we can do anything…

…but not everything.

I recently came across this quote by David Allen in relation to productivity.

You can do anything, but not everything.

I think it serves as a reminder that no one can take on every task presented to him or her – it’s simply just not possible. Learning to say ‘no’ is just as important (if not more) as saying ‘yes’.

But how do you get the tasks done that you need to do, in a world where everyone seems to be more and more time-poor? Well, it appears that there is a whole industry out there looking to help us do just that. And business is booming. The time-management industry is apparently larger than the weight loss industry! Ironic?

Not long ago I attended a very interesting Flying Solo webinar on productivity, hosted by performance coach Andrew May. Andrew discussed how various performance areas impact one’s functioning at work, and one of the biggest lessons I took away from this webinar was to avoid distractions.

Technology now makes us available 24/7 on multiple devices. This constant interruption takes away our focus and makes it nigh impossible to stay on track.

In line with this I spent a day testing out the Pomodoro Technique in its simplest form. If you are not familiar with this, it is a time management tool designed in the 90's by Francesco Cirillo. It works along the principle of multiple concentrated bursts of output in order to complete tasks that have been broken down into manageable blocks. I certainly achieved a lot using this method, however having not employed it again is probably more a reflection on me than the technique!

Productivity is not just about getting things done, but getting the right things done. And mastering how to do this effectively may just be the key to a stress-free life.