Organizations, whether large or small strive to stay competitive and remain productive. However, it is easier said than done. Keeping the focus and staying productive has been a challenge that managers and business owners face these days.
For the growing organizations, the problem multiplies with the additional layers of hierarchy. Focusing on achieving goals and targets is a difficult task while you have multiple teams to manage. Ambiguous reporting structures, limited resources, organizational politics, cultural issues, socializing etc may seem a different issue, but the outcome is all the same- Staggered Productivity.
Let’s look it from a personal perspective.
“It is you who misses out on appreciation if you are unable to finish projects in the specified time. Likewise, if you fail to acquire new clients then you lose the incentives. With every project being time bound, if you work extra hours, it is your personal and family time being sacrificed, all leading to stress and chaos.
The scenario stated above drives home the fact that unproductive behavior affects both employers as well as employees and proves to be a hurdle in the path to success.
Read below the best practices and tips on productivity. The steps will help you get rid of procrastination and help you achieve optimum productivity every single day.
- Have a schedule, and follow it no matter what.
This is probably the biggest problem when it comes to performing at one’s natural best. People tend to take up work when the deadlines get closer. This will launch an avalanche of problems.
Schedule your routine, and prioritize your tasks. Heard the proverb “Eat the Frog”? Do the most important task first, even if it is mundane or boring. The things most important should be done in the hour when you feel highly energetic.
If you think a particular project has to be tallied and you’re a morning person, getting it done in the earliest hours of your day should be your priority. If you’ve to pay the electricity bill, it might wait until the end of the day, when you’re done with justifying your other priorities.
Remember the following while you prioritize your tasks. Use the space to fill tasks as you categorize them.
Classification is significant here:
Putting it simply- Classify the tasks, decide the sequence of the tasks, and get into the action. Action has no substitute. Keep a tab on the chart periodically as to remain focused and productive.
When you start your day, you should know exactly how are you going to go ahead with your schedule, and should also be aware of ‘when’ will you get it done. Simple as that!
Lastly, never ever break your routine. Put this on your highest priority!
- Keep a check on your health.
Your body is your temple.
All the efforts you are able to put for your work is a result of your body’s fitness level. And after doing all this, your body deserves its own share of care.
Your fitness levels are directly proportional to your productivity, and to keep them up, take the following steps:
Have a minimum of 6 hours of sleep, daily.
- Don’t leave home without having your breakfast.
- Eat light, but nutritious.
- Exercise daily.
- Grooming habits like shaving, cutting your nails, getting a haircut- should have a specified day.
- As aging occurs, visit the doctor for full-body checkups, more often.
- Try getting up before the sunrise, and hit the bed before 12.
- Take power naps, when exhausted.
- Stay hydrated.
You are the athlete of your work. And, your productivity depends entirely on your fitness level. Being mentally and physically fit will help you reach the epitome of the productivity.
- Stop multi-tasking.
Imagine this: You’re supposed to walk on a marked straight line. Try walking over it just like that; you’ll find it extremely easy. Now take up a stack of 6 books in your right hand, a laptop in the other hand and a jug filled with water on your head, alongside your kid sitting on your thigh as you try to walk on one leg. Now try walking down the same line.
You can’t even imagine reaching the end point even if you are performing at your best.
Because there is no balance!
The act of balancing
There is already so much in your hands and on your head to be balanced, how will you manage to balance your own self! That is the case with multitasking. Handling and successfully finishing multiple tasks yield immense satisfaction and joy but it is not possible always and sooner or later it is going to ruin your ‘balance’.
If you take only one task at a time and concentrate on completing that task the best it could be done; you might take slightly more time but you’ll end up with a better quality of the work. Do some calculations and you will know.
Keep a tab on quality.
When will your boss be happier? When you complete 80% tasks with 20% quality versus 20% tasks with 80% quality (remember Pareto principle 80/20 rule)? Definitely the answer is the second situation.
This is why quality exceeds quantity in terms of significance. And to attain quality, one needs concentration, which isn’t possible when multitasking.
An error free, glitch-free quality driven output is what one yearns for. All the while productivity is about giving the best output. Single-minded focus on the task shall come a long way in delivering excellence.
- Make a ‘Not To Do’ List.
Weird as it may sound, there are chores that eat away your time without adding much value.
What you do in your unproductive hours has a direct effect on your productive hours.
Energy Time Eaters:
People are habituated with the concept of making ‘To Do Lists’, but they often miss-out upon the little energy eaters which surface during their work, affecting their productivity: office grapevine, unsolicited visitors, online games & social media, the extended coffee breaks and many such other things.
Tasks like these, eat up your time and energy and should get a ‘no-no’ from you, every time they pop-up.
Make a ‘Not to Do’ list, and put it in a place where you see it more often.
- Have some ‘me-time’.
Go for a long walk; listen to soft music; practice Yoga; Write, Paint- do something which is of value to you, at least once in a day.
In the ‘me-time’ hours, make sure you switch off your phone and get rid of the bleeping emails, messages, Whatsapp texts and any other communication. Retrospect, think about life, read a book, watch an old movie, go through your childhood albums, go to a dinner with an old friend, do anything but work.
These hours will energize your soul and your mind as and when they prepare you to take upon the Himalayan tasks you indulge into, later on!
Mind well, Productivity isn’t yet another ‘Management’ term.
It is a habit, practiced by world-class performers. And, it is the only thing, which inculcated on a continuous basis, can outperform any hurdle or competition.