All of face the brunt of higher demands on productivity, most of us have been working regular schedules and the only way to increase productivity is to work extra hours. That’s not a good solution as it will make you a work zombie who will do nothing more than work. Don’t get disheartened there is good news; you can use these 5 simple and highly effective ways to increase your productivity.
As Paul J. Mayer said “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
Break down your work into tasks and sub tasks
Most of the successful projects have a common theme; all of them would have been broken down into activities and tasks with owners and resources assigned against each one of them. Ask yourself these questions.
- What do you need to achieve?
- How will you know if your task is successful – what’s the measurement?
- What’s the timeline?
- What resources do you need? – People, budget, tools, support etc.
- How many of these resources are under your control?
Devil lies in the detail – chart out the process
You have a plan, so what? The next step is break down each of the tasks into process through which they will get accomplished. When a problem is large or complex, and the optimal solution is unclear, charting a process allows you to begin making progress towards a solution even though you can’t visualize the entire path at the first instance.
It will be a good idea to buy flow charting software to help you see the work progress sequentially. Use the software output to communicate your plan to others. Detailing the tasks improves your chances of success and Increases your productivity. A word of caution- Detailing the process is tiring.
Set up a monitoring mechanism
Once you have set your goals and the plan has been broken down into tasks with process steps, the next move is to set up traffic signals and lights to know your progress status. You should know how much time it would take to finish the plan, raise the red flag early by giving progress feedback to all your stakeholders. Deliver all good news / bad news in advance, senior management team hates surprises. Knowing where you stand is a very important aspect of increasing productivity.
Avoid the Activity trap and be focused
Research shows that effective managers focus of one or two key tasks derived from the organizational priorities.They tend to keep away from distractors and allied activities which generally fill up most up of our time. Don’t confuse being productive with being busy, most of the managers take on one or another task to fill the time.Always being busy can make you rigid and narrow-minded. Create free time or have quick breaks in between to get those creative, productive juices going again. If you have spare time go read a book rather than carrying someone else’s monkey on your back.
Manage your time
Plan your time and manage it against a spend plan, in case you have not been valuing your time start doing it now. Time will not come back and this life is only for once. Make the best use of it.
I read somewhere that 85 percent of the things you do account for only 15% of your results, and vice-versa. I think that’s a pretty important observation to increase your productivity. Figure out your largest time wasters and eliminate them to increase your productivity. Time management is the key to increasing productivity. Taking time to plan and set priorities for your life actually frees up more time rather than diving into the muddle of activities.
These five tips will help you in increasing your productivity by accurately scoping out your work and using efficient processes to deliver them. As Shia LaBeouf said “There’s a tendency to mistake preparation for productivity. You can prepare all you want, but if you never roll the dice you’ll never be successful.”
Thanks and be happy !