Productivity is a measure of efficiency of a person, machine or an organization in completing a particular undertaking by converting inputs into useful outputs. It is measured by diving average output per period by the total cost incurred or resources consumed in that period.
Strategies of optimal productivity
Eliminate time wasting activities.
Having an organized plan of the tasks beforehand will give you an overview of your working schedule, with this you have no time to indulge in an activity that will consume your time for the planned tasks. This can be a weekly or a daily plan.
The Ivy Lee Method.
In this method Ivy Lee advocates for doing the important things first. He gives a daily routine of achieving productivity:-
- At the end of a day, write a list of 6 tasks that you need to do the following day.
- Prioritize the 6 items in order of importance.
- Concentrate on the first task till completion and continue to the next task.
- Move any unfinished task to the next day list of task.
- Continue using this process in your daily routine.
The 15-minutes routine used by Anthony Trollope
Antony used a 15 minute routine of writing 250 words to measure his progress in writing his books. In this routine he is able to measure his productivity by seeing the progress he has made after every 15 minutes. With this strategy, measuring small progress is helpful when working on long term or time consuming tasks as it helps to maintain momentum.
The logic behind is that when working on large task the faster we get feedback that we are doing the right thing the likely it is that we will continue moving that way.
Ways to be more productive
On an individual level, there are simple ways to maintain your productivity. These are:-
- Manage your energy and not time – with different energy levels in the morning, afternoon and evening, determine what task each energy level or time of day are best suited at.
- Preparation to be done the night before – prepare a to-do list of the tasks for the next day before bed. This will save you time the following day
- Check your mails after noon – spend the morning hours doing what is important and respond to emails later. No email can have an emergency issue that can’t wait for a few hours.
- Work in a cool place – a hot place will make you feel sluggish and bored. Cool temperatures provides a working area where you can focus your mind and body.
- Sit up or stand – when sitting up straight or standing you will find that you are able to breathe more fully and easy. As a result, your mind gets more oxygen and thus you are able to concentrate better.
- Developing a pre-game routine to start your day- this involves having a particular thing you do in the morning e.g taking a cold glass of water. This acts as a signal to the brain that it is time to get to work mode to accomplish your tasks. A pre-game routine eliminates the chances of lacking motivation before starting the day.
“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow”
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