On our productivity walk today we’re going to talk about how do you find that one thing that can have the greatest impact right away?


When you’re trying to become more productive; when you first start on your journey to becoming more productive, it can be very overwhelming.  There are so many techniques out there.  GTD, The Eisenhower Matrix, Pomodoro and so many apps and programs you can work with.

How do you know which one’s right for you?

It’s overwhelming  – so many books so many techniques –  so many gurus giving you all this information. Many of my clients find they’re just overwhelmed when they start and they just can’t make it work because it’s just too much. So they fall back into their old habits.

What I’ve found works quite well for my clients is to find just one thing to focus on and make one improvement. Work on this one thing it for weeks until it becomes a habit and then consider adding more at that point.

But how do you figure out which is that one thing for you?

Start by looking at your day and figuring out what is the biggest impediment to being more productive.

One of my clients who is a psychiatrist had real difficulty ending his consultations on time. I had some insight into this problem as I used to have a similar problem with my coaching sessions. My client is a very nice fellow so he found it hard to bring his consultations to an end. So then he didn’t have time to write his notes so he was trying to write them later or the next day. So he’s starting each day quite a ways behind.

I worked with him to figure out how to streamline the process. One idea I offered was to set a timer with a gentle chime to go off and then mention to his client that the chime is to remind him to ask his client if they needed to update any medications. There were other techniques such as special questioning to bring the consultations to an end.

This gentle kind way to bring his sessions to an end had a huge impact for him. It was only one thing but it was the largest part of his workday, so it had a big impact.

Similarly, another client of mine had the problem that she was being continually interrupted all day with a steady stream of people coming to her for her decisions on things. So we reorganized that process so that everybody had to go to their direct supervisor first and she would meet with each of her direct reporting supervisors once a day. This got rid of probably about 80 to 90% of her interruptions.

In your case, you need to figure out what is that one thing? What is one thing you can do that’s going to have the biggest impact?

Whether it’s reducing distraction,s gaining more focus, or finding one complex task that you could automate or delegate,  figuring out what that one thing is and implementing it that will have the biggest, fastest impact on your productivity over the weeks to come.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video please hit the like and subscribe buttons on the video and tell me what is your one biggest challenge to productivity in the comments area.