5 Top Tips for Improving Your Productivity
24 January 2012
Author: Bill Wynn
It astounds me why so many people look at their phones and emails all the time. How do they achieve anything? Every productivity expert in the world will tell you to check email at periodic intervals, rather than clicking "refresh" like a Pavlovian dog. I check my work emails 3-4 times a day at the most, home emails once a week. Remember, if the email is urgent, the person will probably call you.
2. Pointless stress.
rior to Christmas I had a conversation with a friend who could not meet up because they had so much to do. This was causing them obvious stress!" I took a moment to talk with them and got them to list all the things they wanted to achieve that day/ week/ month and year (this took about 10 minutes). Then we established if the daily and all other goals was achievable, which they were. Once this was written down for my friend, they had more focus, less stress and clear direction. We met up a few days later for a beer, and they were calm and relaxed. It is amazing how worked up we can make ourselves sometimes.
On another note, if you want to connect to friends, family or customers, do something unusual:
- get in touch at a different time of year
- give your contacts a personal call
- meet up face-to-face
3. Reading pointless or annoying things.
I receive 100+ work emails per day, 10 person emails, several Facebook updates, several LinkedIn requests, 10+ Twitter follows, 8 RSS updates. Per month I receive 6 magazine subscriptions. I have to manage my time correctly, as "there is never enough time in the day".
What I have done in 2012 is to cancel 2 subscriptions where the content really is rarely relevant, I have also removed two RSS feeds, given I rarely find the content relevant or compelling. I have also sent all irrelevant emails to my blocked senders list, so I will no longer receive them. What subscriptions or efficiency refinement can you make?
4. Pointless work.
We won a very large tender last year. We gave everything to the account, even hiring a dedicated team member to manage and develop for this client. After 9 months we decided that this massive client was not viable, given the antiquated processes, ridiculous reporting mechanisms, low reimbursement rates and administrative complexities that sucked the joy and profit out of the work. We took the right commercial decision to stop working with them. The reality was not as good as the fantasy.
Choose your battles carefully. Understand what you want to get from the relationship/ activity and make sure anyone else involved is clear and agrees the goal can be achieved.
5. KISS (Keep it simple stupid)
Why so many people make things more complicated than they need to be is a little beyond me. If your customers do not want what you are selling, stop selling it. What do your customers really want? Get feedback regularly to ensure you're not wasting your time. What ideas should you test before you've gone too far?
To make a noticeable difference you have to instigate a change and believe in seeing it through. If you ensure you have a Positive Mental Attitude then anything can be achieved.
Through the changes I will be making in 2012, I plan to become more focused and efficient and, most importantly, save many hours which I can spend expanding our business, with the family or doing things that matter to Bill. What are you going to do to make a change?