Tips to Increase Personal and Team Productivity Exponentially
If you know anything about pop culture, you might remember the artist Usher as a judge on the television show “The Voice,” using the catchphrase “Teamwork makes the dream work.”
While yes, it is catchy, he’s not wrong. A skilled, streamlined, united team is crucial to running anything successfully, whether it’s a sports team, a vocal team, or a business team. The key to achieving such greatness means that not only do you need experienced team workers; you need to operate at a high level of productivity.
However, productivity can be a hairy beast. Every business knows they need to increase productivity somehow to truly succeed, but many don’t know how to go about it.
To help, we’ve compiled a few tips on boosting both your own personal productivity, as well as that of your team. Put just one of these into play (or even better, all of them), and before you know it, your whole crew will be moving in productive tandem like a well-oiled machine.
There are many ways to be distracted while working, but one of the biggest in today’s culture is through technology. While tech can be wonderful in many respects, there are a lot of ways it can be a time suck. Think unnecessary emails, mindless browsing on social media, covert texting, tools crashing requiring a re-do of hours of work. It can be exhausting.
One way to help reduce some of these distractions is to ask your team to keep their phones put away during work time and schedule regular breaks where they can check them later if they want. Keep your phone on silent, too, and disable notifications on things like email and social media. That way, when you’re working, you can give it your full focus. Schedule things like checking email for later in the day, after your money-making activities are complete.
Work in Time Blocks
Another great productivity booster is to work in time blocks. Time blocks are slots of time where you batch similar tasks together. For instance, maybe Monday and Wednesday afternoons are blocked out for meetings, while Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are blocked out for administrative duties.
Perhaps you allocate Friday as accounting day. You can also time block by setting aside mornings for your most important—read, money-making—tasks or activities that require creativity and deep thought and scheduling less brain-intensive tasks like responding to calls and emails or performing administrative duties for later in the day.
Figure out what sort of time blocks work best for you and your team and map them out in 90-minute increments. Schedule short, regular breaks in between each time block, and take longer breaks every other 90-minute cycle. Also, don’t forget to break for lunch. No one can focus well when they’re hungry!
Tackle the Beast First
You know it, and we know it. There’s always at least one task that seems too overwhelming to face, but it has to be done. Tasks like this you need to tackle first thing in the morning before anything else. Avoiding or procrastinating on them only makes the day more stressful and less productive.
Brian Tracy calls this technique, “Eat That Frog.” By tackling your biggest challenge of the day and getting it off your plate, everything else that comes after will seem like a cakewalk. Master this skill, and not only will you increase your productivity exponentially, if you train your team to work this way too, but your business will also thrive.
Skip the Multitasking
There has been much fuss made over the years about multitasking. Many people even boast about what great multitaskers they are. However, these multitaskers are lying to themselves. The reality is, you weren’t created to multitask. No one is good at it, no matter how much they tell themselves they are.
Not only does multitasking split your focus, but it also drains your mental resources and brings on brain drain sooner rather than later. There’s a reason high-level execs reduce the number of small decisions they have to make, even down to dressing in the same apparel each day.
Decision fatigue is a real thing, and multitasking requires you to make more than one decision at once. By focusing on one task at a time, you can give it your full attention and best effort, and when that task is done, you can move on to the next. Not only does your productivity increase, but you will be less worn out by the end of your workday and feel a higher sense of satisfaction in a job well done.
Productivity is the holy grail that many an entrepreneur and business owner chase. There’s simply no way to cover all the many hacks to help increase it in one post.
However, by making just a few small tweaks to your daily work habits, like the ones suggested here, you can see measurable gains in both personal productivity and the productivity within your team.