The positive impact on profitability of even a small increase in productivity can be significant. Here are some tips that you can use and share with your staff and/or co-workers that will increase productivity:
APEM. We should approach every problem and opportunity with the same four step process: Analyze, Plan, Execute, Measure. Too often, we jump to step three and start to execute without proper analysis or planning and we frequently don’t take the time to measure the results.
Goal Setting. Set reasonable stretch goals for all projects.
Meetings. We all have more meetings than we need. They frequently take too long and don’t accomplish as much as they should. For suggestions on improving meeting productivity, please click on the following link: Achieve Productive Meetings.
Unproductive activities. Eliminate unproductive activities. Ask yourself if what you are doing is actually productive. For example, if the objective is to make a sale, will what you are doing advance the sale?
Prioritize. Most of us have more than enough to do. Make a list of all of your tasks, sort them by priority and work on the high priority tasks first. Of course, the list will change as new, important tasks are added and priorities change.
Prepare for tomorrow today. Prepare an agenda, based on the tasks that must be addressed tomorrow. This will only take five or ten minutes and will make a big difference in productivity. Agendas should be reviewed at the beginning of each day and several times during the day.
Reduce distractions. This includes visitors, phone calls, and email notifications. Avoid stopping in the middle of one task and starting another. Respond to emails in batches. If visitors stop by and ask “if you have a minute” when you are in the middle of a project, politely tell them that you will get back to them. Stopping a task, starting another one and returning to the original task requires us to retrace our steps or even start over and significantly detracts from productivity.
Delegate. If you are in a position to delegate, do so! However, remember that delegation requires providing clear direction, follow-up, and sometimes assistance.
Reward. When a goal is achieved say “thank you”, or “nice job”. If the achievement is by members of your staff, treat them to lunch.
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