What you need to do to be productive @ work...

To increase your productivity, you need to ‘be more productive’ and this means:

1. Get out of your own way

Behaviour is said to be self-sabotaging when it creates problems and interferes with long-standing goals. The most common self-sabotaging behaviour at work is Procrastination.

Not dealing with procrastination is a clear example of standing in your own way. Nobody else is going to suddenly make it go away; it will be there the next time you attempt to do whatever it is that you are procrastinating.

I’m interested in how we act on our intentions, so I focus a great deal of attention on volition. Volition is defined as an act of making a choice or decision. It’s the power of choice or what we think of as “will.” Put results before comfort, get out of your own way, and stop making excuses. Like Nike says, “just do it!”

2. Talk to yourself differently

Productive individuals think very differently than others. You need to challenge your thoughts and develop a productive mind-set. What is the main difference? A productive person doesn’t think along the lines of…

  • ‘Oh no, I have got so much to do. What am I going to do?’

  • ‘I am so stressed. I can’t think straight’

  • ‘I am so overwhelmed. I wish this…or that…’

But instead…

  • I need to do x and y. What is the best way for me to get everything done?

  • What is causing the stress? What needs to change so that I manage this situation better?

  • What can I do to improve this, considering the current circumstances?

The words and phrases you use immediately empower you or they don’t; they either make you feel better or more stressed. The words you use, ‘your self talk,’ is pivotal to everything in life, because you always act on them, whether they support you or not.

3. Adjust the suit to fit your body

Time management supports productivity; they go hand-in-hand. Most people often overlook the fact that time management is not a cookie cutter though, and what might suit you won’t necessarily work for your colleague or best friend.

You need to take the advice given from a meta view and then adjust it to your situation specifically. You can improve your time management skills by using a range of tools and techniques used to accomplish specific tasks, projects and goals. Some of the elements of effective time management include creating a productive environment, setting of priorities and reducing distractions.

If some tips and techniques don’t work for you, instead of throwing in the towel, find a way to adjust them to suit your situation. Otherwise, it is like wanting to get healthier but resisting a change in lifestyle. You can’t avoid it, so if you don’t like it, adjust it to suit your specific needs and make it work for you.

4. Identify your time thieves

The factors that take away some of the time at our disposal may be identified as the thieves of time:

  1. phone calls and distractions

  2. lack of goals, priorities, daily plans

  3. casual visitors (the myth of the open door) and unexpected ones

  4. ineffective delegation

  5. too many jobs at once

  6. full desk and personal disorganization

  7. inability to say no

  8. unfinished work and perfectionism

  9. delaying the most difficult works or unpleasant ones

  10. too long

  11. interviews or meetings.

If you try to study and apply different techniques, and you ignore your current thieves, the effort will remain fruitless. If you just aim to change one of your worst time management habits, you will change your results immediately. It will most likely also give you the impetus to change what else isn’t working, once you feel the reward of your efforts and you see the clear connection between what you do and what your reality is.

Think about one thing that if you changed right now, would have the biggest positive influence on your productivity. Write this down, think about what causes or contributes to this and what your solution will be moving forward.

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