Increase Your Productivity

Stephen Covey literally wrote the book on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  And while that’s all well and good, author Ilya Pozin offered a more truncated version in her article entitled “7 Things Highly Productive People Do,” after consulting with Tony Wong, self-proclaimed project management blackbelt who boasts such clients as Toyota, Honda and Disney.

Here we share 5 of their seven tips in increasing productivity in the workplace:

1. Stop multitasking.  In a recent Tax Tips article we shared valuable time-management techniques, one of which was to avoid multitasking.  While many of us may still be under the impression that multitasking is a good thing, the truth is when you split your attention amongst many tasks, you don’t do any of them very well.  Focus, instead, on doing one task, completing it in less time and with greater accuracy.

2. Schedule email.  We can waste a lot of time throughout the day in regularly checking our email.  Instead, limit yourself to reading and responding to email once or twice a day, reserving the remaining work hours for other important tasks.

3. Control your agenda.  Don’t let the day get away from you before you’ve had the chance to prioritize and schedule those most important tasks and projects that need your current focus. That way you ensure that you’re not only productive but responsible, completing those jobs that are most pressing.

 4. Work backwards from goals to milestones to tasks.  Pozin explains when tackling a big project, “Break down the work into smaller and smaller chunks until you have specific tasks that can be accomplished in a few hours or less.  …That’s how you set goals and actually succeed in crossing them off your list.”

5. Work in 60 to 90 minute intervals.  Studies show that your brain functions best when working for 60 to 90 minutes at a time.  Any longer and your brain’s not functioning at top capacity. This is why it’s important to take regular breaks, even if just for 10 minutes.  While it may extend your work day, it will also extend your productivity.

Increasing productivity leads to greater profitability.  If you want to accomplish more in less time, implementing these 5 tips will definitely help.  And your business will ultimately flourish in the end.

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Pozin, Ilya.  “7 Things Highly Productive People Do.”  13 December 2011