Prioritization: Avoid This Costly Mistake

Someone you know (maybe even you) has made a resolution to be more productive this year. Good for you! Hopefully you do better than most people with New Year's Resolutions.

One of the key elements to being productive is to prioritize your efforts accurately. Spend time doing the things that are most important and bring the best return on time spent.

However, avoid this costly mistake - thinking you have to be able to justify time in a measurable way.

Science and experience teach us 2 things:

  1. Sometimes doing nothing (which feels like the exact opposite of productivity) is necessary for us to be extremely productive. Your mind doesn't stop working on a problem or issue, it just does it in the background. So daydream, rest, and do nothing - it could be the most productive part of your day.

  2. We can't know the impact of something small down the road. Spending 5 minutes talking with a teammate about the weather might feel like a waste of time, but the relationship is strengthens might be the key to a future issue. Don't miss those opportunities to connect because you have to get something else off your to-do list.

I'm not saying be lazy and spend all your time on social media or chatting with a friend. Just don't get so caught up in being "productive" that you miss the little, unmeasurable things that really make you productive long term.