Is not always easy to increase productivity. To do so, you need to define correctly what productivity is to you and how to use it for your own benefit.
In the past, I used to find more ways to improve productivity and to implement the correct strategies for my productivity improvement, or so I thought. The result was to output more work but, most of the times, at my expense (costing me hours away of my family, enhanced working hours, crazy working and personal commitments, to say the least!)
I was “productive”, but I never get into the trouble to define what productivity meant to me. It is the same mistake I repeated again and again, as many people I know do today.
The Productivity Content And Context
Most of the times (and for too many people), productivity is an elusive term does not carry any special meaning besides the old trivial one expressed as “to do more work”!
This attitude is a false one because exclude a great deal of thing you should consider in the equation of your productivity.
Things like the right time, the correct mood or incentive, your motivation, your energy levels, the amount of commitment and tasks you have already assumed, etc.
We spent awful too much time in talking about ways to improve employees productivity or the worker’s productivity or how to enhance the business productivity forgetting to clearly define what productivity should mean for us.
Would you be happy as an employer to have your employees produce more in the same amount of time? Of course, you do!
Would you like to lose any of this high-productive workers because your press them too much, or push their limits a little too further? Of course, you don’t!
Unless you are a bad entrepreneur, bad business person or a bad leader.
You need your associates and employees to perform at the peak of their ability without this excessive productivity surge cost them their health or their life balance.
In order to do that for your self and the people you work with you need to focus on strategies and tactics that provide you the necessary flexibility to:
- Define your own scheme of productivity,
- Help you focus on the things have mattered to you, and
- Enable you to gain the assets are important to you without compromising the major parts of your life (as your health, family, etc.)
Below you will read about 8 different strategies, that not only can help you increase productivity (for you and the people work with you) but also multiply it in a way has a meaning to you!
8 Strategies To Increase Productivity
The terms of productivity improvement, employee productivity, worker productivity are meaningless if are not defined specifically by you and for your own requirements.
For a person, productivity means to output a larger chunk of work from the one he/she does now! For someone else, productivity is to have more free time with his/her family. For a third person, productivity means to be in balance focusing on the things matter most to him/her.
But productivity is not a relative term. Can be measured and defined in various ways. The way you choose to measure what productivity is will define the strategies and the ways to increase your special brand of productivity.
In general, though, there are, specific strategies can help you and your associates (including your company, your organization, your employees, etc.) to increase productivity.
Non-destructive strategies (i.e. without its implementation demands heavier tolls than the ones a person is able or willing to pay without losing something important) which may lead to win-win situations.
Below we have include 8 strategies can help you increase your productivity.
1. Focus on Creativity & Innovation
A mildly unstructured working environment and a specific period of structured procrastination can promote the creative quests and produce more ways to “fill in” the structural gaps in an organization (company, organization, virtual group, etc.)
Working on tasks or projects you are feeling that you are contributing more and are personally rewarding can increase your overall productivity many times.
To increase productivity you should foster in your work (or in your house) an environment in which creativity and innovation can grow freely and without the conventional boundaries.
2. Focus On Tasks At Hand & Remove Destructions
To do so, you need to prepare your working-focused period very carefully making sure that you have:
- Used your email as a communication mean and not as a task list. This is simply mean that you should have a method to help you process quickly and efficiently your email (like the GTD)
- Removed all the alarms from all the devices you use (including your mobile and your PCs alarms),
- Taken care of the necessities of your body and of your health (make sure you have eaten, that you are hydrated, etc.),
- Closed all social media alarms and channels using either suitable applications for enhanced focus or social media specific detoxing techniques)
- Abandon any multi-tasking habits you may have in the past, and keep on focus on one thing at a time,
- Blocked a sufficient amount of time for the task at hand in your calendar,
- A “plan of attack” in place for handling the specific tasks and you have kept on following your set plan,
- “Shut your self up” from your colleagues, office or family distractions, etc.
Other ways you might employ for improving your focus and see where you spend your time is the time budget, the time analysis of your daily tasks (using tools like the RescueTime) or implementing techniques like the Productivity Improvement Circles
3. Declutter Your Working Environment To Increase Productivity
Decluttering your working environment is one of the best ways to increase productivity! A clear office or a clear computer’s desktop can make wonders for your productivity because removes everything unnecessary from your sight and help you concentrate on what you have to do!
4. Limited Meeting and Unnecessary Commutes
To have time to focus on the things matter most to you, you need to reduce or limited unnecessary activities. Many meeting, unfortunately, falls into that category.
Meetings are energy and time “black holes” for many people and, as the unnecessary commuting is, are activities should be avoided, if possible, in order to leave you time focusing on the things must be done!
If you cannot avoid, at least you should try to make the most of it!
5. Planning Ahead
Planning is the one most important activity to help you shape your ideal working day, week or month, long ahead of time.
When you set out your goals and how to achieve them in a flexible and balanced working plan, you can achieve more in less time while you are able to perform at the peak of your abilities.
Planning is not so popular because it takes effort and time ahead! Time most people are unwilling to dedicate to prepare their next action. But it is one of the most secretly kept tactics of every overachiever around because a good plan helps you focus on what needs to be done and keep you on the tracks!
Furthermore a good plan not only provides tangible results to you but it helps you to be proactive in the long run rather than a reactive person trying to react to the situation he/she facing!
6. Review Often Your Tasks
To be truly productive and effective as a person and business owner you should review often your tasks and re-adjust your course of actions towards achieving your set objectives.
There are many approaches on how to do that (like Getting Things Done approach) in an efficient and productive way but, at the bottom line, the only thing you should do is that you should set yourself the time you need to review your activities.
But you should do it periodically updating, removing or modified accordingly all of your current activities and tasks in order your task list to be always updated.
7. Mind Your Associates
Productivity is not a game of solitude unless you work alone. and even in such cases, the completion of your work may depend on the contribution of someone else.
In our modern society, performing a task may depend on various parameters. Including the completion of tasks have been performed by other people.
Therefore to enhance tour productivity you need to pay attention to the activities of other people and on what they do an how! Especially so when you are working with or manage a remote team.
Increasing overall productivity of the organization or of the team, it might be a more legitimate way of bringing faster the envisioned results.
8. Use Technology To Your Own Benefit
Technology is one of the major leverage as far as personal productivity and business productivity concerns.
I use technology all the time to implement various tasks and focus on what has to be done!
I use various application and tools for:
- focus enhance and goals settings
- increase productivity (like text-expanders, templates, etc.)
- project management,
- product development,
- organization of work,
- the motivation of yourself and associates,
- time tracking,
- analyze and measure performance,
- scheduling flexibility (in arranging a meeting, an outside appointment, etc.)
In this context, I utilize tools like Evernote, Trello, Asana, Slack, Skype, PhraseExpress, TextExpander, RescueTime, Qbserve for Mac, (and much more!) to help me focus on what has to be done and make contact with the people I need to communicate or work with.
Do you have any other strategy that can increase productivity?