In everyday work, there are a lot of challenges and sometimes even obstacles that prevent us to stay in focus all the time. It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, manager, assistant, junior or on any else position, it is important not to lose the thread. Here you will find many useful advice on how to save your time and energy, and at the same time to make the highest productivity.
Productivity in a Nut Shell.
Our partners from Managementguru suggests “Productivity in a Nut Shell”.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
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Productivity can’t be better explained. Productivity is the result of a commitment to excellence, smart planning and focused effort. Remember – Effective people are preferred to, rather than efficient people as the former does the right thing and the latter does things right. Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill. The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action. Managementguru is the number one source for all things business. They’re dedicated to giving you the very best of information, with a focus on social media marketing and strategy.
Be more realistic about what you can deliver as a team.
Our partner Sherene Funk from Rain Retail suggests to “Be more realistic about what you can deliver as a team”.
We recently had a goal-setting session in which we determined that, in order to be more productive, we needed to be more realistic about what we can deliver as a team. It’s always best to under promise and over deliver. Realistic goals prevent overwhelm, increase motivation, and heighten the sense of achievement when projects are completed on time, or before.
Focus on time increments and small wins – Imed Bouchrika, project leader and chief data scientist at the academic research portal Research.com.
It’s easy to lose productivity when confronted with multiple tasks. Doing them all at the same will likely end up in you pouring in lots of initial work across a field of open-ended tasks at the day’s end. In short, you accomplish nothing.
Instead, focus on finishing one task at a time across increments of short periods. You can follow the Pomodoro Technique here, where you break work into 25-minute periods. Or devise your own increments. For example, divide an hour into two 30-minutes or four 15-minutes and allot a period for each task.
The time increments allow you to tune out of the paralyzing thought of needing to finish a lot of work NOW and instead focus on a small win, something you can easily take a good shot at. Achieving small wins will add up to wrapping up the big task sooner than later.
There is a postscript benefit to increments and small wins: It helps you squeeze out more outputs past your highest productivity level in a day. After all, it’s not that difficult to add just… one… more… 15-minute task even in your last hour of work.
Productivity is doing more with the tools and making sure the outcome meets standard of quality.
Our partner Andrea Curry from Zenefits says that “Productivity is doing more with the tools”.
There’s a lot of buzz words that are thrown around when talking about productivity. How many Medium blog posts or LinkedIn articles have you seen about “super-charging” our workday, “hacking our way” through a project, or “tips and tricks” to increase output with minimal input? For me, productivity is doing more with the tools I have and making sure the outcome meets my standard of quality. Honing productive habits help get this done. Step one is to get organized (and that doesn’t mean having an inbox with zero unread messages, though that helps!). Projects can get messy, so be sure that you use a system that helps you keep control and look at the big picture. I love using the online tool Asana for this reason. It helps with capturing my thoughts, outlining workflow, and I can easily update deliverables and due dates. The next thing to understand is that distractions will constantly come up. It takes a lot of self-discipline not to be pulled in different directions. It’s helpful to have an understanding of what is your “north star” — aka your purpose or big picture goal. If people or other projects pop up, ask yourself if this helps you achieve your goal, or if it will derail you. Finally, remember not to burn yourself out. You won’t be productive if you’re running low on fuel. Incorporate the things that help feed your creativity and bring you joy — whether it’s exercising, spending time with family, or taking a walk outside.
Take Charge Of Your Email Not The Other Way Round
Our partner Dr. Anthony Llewellyn from AdvanceMed suggest to “Take Charge Of Your Email Not The Other Way Round”
Dr. Anthony Llewellyn is a successful online doctor coach. He writes about the importance of getting in control of your email.
With so many points of contact into your business, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed at times. But whilst email is now considered by many as “low tech”, the “email list” still remains one of your greatest assets. So it’s important to be able to dedicate time to your email management. But that doesn’t mean it needs to always take away your focus.
One great tip I developed sometime ago came out from a bit of frustration. You see I was getting a bit sick and tired of being included as a “CC” into a whole lot of company wide and team email discussions. It often felt like I was being included either on a “just thought you should know” basis or even at times because the email sender didn’t trust the recipient and wanted some witnesses!!
So I went through my email inbox and saw how many emails I was getting on a CC basis. And I thought to myself. Would it be that different if I just chose to ignore these emails? So I set up a bit of an experiment. I set up an email rule to divert these CC emails into another folder before I could even notice them. Strangely enough, the sky didn’t fall in and the world kept rotating. I blissfully forgot about the presence of this folder for a few weeks and then I remembered it.
So I went back in and checked all these emails and to my great satisfaction, I realized that all the issues in these emails had either been inconsequential to me or dealt with in other ways, i.e. someone had come to speak to me about the issue or emailed me directly.
I’ve since used a variety of rules with emails to cut through and focus on what is important.
Recognize Your Strengths
Our partner Lori McKnight from CSI Stars suggests to “Recognize Your Strengths”.
Most people are much more productive when working on things that utilize their strengths. Identify what you excel in and focus the majority of your time on those activities. If you are in the right job, these things will be what most moves the needle and delivers results. The same goes for your team. Spend time getting to know each of your employee’s strengths. It is far more productive to leverage your peoples’ strengths than fix their weaknesses.
Identifying your employee’s strengths and recognizing their contributions will drive higher employee engagement. This, in turn, will boost your own productivity as you spend less time interviewing and re-training. Consider these stats:
Organizations that excel in employee recognition have 12x better business results
High-recognition organizations have 31% less voluntary turnover
Who knows…maybe a team members’ strengths will even complement a weakness of yours!
An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners”
Our partner Scott from Structural says that “An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners”
An organization that doesn’t trust its employees to manage their workload while being able to connect with others as needed will quickly find itself with “doers” and not “learners” which is an organizational death sentence in a world where the half-life of skills is so short.
Avoid getting caught up in the work of others
Our partner Clayton Kaufman from My Employees suggests “Avoid getting caught up in the work of others”.
“When you truly believe your work improves the lives of others, the difference you make becomes the anchor of your passion. Make the connection between the work you do and how that work makes life better for others. The decision to become a positive difference-maker for others contributes to a deep sense of purpose, fulfillment, and productivity”.
Plan your days in advance
Our partner Kelvin Mokaya from Fuzu suggests “Plan your days in advance”.
Knowing what you need to accomplish during a particular week will enable you to plan for the week. List all the tasks you’ll need to do in order of the urgency they need to be done and the amount of time it would take to complete each. This will make it easier for you to plan your calendar for the week while prioritizing the work that matters most.
Prioritize actions that will make tomorrow easier
Our partner, Fiona Adler from HR Partner, explains that prioritization is one of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of productivity. Taking the time to proactively decide which tasks are most important will put you streaks ahead. One key to this is acknowledging that you can’t actually do everything – you will always have more ideas and things coming at you than can possibly be done. Once you really understand this, the significance of prioritization is obvious – if you don’t do this, you’ll never get to those most important tasks.
But prioritization is hard, so one thing to remember when putting your tasks in order of priority is to emphasize those tasks that will make your tomorrow a bit smoother and easier. So prioritize things like; choosing a new HR system, posting a job ad for a new accounts manager, setting up a new process, or deciding on a strategic direction.
Invent your personal workflows that work best for you
Our partner Baiju NT from RoboticsBiz says it is vital to create personal workflows to efficiently manage your time and increase productivity. Productivity isn’t just all about checking boxes off your to-do list. It is about making sure you’re getting the right things done in the right timeframe, successfully and effectively. Creating a workflow enables you to train your brain and systematically get into an efficient cycle of executing tasks from the morning till the end of your day. Start the day with easy, regular, and repeatable tasks first, and then you will have more uninterrupted time blocks to accomplish larger time-demanding tasks in a day. Millions of people use productivity tools like Trello to get into personal workflows and achieve more every second.
Infographic provided by Food For Thought