What comes to mind when you think about productivity management? For most business productivity management is about quality, time and price and how to link productivity to an organization’s profitability. That is not what this article is about. This article is about how you can use productivity management for your goals.
Productivity management is about managing your time and energy in order to have the highest “return on investment”. If you are a writer you might experience times when you have no trouble writing page after page. On the other hand you will experience writer’s block from time to time and won’t be able to write a single page. Productivity management is about leveraging the extremely advantageous periods of time and making the most of them, and thus having the most return on investment. It also means that you should cut yourself some slack when you are not in the mood to write, in this case. Productivity management is about your natural rhythm and cycle.
Some people are more productive in the early morning, some are more productive in the afternoon. By knowing when you are most productive you can save your most important tasks for during these hours. When you start feeling weary during the afternoon, stretch your legs, grab a coffee and have a chat with a colleague. It is okay to have some unproductive time. In fact, it is necessary to rest so you can recharge.
If you don’t take breaks in between difficult tasks your mental fatigue will hold you back. Creativity and strategic thinking require that you rest from time to time. Managing your available time and energy are essential in getting things done and working towards your goals.
If you want to make sure you get your tasks done, without having to work overtime each day, it is time to do a 80/20 analysis. If you are unfamiliar with the 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto Rule, I suggest reading this Pareto Principle blogpost first.
What is the 20 percent of input that gives you an enormous output of 80 percent? During what times do you work on that small percentage that yields so much results?
Once you have found out what your highest leverage tasks are you should try and eliminate any “noise”. Being busy is not the same as being effective. Eliminate the non-essentials and cut the fat, so to speak. By eliminating non-essentials you create extra time to use on your highest leverage tasks. This helps you increase your output extremely. This will help reduce your workload while you still get the same results – or even better results!
Productivity management is not just about managing your time, it is also about managing your energy. It is best to combine the two. When you have tasks that require little energy and cost little time, you can do those when you are waiting for someone, or in between meetings. I suggest that you tackle your to-do list by making use of energy- and time-tags, and by differentiating between different levels of energy and time consumption. Even when you are feeling tired, you can get a lot done. Just don’t push yourself to do critical, high leverage tasks when you are tired.
Want to learn more about time management and how to apply it’s techniques? Download the free ebook “How to Become More Productive in Less Than 10 Minutes”.
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