Eat, Work, Sleep, Repeat. Sound familiar? Productivity and workplace participation are two vital drivers towards improving the economic growth of any business. Recent studies suggest that lack of productivity is costing Australian businesses $33 billion (Carnegie Management Group). Unfortunately, there is no genie in a bottle to solve that problem, but there are some basic productivity principles that can help. While you have probably read many time management books, the purpose of this article is to help you with some practical tips to improve your productivity over the course of a working week.
Day One – Stand up and take your calls
There’s no forward momentum in sitting. When your on your feet we tend to speak more quickly, and have a higher level of energy. If most of the call has been conducted on the phone whilst being seated and you want to draw it to a close, stand up. Your change in posture will reflect in your voice.
Day Two – Chunk your calls – It’s faster to bundle, one after another
Have you noticed the speed in which you can process a stack of calls when you come back to the office? Momentum is created by concentration. It’s easy to create the same impression of speed and push ourselves to a more productive level by batching calls together.
Day Three – Keyboard shortcuts – The easiest way to get things done quicker
The easiest life hack to improving your PC productivity is learning keyboard shortcuts.
Just like a ninja and much quicker than a mouse. Start with the basics. Copy, Paste and toggling between windows. Here is a link to Windows keyboard shortcuts and Mac keyboard shortcuts to help you learn. Print them out, stick them next to your computer and take 5 mins out of your day to learn one (or two). Creating a habit to learn and apply these will increase your efficiency without using up brain space on trying to remember the shortcuts or where in the toolbar a function lives.
Day Four – Mind mapping – A quick brain dump can help your clarity
Now you don’t have to be an artist for this. Relax – there are no rules. Words, lines, stick pictures, anything goes. The point is that you can rapidly gain a handle on key elements of any situation in minutes. Get clarity before taking it to the computer.
Day Five – Meeting Agenda – Successful meetings start with planning
A large part of what makes a meeting successful occurs in the preparation phase. By giving them an agenda in advance, both yourself and the other parties can forward think about the information. Best of all encourage participation and responsibility during the meeting. With your agenda at hand, it will also make providing a summary at the end of your meeting to ensure there are no loose ends or things you’ve missed.
These tips, I’m sure, have been shared with you before, but are you doing them? This is a wake up call to me, just as much to you, to get back into applying these productivity tactics in everyday practice. Creating habits that stick will allow them to become natural behaviour so your brain doesn’t have to do extra thinking or switch between actions. Focus and clarity is key to productivity. So please make sure you apply these tips and pass them onto a friend, and use all the extra time wisely creating a life that serves you.