A recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor confirms what many of us already suspect. Employee productivity is on the decline, with increases in email to respond to, web surfing, daily meetings, and poor management partly to blame (though meetings and idea sharing, while not productive per se, can and often do yield positive benefits). Many leaders and managers similarly are also not as productive as they once were.
Let’s be honest. Staying productive can be tough, especially for folks who need to use their minds (to manage others, plan and be strategic, produce content, develop code, solve problems, coach, etc.) and/or pound the pavement to generate sales or other deliverables.
To help us become more productive, and to make the list more memorable, I compiled a list of “s” productivity pointers with the help of some of my LinkedIn connections. They are in no particular order.
1) Stop—This may seem to be the exact opposite of productivity. But if we want to get lots done, we need to stop and reflect on such questions as: what we’re here to achieve, how best to get things done, why this work is important, and how to do it in a way that take maximum advantage of our strengths and abilities.
2) Set goals—After all, it’s hard to get things done if you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve or how you’ll achieve it.
3) Segment and (s)elebrate—Break down your goals into smaller bite-size goals. Doing it means that we are accomplishing more tasks, which helps build momentum. Celebrating small victories gives you the fortitude to keep plugging away.
4) Simplify—The simpler and less complex something is, the easier it is to accomplish.
5) (Get) Serious—Hold yourself or, better, find someone else to hold you accountable to those goals.
6) Schedule, schedule, schedule—Forget to-do lists. Instead, block out time to do the tasks that will help you complete your goals.
7) Strategize—Review your tasks and schedule them based on such things as difficulty (to do when you’re freshest), client availability (such as the salesperson’s “golden hours”) and monotony (at the end of the day or over lunch).
8) Snooze (your devices)—Block out time for email, social media posting and other non-critical tech tasks so that you can be fully present for what you need to do.
9) Smile—It has a ripple effect, and positivity energizes everyone!
10) Stretch—Take a few minutes each hour to get up, walk around, stretch, exercise, etc. Anything to get your blood flowing, relax your mind and re-energize.
11) Snack—Snack on fruit, vegetables and other high-energy, low-fat snacks instead of sugary, chemical-laden ones so that your body has energy to do what you’ve set out to do.
12) Sleep—Sleep is super important and often not valued enough in our hectic, multitasking-is-king world.
13) Self-Care—Especially when we are committed to both family and work, this can get taken for granted.
Have any more “s” productivity ideas? Email me at [email protected] and/or tweet them to @impactfulcoach.
By Rabbi Dr. Naphtali Hoff
Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching & Consulting. For a free no-obligation consultation, please call 212.470.6139 or email [email protected] Check out his new leadership book, “Becoming the New Boss,” on Amazon. Download his free eBook for understaffed leaders at ImpactfulCoaching.com/EPIC.