Do you feel like you can never catch up with productivity? Do you often wish you were one of “those” productive people? If so, this article is for you.
Things need to get done, but you find yourself overwhelmed and side tracked with everything that’s on your plate. You stress about how little you’ve accomplished. You worry about how you will ever meet your deadlines.
What makes “those” people so productive? Productive people don’t work harder, they work smarter. They turn abstract goals into concrete action items. More importantly, they protect their time and KNOW their priorities.
They are selectively perfect.
Being a perfectionist is a well-respected quality to have, especially in positions where attention to detail is pivotal. When perfectionism is applied to factors of insignificance, it can be the biggest form of self-sabotage. So, is it worth sacrificing the time to make something perfect only for your eyes? Usually not. Productive people are selective with what to perfect. They know what extent they should perfect per task importance.
They automate whenever possible.
Why do things manually when you can automate? Productive people automate whenever possible. Modern technology allows systems to do the work for us. This allows for more time and effort put towards tasks that aren't automatable. For example, why sort emails one by one when smart filters exist? This is counter-productive to your time. Stop doing busy work and start working smarter. If the technology exists, leverage it to free up your precious time.
They prioritize priorities.
Productive people don’t just get things done for the sake of checking items off of their to-do lists. They get things done with importance in mind. They order tasks on a most valuable outcome per time spent basis. They are realistic about their time and prioritize what needs to be accomplished. They avoid deceptive forms of procrastination such as completing easy tasks first and prolonging the more challenging ones for “later”. They put their energy into the most value-added activities and collaborate with others to help out with the rest.
Order your tasks by estimated effort, time consumption, outcome, and urgency. Everything is NOT a top priority. Cluster tasks that are similar and complete them through one multi-tasking action (i.e. check and reply to emails).
They have an assertive approach to time management.
Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle, “Using Time Effectively, Not Just Efficiently” illustrates the importance of compartmentalizing activities as important vs urgent. Productive people are proactive, not reactive. They preempt big project deliverables and schedule them accordingly. Constantly putting out fires leads to burnout and slashes productivity levels. Productive people organize their workloads. They have an assertive approach to time management.
They eliminate distractions.
Productive people take control of distractions. They prevent interruptions from occurring when they are in work mode. Distractions slow down output and places barriers on the capacity to get things done. If you often find yourself distracted, it’s time to take ownership over your work environment. Eliminate/limit personal calls during designated “productive” hours. Turn off the notifications on your cell phone, so it’s not disturbing you every two minutes. If you’re tempted to check your Facebook and Instagram regularly, put your cellphone out of view. This way you can dedicate full attention to tasks at hand. Using dedicated work time to complete activities allows you to fully enjoy your free time. It also reduces stress caused from unnecessary distractions.
If you have big dreams and goals, adapting habits that productive people practice will boost your capacity to accomplish more than you can imagine. You will get more done, feel more proficient, and value your time. Being productive is not about intellectual aptitude. It’s about the ability to work smarter to get things done.
At RGBSI, we deliver total workforce management, engineering, quality lifecycle management, and IT solutions that provide strategic partnership for organizations of all sizes. We leverage our expertise to fill workforce gaps and deliver full range business solutions that optimize client operations worldwide.