Uphill vs Downhill Work
One of the productivity power-ups you learned last week was time tracking. It's a controversial tool in the kit because it conjures images of factory work, bad bosses, and oversight instead of freedom. When you realize time tracking is in service of a more intentional focused version of yourself, the benefits become obvious.
When you've tracked time for a week or so and have an understanding of what's going on, the concept of uphill vs downhill work is a simple question for intentionally focusing your time.
The concept of uphill and downhill work was coined by Michael Hyatt, and I've really liked it because it's that uphill work like making videos, the email newsletter, putting podcast ideas together—those are all uphill-work tasks and projects that move everything forward.
Uphill work moves you toward the summit of your achievement
The downhill work are things that need to be done, but can often trick us into thinking like, hey, I've had a really productive day. I posted to Instagram. I responded to all of these emails. All the different things that you know don't challenge you in the same way.
Downhill work are the empty calories of success
One thing I'm really adamant and try and be really intentional about is, every week, spending at least 50% of my time on creative, uphill-work projects that are going to move my work and move my projects forward in a positive direction. If I spend more than 50% of my time in downhill work, then it's a red flag and I need to filter these tasks through the 4 D's of GTD.
So if you feel overwhelmed or unsure about how to prioritize "the right thing" today - instead of stressing just ask a simple question. Is this thing I'm about to do uphill or downhill work? Review your master task list until you find one (uphill work) and get to it.
Here is a short video on the topic!