choose to allow your phone to control you, your productivity will suffer.
You can see that the strategies you choose to implement when it comes to these three activities in your life are indicative of the decisions you make in the bigger picture of time management and productivity.
Do your choices get you where you want to be, or is it time to make a few beneficial tweaks?
For a step-by-step guide to what to tweak in order to improve your time management and productivity, check out The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.