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10 Simple Productivity Tips To Organize Your Work Life

10 Simple Productivity Tips To Organize Your Work Life

Have you ever come home late, exhausted and tired after spending your whole day at work, but when you asked yourself what was the result of your day, you didn’t have an answer? You just feel like your productivity was around zero.

If so, ask yourself this: Was that day all about checking your emails, answering the phone, and spending time in marathon meetings? Such situations can happen often in this fast-paced world. It is so full of different distractions. This is why we must take care of our productivity.

Productivity is not about working more. It is just the opposite: working less, in less time, with more effect.

Time

Organizing your time is the first crucial step to take in order to boost your productivity. Using your time wisely means that you have time for work, leisure, along with also having time for your family and friends.

At the end of the day, we all have 24 hours in each day. It is up to you how you are going to use them.

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1. “Eat that frog”

“Eat that frog!” simply means you do your most important task first. After completing your most important task, you will fill fulfilled and satisfied for the rest of the day.

By practicing this habit, you will also avoid one of the biggest enemies of productivity — procrastination.

2. Put time limits on your work

No matter what I do, whether writing an article, shooting a video, or working on a marketing campaign, I always put a time limit on my work. That means that I decide in advance how much time I am going spend writing an article: I set it to a certain number of hours and not a minute more.

If you want to increase your productivity before you start writing a letter to your customer or learning online skills or any new task you start, put a time limit on your work. You will see how effective you will become after setting a specific amount of time to do the job.

3. Break your work down into sessions

Your brain and your body are impressive machines — but don’t overuse them. Studies show that your brain’s effectiveness significantly decreases after 45 minutes. Make a habit of having five- or ten-minute breaks every 45 minutes. Stretch your body and allow your brain to regenerate. Doing so will help you to start each hour fresh and increase your productivity.

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Space

There are many studies that show how the right lighting, the right temperature, and a clean workplace affect your productivity. But don’t limit your thinking just to your physical space. Think of space as your entire working environment, including your virtual space.

4. Don’t be addicted to your mailbox

Checking your mailbox every 30 minutes or setting an automated email checker makes you completely reactive — as opposed to being proactive — and thus significantly decreases your productivity.

Tomorrow, when you go to work, resist checking your email as the first thing you do in the morning. Instead, work on your most important task first. After that, you have plenty of time to do all the little things.

5. Write it down

What I learned from reading the biography of Sir Richard Branson years ago is that he always carries an old-fashioned paper notebook with him. Why is this habit so beneficial and why it can greatly affect your productivity? When a new idea pops into your mind, you can quickly write it down in your notebook.

So, write those ideas down in your paper notebook. That means all of your ideas — otherwise you will just forget them (yes, your smartphone will also get the job done). These little ideas can make a big difference in your work.

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6. Choose five priorities each day (and no more)

Multitasking is another thing which can greatly decrease your productivity. The best way to avoid it is to choose only five priorities each day and stick to them strictly. This will make you a proactive person — you won’t be distracted by 100 other “urgent” things.

Mindset

Your mindset can do wonders for your productivity. With the right mindset, you just know what’s the right thing to do and what has the best effect on your life. Mindset can have the biggest impact on your productivity, so it is well worth working on.

7. Use affirmations

Actually, we all use affirmations all the time. Different thoughts are crossing our minds constantly. The question is: are you using positive ones?

Start telling yourself things like: “I am successful,” or  “I attract ______________ (insert whatever it is that you are dreaming of).” Use these affirmations first thing when you wake up and repeat them throughout the day. They will affect your confidence — the more confident you are, the more effective you are.

8. Imagine your end result

Before you start your workday, don’t just rush into your work. First, imagine the end result you wish to have. By doing this, you will tap into your subconscious strength and empower your productivity.

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9. Read inspirational books

Inspiration is food for your mind. Just as you shower every day to cleanse your body, you should shower your soul with inspiration every day. Read inspirational books, watch inspirational videos, and listen to inspirational audio. When you are inspired, you work with an ease and your productivity will rise substantially.

10. Think good thoughts before you go to sleep

I am sure you have already experienced having bad dreams after watching a horror movie before you went to sleep. Why? Because your subconscious mind is very receptive to your thoughts in the last 45 minutes before you go to sleep.

So, before you go to sleep, think of your next day’s goals, your life dreams, or read a good motivational book. In that way, you will fill your subconsciousness with positive thoughts. Your subconscious will reciprocate by helping you to have increased productivity.

Featured photo credit: Steve wilson via flickr.com

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Bo Nardin

Bo Nardin is an online entrepreneur taking the idea 'Turn your passion into a profession' online.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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