Being productive is the goal of most people, not only to do a task well in a set time, but to do multiple tasks equally well in the same timeframe. Many experts and consultants have devised strategies meant to boost an employee’s productivity, and a handful of them actually work. This month, we’ll review a few of these strategies so you can give them a try.
Say your available time is represented by a bucket. All of your crucial, mission-critical goals and responsibilities are represented by large stones, your less-impactful responsibilities by smaller stones, and repetitive menial tasks are symbolized by sand.
If you were to use these objects to fill the bucket, the way you order your priorities will impact how much can be accomplished. If you put the sand in first, followed by the smaller stones, you leave little room for the large rocks. However, if you start with the bigger rocks, you can make the biggest impact. Transferring over the metaphor, by focusing on your biggest responsibilities first, you can fit the most into your workday. Anything left over isn’t that important and today can mostly be automated through the use of technology.
Five Second Rule
Everyone needs to find a plan to keep those tasks that, frankly, we just don’t want to do from holding us up. Known as the Blastoff Method, you in effect defy the normal hesitation that puts the brain into protection mode and stalls on whatever that task is. By taking control and overcoming that hesitation, you can improve your overall state of mind resulting in better productivity.
By counting down your actions—5,4,3,2,1—and then acting before you get the chance to think your way out of it, you can just get busy and not ruminate on how annoying or mundane the task is.
In fancier terms, you’re interrupting a set habit loop and shifting your behavioral process. So, next time you’re avoiding a task, count down and dive in.
How long will each of your tasks take to complete? In the office, the length of time can vary wildly, but there are some trends that will become apparent after a few repetitions. For instance, you’ll know that Tasks A through E will take a longer time, while Tasks F through N might take mere moments each. So, why not take advantage of these differences to accomplish more throughout your day?
The two-minute rule seems deceptively simple: if a task will take fewer than two minutes to complete, just do it. That is an oversimplification of the actual approach. While the idea of doing the quick stuff first is present, you should use these tasks as a means of growing your motivation to tackle the big tasks.
This is possible because all your responsibilities, big or small, will start with a small, two-minute action and once you get invested in a responsibility, it is much easier to continue carrying it out.
The Two-hour solution tackles productivity more proactively. The strategy is based in that, by taking two hours each week to evaluate how things have worked out for you during the previous week, reconnecting with your goals and giving yourself a schedule to follow throughout the coming week, you can optimize the time you spend on your tasks.
This may all sound typical to some people, because we haven’t gone over the key difference that sets the Two-Hour Solution apart—you’re really dividing the time that you’re spending each week by how it contributes to your goals. “Green time” is time that generates financial capital, and “red time” is the time spent preparing for the productivity of your green time. “Flex time” is the leeway that you give yourself to account for unplanned circumstances, and “re-creation time” is the time you take to “recreate” yourself through recreational activities.
Don’t Give Yourself Enough Time
If you are one of those people who claims that they work better with a deadline, this tip is for you. Basically, as you are scheduling your tasks, give yourself a little less time than you expect to need to complete each responsibility. The deadline helps to keep you focused, assuming you ignore the safety net of your flex time.
Productivity is important and these tips can help you do more with your time at work. If you want help finding the right IT to help with efficiency and productivity, give Wolk9IT a call at (646) 741-1166.