Looking for ways to increase your productivity (and that of your colleagues)? Tom Koulopoulos recently shared a habit used by Steve Jobs, that is easy to use.
To put it into perspective, “being busy” does not mean you’re “productive”. Ask people what they did on an average day, and you’ll get answers like “A lot, it was a busy day; non-stop action, meetings, phone calls, the usual!” It tells you nothing about what was actually achieved – which is the real reason we work. (A sales management expert said that most sales people spend less than 25% of their time actually “selling to customers”.)
Today, distraction is running rampant. The “tyranny of now”, things we think we should do – from meetings-without-agendas to emails and social media distract us from focusing on what we are paid for: to achieve a strategic company objective.
Steve Jobs understood that there is one question that will instantly address productivity: “What did you achieve today?” And if the answer isn’t consistent with your purpose of working, then you need to change how you spend time. And your accountability partner can help you do it.
Here’s a simple process to follow to improve productivity.
- Before going home, identify what you want to achieve tomorrow – write it down and leave on your desk, so it’s the first thing you see. (In a prior blog, we shared a double-entry time management system you can use to accomplish ongoing goals.)
- When you come in the morning, it takes only seconds to sharply focus on what you want to accomplish by reviewing the list and making any edits based on what’s urgent/important.
- Monitor the time it takes to do each project; make adjustments as needed so priorities are met. Note how much time is being spent on distractions and build systems to reduce their interference with achievement. Many tactics are available for reducing distractions; find the one that works best for those that interfere with your work.
- At the end of the day, (1) write out the achievements and time management plan for the next day and (2) list your achievements for the day and take pride in them!
If your achievement rate isn’t high enough, accountability partner/coach to help you see where you can do better.
Ready to give it a try? After two weeks, share with us how these ideas are helping you achieve more and feel greater satisfaction for doing so.