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Techniques to improve your productivity: 3

23 October 2019

Talking at the yearly Paraplanners Powwow, Aleksandra Sasin, founder of Navigatus and Jackie Manning of Tilney shared some of the techniques they have discovered and use to improve the way they work and to get things done in the working day.

Over the course of this week we are publishing some of the ideas from the session.

3. The One Thing

Aleksandra Sasin swears on the technique recommended in The One Thing, a book by Gary Keller, which is to ask one question: “What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?”

Aleksandra said she blocks time out in her day to do that one thing – preferably in the morning.

“Then when you go home in the evening you can feel you’ve had a constructive day because you’ve done something important to you and what you need to do, rather than be distracted by someone else’s agenda.”

She warned: “It does take practice and it’s not easy to implement at first, not least because everyone else around you has to get used to it too, but it’s a really powerful concept. It works in both personal life and working day. It changes your way of looking at things.”

It’s particularly useful, Jackie said, for tackling big tasks. She explained: “If I’m going to do my one big thing, I will decide what it is before I leave the office the day before so when I come into work in the morning I know that is the one thing I am going to definitely do in the day. I won’t open my emails or get distracted by easier to achieve or smaller items. Once you’ve got that one thing done then you can get on with the rest.

In order to change, Aleks said, “you need to be aware that your brain likes to do the smaller easier stuff, because crossing an item of your to do list is a nice feeling. You need to recognise that and deal with it – focusing on the big item you want to get done.

“If you are aware and you take action it soon becomes a habit.”

People often do a number of small things to get going in the mornings – giving themselves mini high fives for getting them done – but then they can potentially run out of time in the day to get that big things done.

The annual Powwow is held under Chatham House rules – which allow for reporting of what was said but not who said it. Those mentioned directly in this piece have given their permission for their name to be used.

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