The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Being More Productive In 2018
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Are you one of those people who hate productivity tips? Does the very mention of a weekly planner, and no-phone zone make you want to run? You are not alone. The reason so many people write about productivity tips is because, many of us do not use productivity tips. We know what they are. We can recite them to you. We may even use one or two when we are training or scold a new employee. But, many of us do not use standard productivity steps and probably never will.
We are good at what we do. We know what it takes to get our job done. If we were forced to, we might be able to identify the steps we take to get the desired results. But, we probably won’t, because we are too busy doing them to talk about them.
Finding your flow
You do not have to be like anyone else in your productivity. However, you do have to discover what makes them work if you ever want to grow and develop into deeper and more demanding positions. So, how do you start?
Listen to your body
When do you feel you are in the groove? When do you feel like you are getting things done? What is going on around you? The fact is, everyone has productive periods of time in their workday. If they didn’t, they would be unemployed. What gets you going?
Sometimes, to find out what gets us motivated, we have to identify what stops us. What frustrates you and slows you down.
Here is an example that might help:
Every Friday, Bob must turn in a report on the inventory used in his sales department. He must turn it in at the lunch meeting which happens at noon. Bob goes in on Friday morning determined to have his report ready by 11. This would be easy to do if all the inventory was billed on time, or if the equipment was received and processed on time, or if the computer never went down. Bob is a great manager Monday through Thursday. But on Friday he is unapproachable. He is frustrated and short tempered. By the time he goes to his lunch meeting, his stomach is tied in knots. Bot accomplishes nothing else the rest of the day. His entire Friday is shot.
Bob must identify the skills he uses Monday through Thursday and incorporate them into a system that makes his Friday so frustrating. The bottom line is, if it doesn’t work, do it differently until it does.
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Break it up
Once Bob finds a way that works, he needs to ensure he can stay motivated until it becomes a habit. Some people find walking around the building or stepping outside for a few minutes is all the break they need to keep them moving and productive.
Bob is in management and a manager cannot always go out for a walk around the block. Ib Bob’s case, he uses his love for coffee as a treat and breaking point twice a day. Bob orders the 10 best coffee beans by Home Grounds and keeps a French Press coffee maker in his office. Before frustration sets in, he takes a couple of minutes to brew himself a fresh coffee. The smell makes him feel good and the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee is a small price for an entire Friday without the frustration of his noon meeting.
What it all comes down to is this. Focus more on the work and less on the process. If it doesn’t motivate you, it’s not for you. If it doesn’t make you feel better about your job, try something else. You can spend all day making to-do lists or entering meeting dates in your planner. At the end of the day you have a great list, but you have done none of the items on it.