The following productivity article will show you ways to increase productivity to achieve a significant and steady productivity improvement in the long term. Let’s have a look at the definition of productivity: Productivity (in an economic perspective) is a measure of output (produced from each hour of work) per unit of input, from a certain production process. We are going to focus on labor productivity, to be more precise: YOUR productivity. What are the benefits of an increased personal productivity? The more productive you work the more competitive you will become, furthermore: increasing productivity enables real wage growth.
How to improve productivity?
In your professional life, you will most likely be confronted with task “A” that needs to be done within a certain amount of time “x”. Most of the time the amount of time is certainly not unlimited so you will have to find solutions that help you to boost productivity that your other tasks “B”, “C” and “D” can be accomplished as well. Productivity is certainly a key factor for success because there are situations where it is absolutely necessary to get a lot of work done within a short period of time. Here is how you can increase productivity and achieve a significant productivity improvement:
- Overview & to-do-list: #1 key to increase productivity is to get an overview of all the tasks that need to be done. This includes all the tasks that have to be accomplished on a daily basis as well as the tasks that need to be done today. First of all, you could start with creating a general to do list that lists all your tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis; arranged accordingly to their priority. This would be your general to-do list; the next thing is to create a daily to-do list that lists all your tasks that need to be done today; once again arranged accordingly to their priority. While creating these lists you should categorize your tasks from “Very Important – Needs to be done immediately”, “Very Important – Not Urgent” to “Unimportant – Urgent” and “Unimportant – Not Urgent”. The key to boost productivity is now to focus on your important tasks and only after these tasks are completed on unimportant tasks. If a task does not need to be completed then get rid of it and ban it from your to-do list, that’s the best productivity improvement you can reach!
- The “additional to-do-list”: In case you have created a to-do-list with all your regular tasks that you are confronted with on a daily basis it can also be very helpful productivity improvement to clearly outline these tasks in a detailed way and to specify what exactly needs to be done to increase productivity.
- Dawdling, procrastination, and distraction will decrease your productivity; determined, effective and mostly without you even noticing it. This can be a regular smoking break, coffee break or even regular checking for emails or any kind of news on the internet. All these things will distract you from your main tasks, interrupt your workflow and will take precious time away that could have been invested to get more tasks done. Boost productivity by avoiding these interruptions (for example checking your email only 2 or 3 times a day: in the morning, after lunch and two hours before the end of your work day).
- Business before pleasure: You can increase productivity by focusing on your unpleasant task before completing tasks that you like. First of it will motivate you as you know exactly: “Once I finish unpleasant task X I can focus all my attention on this other great task my boss gave me”; secondly it will help you to avoid unpleasant tasks during your low-concentration and low-energy phase of the day (mostly at lunchtime).
- Apropos low energy phase: Another key to increasing productivity is to be aware of your “concentration–cycle”. Try to identify the phases of your daily life where you peak concentration and productivity and phases where you are tired and unconcentrated. Try to complete your most important and most urgent tasks within your high-concentration phase and allocate unimportant tasks to the other phase.
- Power sessions: So-called power sessions help you to improve productivity drastically and help you to avoid interruptions! Power sessions will literally boost productivity as they enable you to focus ALL your attention on your tasks without getting interrupted. You will see that a power session will help you to get more work done in a shorter time = higher productivity!
Definition of a power session: A power session is a period of time that you take to focus ONLY on your tasks. It is important that you do not get interrupted during your power sessions (neither by telephone and email nor by colleagues, etc.!). A power session can last from 30 minutes up to maximum of one and a half hour.
- A productive environment: Your work environment will have a high influence on your productiveness, positively in form of a productivity improvement or negatively by decreasing your productivity! Just imagine yourself choosing an internet café as your workspace; surrounded by chatting woman and the rustling of newspapers: first of all, you will most likely get interrupted by the internet and the time you spend surfing on all kinds of different websites. Secondly, the frantic and distracting atmosphere will disallow you to focus on your tasks. On the contrary: a silent workplace without internet access, television, etc. will help you to get your work done, without getting interrupted or distracted.
- Multitasking kills productivity: Multitasking will distract you continuously as you have to switch from one task to another before the first one is completed. Optimize and increase productivity by avoiding to focus on multiple tasks at a time.
“A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger. It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity.” ~ Mary Garden
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” ~ Paul J. Meyer
The article about time management productivity might also interest you!
Photo by Robert Couse-Baker
What are your strategies to improve productivity?