Cut it out: Things to eliminate from your life to enhance your productivity
11th June 2014
Improve your productivity through elimination
Our lives are cluttered. Day by day our to-do lists get longer, inboxes get fatter and simple tasks go undone.
If we actually stopped to think about it for a few minutes there are all sorts of things that we do, or that others do, that get in the way of our productivity, general sense of accomplishment, and sense of sanity. The good news is that we can put a halt to these things in a bid to streamline our days and get more done.
Start small, and see how much time you could gain for really getting down to business.
Ditch the homework
It would be great to be able to read all those reports, but you’ll get on just fine at work if you don’t. Allow yourself to skip the reading sometimes, or save it only for times when you can’t get anything else done, like on the train. If you subscribe to a variety of magazines then cancelling one or two could not only eliminate the guilt of a pile of publications staring at you each day, but will also save you money.
Train those around you
Constant interruptions can be a massive drain on time, so you must make people aware that barging in with an “urgent” query is not helping you, or them. Be clear that they cannot feel free to interrupt you at any time and encourage them to consider just how vital it is that they speak to you immediately before knocking on your office door or picking up the phone. Similarly, don’t respond to your emails immediately – people will expect this quick response all the time and will chase you more than they normally would.
Prioritise your to-do list
All to-do lists start off with the best intentions, but they usually end up as an ever-increasing reminder that we don’t have enough hours in the day. Have a “master” to-do list from which you select the top things that are either most urgent or will make the biggest difference. Concentrate on them, and only then. When your to-do list is all crossed off, pat yourself on the back, have a brew, and make a new one from what is left on the master copy. New tasks should go on to the master list first and not jump the queue on to the list of things you are currently focused on.
Trust in your people
Chances are that as a team leader, manager or company director you end up being involved in all sorts of things that you probably needn’t be. Trust in your staff and give them the responsibility to deal with the things they are capable of. This means reducing the number of sign-offs you have to give, allowing supervisors to authorise refunds, giving service agents access to (and guidance on) company reports so they can speak to customers directly, and so on. Your employees are there to work – let them get on with it so you can get on with the things that really are tasks only you can do.
Date: 11th June 2014 | Category: Productivity