1. Values. Values are when we can’t imagine behaving any other way. Some people can’t leave the house without making the bed, or relax in the evening unless they have done the washing up. Values ensure we reply to email before close or play. Values are our own in-built standards that get the things done even when we are in a hurry or disaster strikes elsewhere.
2. Urgency. When other people are waiting for some work, or something bad will happen if we don’t do it. Think end of tax year, end of month reporting, delivering work to an important customer.
3. Enjoyment. Loving what we do.
4. Quick and easy work. Stuff that doesn’t need much thought and can get done quickly. This may be things you should rightly clear off your plate so they don’t become a problem later or “busy work” that could be done in off-peak time, or not done at all.
5. Habits. Those “eat and sleep routines” that you do without thinking. Examine your work habits to see which are useful, and which less so.
6. Discipline. Not a massively popular word, but sometime knuckling down and getting difficult or unpleasant things done takes discipline and grit. ‘Nuff said.
As with what stops us getting things done (parts 1 and 2) I’m sure this list could be added to. As we identify what encourages us to be productive, we can make little modifications to our work so tasks become easier and more fun. It's worth a thought.