Productivity is the ratio of output over input, Output over input is how to measure productivity, just as production is defined by goods and services created in each period of time.
The critical difference of these two productivity and production concepts, though are their respective qualities: while “quantity” may be an indicator for how efficient your business has been with its resources (time), this does not determine whether it was successful; quality must always come first!
What does your day look like? If you’re a busy CEO or business owner, the answer is likely three hours of necessary tasks getting done. But for most people their work week includes many distractions from email inboxes to meetings and everything in between–and when we account for these things only two or three hours get accomplished on task each week!
That may not seem very productive; it doesn’t feel good at all knowing how little progress has been made. So, what should someone do who feels overwhelmed with responsibilities? It sounds counterintuitive but there are ways out.
Make The Most of Meetings
You can’t deny the time-suck that happens with every meeting. It’s easy to see where all those minutes go when you think about it, right? Well don’t worry – there are ways of making sure your meetings only take up as much precious space as necessary without feeling like an hour-long cattle call!
It is often the case that meetings are an essential part of any business’s daily operations. But if you’re looking to avoid them, there are other ways for your message or information to be shared instead. You could email it out with all relevant attachments and get someone else on board (like a team member) who can host to not have too many cooks spoil this broth!
When setting up these events though make sure everyone has their specific purpose. Don’t invite people just because they show up on your doorstep and avoid those whose presence may distract from moving forward.
The best way to make sure you stay on schedule and achieve your objectives is by always beginning and ending with a clear agenda. This includes having an allotted amount of time for each topic as well as making certain each person is aware of their spelled out job responsibilities are from now on. This ensures that the meeting moves at an appropriate pace without any confusion or delay.
The Bottomless Email Pit
Email is a ubiquitous part of our contemporary culture. They come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing remains: they demand your attention!
It’s tough to find reliable statistics on how many emails an executive receives daily; let’s just call it hundreds for now…but there are ways around this problem if you break free from the noise. Email management tools will help automate responses so that when something pops up unexpectedly (like those pesky ‘constructive’ feedback requests), nothing slips through the cracks because everything has been set out ahead-of time with instructions about what needs doing.
Every day when you get to your inbox, be brutal. Triage those inbound messages with Merlin Mann’s “Inbox Zero” strategy – it shouldn’t substitute for the list of things left undone, but staring at them will surely sap your productivity!
Instead of letting these electronic missives linger or reading them without action taking, there are five quick actions you can take to sort through them quickly: delete, delegate, respond, defer, or do.
1) Delete what you can first to clear out the clutter.
2) Forward anything that is too big, long-term projects and responsibilities onto others, so they don’t take over your day or burnout.
3) Reply back as quickly as possible in case it requires further interaction
4) Just do it!
Cleaning out an inbox will make waking up each morning much easier knowing there isn’t any unnecessary stress hanging around waiting for us.
Don’t Forget Your Trusty To Do List
You know the feeling when you start to do something and then get distracted? It can be hard not to give up on an unfinished task. Well, now there’s research that might help with this conundrum!
The Zeigarnik effect was discovered by Soviet psychologist Bluma Zygmunt in 1932. According to his theory – which has been backed up since – people generally recall tasks that were not finished and ones that were stopped mid-stream more readily than finished tasks. When done well a to-do list can be a greaty ally. Corporate execitives derive great satisfaction from and tranquor tranquilizing in a hectic workday than drawing a firm line through completed tasks and crossing them off without hesitation – especially when you know how much they mattered! But if this doesn’t sound like something for which YOU are qualified (or even interested), then feel free to explore other options.
Some of the most productive people in today’s world are those who avoid paper trails, and that includes executives. The best way for these modern-day business professionals to stay on top things. Try out productivity apps like Quantime, Notion, Todoist or Airtable.
These virtual friends have features which let you set due dates as well as block off time from your calendar.
Did you know that the most important thing on your to-do list is not necessarily at the top? That’s right. It might be worth weighting some tasks higher than others and giving them clearer deadlines, so they don’t get lost among other things in a messy pile of work! Now with all these plans written down (or saved digitally), let us start making room for our magic day tomorrow morning by tidying up now.
Prioritizing Your Day
You are aware of the part of the day you are historically highly productive. Section off this time each day for pedal-to-the metal taking care of business! (Also make sure that lunchtime walk really takes advantage on increased energy and clarity.)
What will your first three things to tackle be? Choose tasks which are usually considered unimportant but might have greater urgency because they’re near deadlines or come with consequences if not completed promptly – this phenomenon is called the mere urgency effect.
And Now, The Challenges
It’s inevitable. You already know that the best-laid plans often go awry because things never go as expected. You’re bound to have some meetings run lover time, or an unexpected crisis pop up (whether major like a fire, or minor like running out of coffee).
But even more than these planned disruptions are tasks which take longer than anticipated so they end up eating away at your precious workday.
Flexibility and adaptability are useful, but there is one thing that will never change – your No. 1 priority output goal for the week should be set on Sunday night or Monday morning before you start work.
If it isn’t clear what this could mean in practice, then consider these examples: if someone has an important event during their family time; they might choose to make tea rather than watching TV because drinking takes less effort (and sometimes people need more breaks). Another consideration may include tradeoffs between spending quality time with loved ones versus working hard at our jobs.
Becoming a master of productivity is a lifelong pursuit. You might choose a goal-setting strategy called objectives and key results (OKR), which defines specific, time bound and measurable goals that align with your overall priorities. This is helpful because it shows you where to focus next. This is tracked week after week and routinely reviewed for progress against the benchmarks that have been set.
The Eisenhower matrix quadrant methodology is a great way to quickly recognize that what may be most urgent or important for you. It’s all about understanding which tasks are driving progress in your life and working on them as often as possible so they don’t get left behind.