To Improve your Productivity, Know what you are Doing!
The reason everyone rattles on improving productivity is plain and simple. A productive life is happy life. The more productive you are, the faster you grow in your profession and career. Not just that, with enhanced productivity you learn and understand better. You do more and in turn experience more.
Productivity shouldn’t be confused with getting a lot of stuff done. That’s not what matters. Productivity means getting the right things done at the right time. If you want to be a leader at work, earn money, learn skills and have a meaningful life, then you have to be productive.
Now, some of you may work your butts off to the point of burning out and still not experience any growth, whether it is emotional or financial. Forcing yourself to stay busy doesn’t mean you’ll produce more. This simply means you are not productive. Believe it or not, productivity has nothing to do with the amount of time spent before the computer screen or at work desk. It means how intelligently you utilized your time to get things done that matter.
Where to Start?
Steps to improve productivity are much simpler than most of you would imagine. Probably because there’s been a lot of fuss about productivity boosting techniques on the Internet lately.
Productivity is a state of mind, entirely different from a must achieve target mindset. You don’t have to work like a beaver all day to call yourself productive. In fact productivity is all about getting rid of this thought and working smart to achieve more, without wasting time on tasks that don’t matter. That’s what productivity means.
So it all comes down to identifying the unnecessary things in life that have been encumbering you all the way long. Here I have a simple three step exercise for you find hidden time wasters in your schedule that choke up your productivity stream like a dam:
Step 1: Keep Track of Time
Don’t let your time fly by. Practice conscious control over amount of time spent doing specific activities. To manage your time better, first make sure you know where it goes. To that end, your memory will not be enough. So how do you keep track of time? Simply, maintain an activity record.
An activity log is just what you need — an hourly record of what you do throughout the day. Doesn’t matter what specific method you use. The only thing that is important to begin with, is that you need to have a record for at least two weeks. More preferably, you need a whole month of recorded activities.
Now, to make this your daily routine, keep a pen and a notepad on your work desk. Every hour, write down the duration and what you’ve done during the past hour. Keep in mind, it’s important to keep the notebook within reach, so you don’t fail to remember. If you are nerdy, use a daily task and time tracking app. on your phone to get that done.
Step 2: Spot The Non-Productive Work
After you start keeping the activity record, all the non productive work bogging down your schedule should become clearly visible. Once you do that, what you will realize will disturb you more than you already are. Just rifle through all the repeating tasks in your activity log one by one. You will surprised to find out that a major share of your time is wasted on activities that in no way contribute to your goals and targets. You are going to be more productive than ever, if you stop doing those activities.
You may feel low after finding all those time wasters, that you’ve been pushing yourself into since years. There’s nothing to be sorry about. We all spend time doing activities that have no return, until we come round and realize the worthlessness in these tasks.
Step 3: Eliminate The Futile Tasks
There you are! Track your time, spot the useless activities and eliminate them off your life. As simple as that. You don’t need any “magic 7 minute time tracking tips from a management author” . Simply keep a monthly record of your activities and follow these steps.
You need not keep a log for each and every single day. Instead, make two stretches of four to five weeks per year. That’s sufficient to keep track of your time and point out new time-wasters. Another benefit of this three step activity is that it compels you to sift through your daily activities over and over again.
With time, many time wasters become a habit. If you don’t become aware of the pointless behavior before it’s late, it will be difficult to break these bad habits. The Quote by Warren Buffet better defines this situation: Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.
On the whole, Never forget how precious your time really is. Be light aware and always monitor what you are upto. Find time to relax using the above steps and stretch your time. And also share this with more people if you benefitted.