Do you want to be more productive or know how to increase your productivity? Imagine this scenario…
Five women get together every Saturday for brunch. The girlfriends discuss their week and the things they have accomplished. One among these women truly stands out. She’s a single parent of two children, the administrator of a nursing home for the elderly, a parent coordinator for the PTA, a member of a hiking club, a piano teacher, a board member of a local concert association, a blogger, freelance writer, and just joined a book club.
Perhaps, you are asking, “Where does she find the time?” What is the secret to her success?
The secret is productivity. She doesn’t have more hours in the day than everyone else; instead, she has learned how to use her hours productively. Successful people like her find ways to measure and improve productivity to get things done effectively and efficiently. If you want to be more successful, you must implement strategies to become more productive.
Enhancing productivity is an approach to life. Productive people set and achieve goals and improve skills for peak performance. Activities are coordinated and integrated for building best practices and best practices are incorporated to get the best results from people, projects, and all pursuits in life.
As we observe and study the practices of productive people, we will discover 8 strategies which improve productivity.
1. Setting Goals and Priorities for Achievement
If we don’t set goals with milestones, we won’t know if a goal is a long-term goal or a short-term goal. As a result, we are not in sync with our goals and we slow down our productivity. By setting goals with milestones, we can monitor the rate by which we achieve our goals and diminish procrastination. Milestones help us become more productive by directing a clear path for identifying our priorities.
Consequently, priorities keep us on task and prevent procrastination. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why did I just spend an hour doing that when I really needed to be doing this?” Productive people prioritize their efforts according to definite wants. What are definite wants? Definite wants are things you know have the ability to affect a set goal.
Because productive people have already set their goals and milestones, it is easier to prioritize. Daily priorities are executed according to these goals causing an organic boost in productivity.
2. Organizing and Managing Logistics and Technology
If prioritizing is king of productivity, then organizing is reigning queen. Saying “organizing helps productivity” is an understatement. To become more productive, organizing and coordinating your activities are required.
However, you can organize with the best of them but if don’t have what you need to get things done it is futile. Similarly, unnecessary gadgets and supplies can serve as a distraction. Do you really need three smart phones? Do you really need four staplers crowding your desk? Does everyone in your office need a laptop and an iPad? Managing supplies and technology is important to:
a) Eliminate distractions leading to procrastination
b) Cut cost
c) Use resources wisely
3. Testing and Integrating Activities
Throughout the day, it is important to test activities and see what works best. Testing formulates best practices you can use continually. For example, did the mass email you sent out at 8:30 a.m. reach all of your junior executives? Did the staff meeting inspire and motivate your team to complete a project closely approaching its deadline?” Learning ways to test the efficiency and effectiveness of activities helps you become more productive.
After you conduct your tests, you may find ways to integrate your activities. When you integrate activities, you discover things you can do simultaneously. For example the exceptionally efficient friend among the five women uncovered a way she could outline her daily blog, help her children with their homework, avoid getting stuck in afterschool traffic, and use a facility with a piano to teach piano lessons. What did she do? She enrolled her children in an afterschool program at a local church. The church allowed her to use the facility to teach piano lessons. Her lessons started at 4:00 p.m. and this gave her time to outline her blog. The program picked her children up from school, provided homework assistance, and enrichment activities.
4. Managing Other People According to Your Priorities
As one grows in his or her success, he or she will discover management includes managing other people.
Managing other people creates cooperation for productivity. Yes, managing others requires that your goals and priorities are share with others (even if on a need-to-know basis). If people are not managed according to your priorities, then productivity slows. Productivity slows down because people don’t know what to do first, second, third, and so on.
Hence, to effectively manage other people for productivity, you must excel in the following functions:
- Planning – Make sure others understand strategies for achieving goals.
- Organizational Communication – Make sure others know what needs to be done, who will do it, and how it must be done satisfactorily.
- Leading – Motivating others, directing, and supporting their efforts while inspiring them to do more.
- Monitoring – Providing feedback on performance which includes comparing and correcting to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of work.
5. Eliminating Waste
If someone or something is wasting time and prohibiting productivity, productive people will eliminate the waste. Spending too much time on things and people that interfere with achieving goals can slow down productivity. While it may seem cutthroat, eliminating waste is a necessary evil.
6. Improving for Efficiency in Desired Areas
To increase productivity, one must know what areas will get the best results and improve these areas. Will learning a second language improve your business? If so, what language would best serve your business? Know where improvements will serve you best.
7. Practicing Rational and Effective Decision-Making
Wishy-washy people get wish-washy results. Success Philosopher, Napoleon Hill stated in his famed and acclaimed work, Think and Grow Rich:
“Those who reach DECISIONS promptly and definitely know what they want, and generally get it. The leaders in every walk of life DECIDE quickly, and firmly. That is the major reason why they are leaders. The world has the habit of making room for the man whose words and actions show that he knows where he is going.”
And yes, this applies to women as well. Definite decision-making gets results.
8. Allowing Flexibility
We have all heard the expression, “back to the drawing board.” Flexibility supports productivity and flexibility requires:
1. Admitting when something is not working.
2. Listening to the ideas of others and then implementing the best ideas.
3. Changing your approach to achieve desired goals if necessary.
4. Reorganizing when necessary.
5. Not sweating the small stuff.
Finally, as your life moves towards success, you will discover the need to get more things done in less time. Learning how to get more things done in less time requires you to enhance your productivity. The more productive you become, the more accomplished you are. And soon, your friends and associates will ask you, “Where do you find the time?”