Increasing Productivity

By Martin Gilliard

Increasing productivity can be achieved by simply doing things faster. Increasing your productivity in today’s fast paced, modern world is an imperative. But how does one go faster?

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Shorten Meeting Times

Well to start with try shortening your meeting times. If you usually schedule an hour for your meetings then try cutting back to thirty minutes. Once you’re comfortable with thirty minutes raise the bar yet further and try scheduling your meetings for only fifteen minutes at a time. You might surprise yourself with just how much you can still achieve with such a short meeting time. If you schedule an hour you will use an hour. If you schedule fifteen minutes instead of one hour then you will free up 45 minutes for more productive work and after all – most meetings are simply about making decisions, conveying information or sharing workloads. All of which can be done in a short meeting with focused and deliberate effort.

increasing productivity

(Photo Credit: Justin See)

Remove Waste

Follow the core concept of Lean which is to remove or reduce waste. Waste is all the things that you do that you deem to be not productive. Define what waste is and what it isn’t. Can you eliminate unproductive tasks completely? If a task isn’t productive and still has to be done is there any way that you can delegate it to someone else? Alternatively is there a way that you can speed it up or perhaps automate it with the aid of a computer program or Microsoft Office macro?

Measure

Use metrics to measure just how long you are spending on particular tasks and assignments. Use the metrics as targets for future, similar activities.

Plan

Plan quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily. What do you need to achieve this quarter to be successful? How does that plan break down into months and weeks? What should you be doing tomorrow in order to progress your plan in the right direction? Make sure that your plan is aimed at achieving the most important goals.

Beat the Plan

Once you have your plan in place use your imagination to think of ways to beat the plan and by that I mean how can you complete tasks quicker than the time that you scheduled for them. Are there things you can cut out and still reach your end goal without overly compromising on quality?

Reflect and Learn

Sit back for 5 minutes and reflect on what you have achieved over the last week or so. What went well? What not so well? What could you have done to improve your productivity? What motivates you? What motivates your team? Use these learning’s to better yourself in the next week.

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