Life Area: Professional
Topic: Workplace Productivity
Simple Strategies To Increase Workplace Productivity
Workplace productivity is top of mind for both business owners and employees/contractors. My business coaching clients know that the more efficient they can run their operations the more profitable the business will be. Employees and Independent Contractors know that the best measure of their value are their results. These two objectives merge at the sweet spot of workplace productivity with a win/win outcome. To encourage a more productive workday I offer to both business owners and employees four workplace productivity strategies:
MAKE YOUR WORKDAY SYNC WITH YOUR ENERGY We are most productive in the first four and a half hours of the day, so arrange to tackle you most challenging or important task during this time. Don’t look at emails, answer phone calls or multitask. “One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity, like social media,” behavioral scientist Dan Ariely has said. “If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want to.” As my friend, Brian Tracy says: “Eat that frog first!”
RECHARGE YOUR BRAIN If you try to concentrate on one piece of work without taking a break, your mind will wander. “The brain cycles from highest attention to lowest attention approximately every 90 minutes,” Jeff Stibel, brain scientist and author of Wired For Thought, has said. “You should hit the reset button about that often.” Going for a quick walk around the block will boost it. If you can’t get out or it’s raining, it helps to just take a break from your screen and sit in a different location, like a conference room to read printed material or make a phone call. I recommend using the pomodoro method of concentrated work for 50 minute stints then a 10 minute break and so on. Check out the app Pomodoro Time Pro to keep you on track.
When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition.
USE LESS WORDS The world-famous TED Talks are limited to 18 minutes, and there’s a good reason why. Research shows that too much information prevents the successful transmission of ideas. In presentations, nobody wants death by PowerPoint! A picture can speak volumes. Also, don’t expect your audience to read your slides while listening to you. When I’m conceptualizing a workshop or speech presentation slide deck, I edit out the obvious, the irrelevant and any repetition. Whatever the task, I try to find the shortest route to convey my message.
HAVE FEWER MEETINGS How many real decisions are made in meetings? They’re usually made beforehand and the meetings simple sign off on them. The ratio of time versus value for a typical meeting is rarely justified. Remember, less is more. If you’re running the meeting, include as few people as possible. Set a clear, short agenda and a time limit – and stick to it! If a problem must be solved, deal with it first. If you’re an attendee, ask for the agenda in advance. If other issues arise that threaten to get in the way of decision-making, suggest firmly but politely that they be dealt with at a later date. And, speaking of TED Talks, check out this 6-minute TED Talk by David Grady entitled “How To Save The World (or at least yourself) From Bad Meetings”.
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I am a Success Strategist and Master Coach. I provide transformational coaching and training for individuals and organizations to help you Grow Your Life and Build Your Business by getting clear and focused on what you want, why you want it, and how to create it. Learn more about me at SuccessSeriesLLC.com.
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