A Productivity System that Works! Actions, Tasks and Goals – here’s how to do it
Whether you’re an individual wanting to be more productive, or working in a team where everyone needs to pull together, the Actioned productivity system will help you get more of the important things done.
Daily Actions are the Core of Productivity
Intricate lists of categorized tasks won’t actually help you get things done. Neither will Gantt charts or other complicated systems.
What matters is what you do today. And what you do tomorrow. And the day after that.
That’s why the core of Actioned is all about our daily actions. Being deliberate about planning our actions, and then focusing on getting those things done.
Our Taxonomy: Goals, Tasks and Actions
So if it’s all about actions, what are the goals and tasks for?
They all fit together to help you choose the right actions each day!
Here’s how they each work…
- These are the what you’re aiming for – the reason you’re working so hard!
- They could be long-term aspirations, or shorter-term objectives with measurable results – whichever you find more motivating
- You can have personal goals and goals for each of your teams
- Try not to have too many goals, as the more you have, the harder they are to hit!
- Each goal will usually dictate or inspire a set of tasks that need to be done
- Goals are not linked to tasks or actions, but you should review them when deciding what to do next
- Get deliberate and articulate your goals!
- You can think of your task list as your To-Do list
- This is where you keep your masterlist of all the things you want to do
- Use this to capture everything that comes to mind, then categorize them into timeframes (Now, Next, Later, or Backburner)
- Tasks can be big or small, well defined or relatively vague
- You have a personal task list, and a task list for each team
- You can create actions from tasks (often a task will need many actions to get it done)
- This is where things get tangible!
- Actions should be small things that you can do in less than an hour
- They should start with a verb – as they’re things you’ll actually do
- A task can be linked to several actions – think of all the things you need to do to get the task done
- Actions can also be independent of tasks
Here’s how goals, tasks and actions fit together…
A Working Example using Goals, Tasks and Actions
Here’s an example of how a particular goal might relate to tasks and actions…
Of course, this is not complete as you’d need more actions to get those tasks done. But hopefully, it’s enough to give you the idea of how goals, tasks and actions all fit together.
Using the Actioned Productivity System…
Once you’ve used it for a few weeks, the Actioned Productivity System will become completely intuitive. To get started though, here’s how to get the most out of it;
1) Review your goals
- People that read their goals regularly are far more likely to achieve them
- Your goals should be top of mind when you manage your tasks and plan your actions
2) Keep a master task list
- Whenever you think of things that need to be done, add them to your task list
- Include all your ideas and think about everything required to achieve your goals
- Prioritize your tasks by timeframe – Now, Next, Later or Backburner (these are the ones that you don’t plan to do for a while but you don’t want to forget about)
3) Plan your actions
- After reviewing your goals and tasks, think about the actions you should take next
- What are the top 3-5 small but important things you could do to move this thing forward?
- Enter them for today, in the order you intend to do them
4) Focus on completing your actions
- Start the day with your first action and stick with it until it’s done
- Have a break (coffee, social media, exercise, whatever) ☕
- Start your next action and stick with it until it’s done
- It sounds easy, but it’s tempting to get distracted – refuse to succumb!
- Feel good about checking off your actions as you complete them
5) Support your team
- Harness the power of accountability by showing your team members that you’re paying attention to their planned actions
- Comment on their plans, and if necessary, help them adjust their priorities
- Give them encouragement and congratulate them when they complete their actions
- Keep talking about your team’s actions – refer to them in meetings and when chatting about your day
You can also start wherever you like. If you prefer to be strategic, start with your goals. If you want to start taking action, start with actions, and if you have a list of to-do’s rattling around in your head, start with your task list.
The Actioned Productivity System seems simple, and it is! But commit to it for a few weeks and you’ll soon realize it’s power 🙂
If you have any questions or comments about this, please get in touch!