It might be easy enough to measure a business’ success.
But when it comes to your own productivity, well, that can be a lot trickier to track! While you could assume, or take a fairly educated guess, how do you really know if you are making progress with your own personal goals and productivity?
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”
– Lord Kelvin
While it might not be as easy as opening a spreadsheet that will tell you right away if you are meeting your goals and making progress, there are a few things you can do to keep track of your personal productivity before too much time has slipped away.
Here’s a look at some ideas that you can put into action for tracking and assessing your personal productivity.
Review Past To-Do Lists
Perhaps one of the best ways to measure your progress is by taking a look at your past to-do lists or schedules, specifically the ones in the past three weeks or so. Check your lists and see how much you’ve accomplished. Calculate how many tasks, on average, you were unable to finish. Then ask yourself why you were unable to complete these tasks. Were you too busy? Distracted? Not enough time? The point of this exercise isn’t to discourage or berate you. Instead, the goal is to help you find a solution—one that’ll help you determine how you can go about ensuring that your tasks get done in the future.
Track Your Time
Time tracking is the one thing that will tell you exactly how productive you are. Time each day is the only resource that everyone has the same amount of. How you decide to spend yours is the one area that can set you apart. Of course, while we all have the same number of hours each day; some are better at managing them. Others, however, get to the end of the day and wonder what happened and why nothing got done. Consider an app such as Toggl to track your time and give you an assessment so you can adjust your schedule or habits and accomplish more. Time tracking isn’t just for employees; it can give you an accurate assessment of yourself as well.
Hold Yourself Accountable Daily
While there is no set tool designed to help you track your progress, keynote speaker and author Jones Loflin says that he asks a series of reflective questions regularly, to assess how he’s doing.
Here’s a look at a few that Loflin recommends:
- What short term goals did I accomplish today?
- Was I productive or reactive today?
- Where did I spend most of my time today?
- What did I do today that will lessen my stress tomorrow?
- What did I do, or NOT do, that is going to increase my stress tomorrow?
- Who is glad that I was a part of their day?
While you don’t have to ask yourself these things every day, it’s a good idea to ask them a few times a week to help improve your productivity and keep you moving forward. Consider keeping a journal or recording these notes in your planner.
Assign a Time Period to Your Goals
How will you know if you’re accomplishing your goals and staying on track if you don’t have a timeframe to use as a point of reference? By assigning deadlines to your projects, and giving yourself a timeframe to work within, you’ll be prepared to track your progress and accomplish your goals. Once you notice that you’re falling behind, you’ll be able to make adjustments and get back on-track quickly once again.
Do a Weekly Review
Don’t wait until the end of the year to take stock of your accomplishments. Instead, set aside some time each week to assess your goals and track your progress. Determine where you’re at, and see how you can adjust your workload to better accomplish your tasks.
It might not be easy, but tracking and adjusting your own personal progress is important. By paying attention to your goals, and choosing to make them a top priority, you’ll be able to make them happen. Assessing your personal productivity is the secret to staying accountable and on track to reach your goals.
Do you take time to review your personal productivity? What guidelines or benchmarks do you use?