Chasing Productivity: Four Keys To Help You Get Stuff Done Efficiently
Productivity: the buzziest of business buzz words. Whether we’re awesome at getting things done, or struggle to maintain consistency in the day to day, we all feel the pressure to be productive at work. (And obviously –– we should be productive: if we’re not actually working at work, we’re not adding value to our organizations, and our jobs and future growth become compromised).
So… how do you get things done? How do you figure out when to work on which tasks, and how to keep progress moving? Are you a methodical checklist addict or a free-flowing easy-going figure it out on the fly kinda guy? Though we all would likely answer these questions differently, we too often lack intention as we plan for productivity. As the saying goes: those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Though planning each task via check lists may not be for everyone, we have found that the most efficient and effective projects consider four key ingredients for maximizing productivity: focus, collaboration, learning, and socializing.
Key One: Focus
Focus can be elusive, especially with all our modern-day distractions. We all have natural times of day when our energy is highest and we’re most able to hone in on the task at hand. Some people are the rise and shine morning type who can be immediately functioning at their peak energy levels. For others, their creative juices don’t start flowing until the evening when everything else is calmed down. No matter your preference, its best not to force it. Your focus time is valuable and there is only so much of it available before your mind will begin to wander.
Key Two: Collaboration
Combining two disparate ideas allows for innovation and ingenuity. If you stay in a silo, your line of thinking will seldom change. When you get the right spark from another person and you combine ideas, new and previously untested solutions can emerge. Great thinkers are inspired by other great thinkers. Challenge each other to combine lines of thought in a way that no one else is, and watch your progress and productivity soar.
Key Three: Learning
Possibly the most underrated of the components of productivity is continual learning. We don’t already know everything that we need to know to be at our most productive. That’s because the landscape is constantly evolving and leaning exclusively on skills learned ten years ago will make us irrelevant and out of touch. As we learn new approaches, skills, and information, our minds are refreshed and we can bring a new level of energy and excitement to our everyday tasks. Learning should be done in a thoughtful approach using online courses or skilled teachers that know how to teach and where the gaps in knowledge typically exist. Don’t give in to the fallacy of thinking you know everything you need to know. You will find that not to be the case...before you know it.
Key Four: Socializing
Free flowing conversations come easily to some and not as much to others. But the connection you develop in a conversation is invaluable for all as essential relationships are developing within your team. Put your authentic self out there and you will attract others of similar mindsets. Learning (and sometimes caring) about others will open up a deeper level of understanding about other’s priorities to help make your work together more enjoyable and productive. On another level, socializing connects you with others outside of your day to day work activities. These loose ties will expand your network and with enough time, you will develop a a strong web of people to rely on for both business and pleasure.
Putting it all Together
The approach taken to get things done should vary depending on the task at hand. Each project brings an opportunity to combine strong focus, learning, collaboration, and socializing together in unique ways. As you grow more aware of these core tenants of productivity, you’ll be able to continually tune into the balance that’s most effective for your needs, helping you to be more productive!