We all have a set number of hours in a day, with multiple demands always competing for our attention. How do we maximize efficiency & productivity? This is a MAJOR issue with most leaders who are chasing way too many relationships, company tasks, opportunities, and requirements.
Productivity is essential for health and happiness because it allows leaders to get off the constantly running treadmill and incorporate downtime for rest. “Busy” often has a way of looking like “Productive.”
Peak Productivity Results from the successful integration of three things:
1: Time Management
2: Energy Management
• Say NO. No is a complete sentence. Limit volunteering. Say no to lunch and coffee appointments. Offer a 15-minute skype session/Google hangout instead.
• Make decisions quickly – avoid ANALYSIS PARALYSIS. I’m setting up a media studio in my home for the weekly video tapings I am launching in June, and for my podcast show (summer launch planned). The amount of information available on equipment is overwhelming. I am keeping a narrow focus and working from a checklist to get what I need, and actually MOVE FORWARD rather than getting caught up in a never-ending swirl of decision making.
• Set an agenda for every meeting to make the time together meaningful and effective. If someone can’t identify three desired outcomes for your time together, don’t meet with them. This goes for 5-minute meetings, 15-minute meetings, or 50-minute meetings.
• Set time limits on things that can drag you down a rabbit hole (research, new ideas, networking events). Create a time budget for new activities you are going to explore.
• If possible, bundle your commitments/appointments to get the most “mileage” out of driving. Do not drive 45 minutes each way for one appointment.
• Put boundaries in place with people/activities/groups to allow downtime.
• Don’t reinvent the wheel – leverage things you have already done or created and build upon them. Creation of original content is great, but it’s time-consuming and expensive. Determine when it makes sense, based on your desired outcome.
• Be OK with “good enough.” Perfection” is the enemy of “good enough.” People get sucked into the fantasy of needing things to be perfect. This becomes the enemy of productivity AND execution. The goal is to FINISH…not complete it 99%.
• Delegate. Working on the wrong things sucks time, money and energy, and puts us in a position of not working from our strengths.
• Become aware of your own energy and work with it. Know when you are most productive to handle specific tasks. Some tasks take more mental energy than others, so knowing your own energy rhythm is necessary for peak productivity.
• Become aware of other people’s energy and distance yourself from negativity. Everyone projects energy. Protect your own energy by being cognizant of the energy of other people.
• If you can’t distance yourself, create mental barriers. Know your triggers. Do not allow yourself to be dragged down. Some people are like energy tornadoes; they suck you in. It is not your job to fix everyone else’s problems.
• Become aware of the impact other people’s drama has on you and do not engage. You can say NO when others try to bring you in. We can help others without becoming a drama victim.
• SINGLE-task. Itemize your priorities according to the criteria that works for you (time needed; deadline to be made; money spent; money made; ROI, etc.) and only work on the top few – sometimes only one, depending on the size of it. That’s it. You will get more done, more quickly, with better quality, with much less stress.
Other Important Tools/Strategy for Peak Productivity
Here are a few more tricks to tap into your Peak Productivity:
• Practice a mindset of achievement and productivity. There are no excuses for not producing.
• Build a mindset of resilience. Do not let fear or setbacks derail you.
• Start the day in a positive place. Develop habits and own that time.
Goal Setting & Accountability
• Create realistic goals.
• Create an accountability partnership with someone who is in a similar place that you are.
Your Circle of Influence
• Who is around you? What is their daily pace? We run at the pace of our peers. When people exercise, they train with people on their level. It’s the same philosophy with our work pace.
• This is also a cultural issue in organizations. The CEO sets the pace. We are the people that surround us. When hiring employees, does their pace match the organizational pace?
• Technology apps that streamline your most common tasks are essential for productivity. You can now accomplish almost everything you do at your desk with a mobile app.
• Scent/candles: Cinnamon and Citrus stimulate limbic system in the brain and make us more focused.
• Music: Focus music proven to stimulate the limbic system too for enhanced concentration (Spotify and Focus@Will)
• Physical care: Mind, body and spirit. All three need care & feeding on a daily basis.
For specific tips on neutralizing the effect that toxic behavior has on you, read my blog, Six Strategies for Containing Workplace Behavior.
For more insight on my Peak Productivity tips, visit Washington Business Report’s website to view my regular monthly appearance. My March segment focused on Peak Productivity.
If you would like to discuss how the Successful Culture Prioritization tools can work for you, email me at [email protected]. We can set up a Skype chat to discuss how my TransformU tools can move you past your blocks and onto your next level of growth.
Sign up to receive Successful Culture’s leadership blog every Friday. All posts contain actionable content to make you the best leader you can be, to help you develop your people to their greatest potential, and to help you build your best organization.
About Successful Culture
We work with business owners, CEOs, and leadership teams that want to achieve their greatest personal & organizational potential. Through coaching, strategic consulting, retreat facilitation, and workshops, we equip leaders & emerging leaders with the mindset, tools, strategies, and processes they need to excel.
Ready to move forward? Email us today at [email protected].
CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”