“I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
We all like this word; we all use this word; and it’s pleasant to hear and read.
Did you also know that it’s one of the most googled words?
But what does it mean?
Success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, and it can also be considered the attainment of fame or wealth.
We all want to accomplish our goals, we all want to attain wealth and many of us dream of attaining fame. But what keeps us from it? What blocks our path to success? And most importantly, what is the secret key to success?
The Big Mistakes
“I definitely would never go back to my 20s. The best is yet to come.”- Celine Dion
Sometimes it happens that, after months or years of efforts and work, we give up- just because we can’t see results.
We feel discouraged, because we compare our present to our past and we make the common mistake of believing that we cannot achieve the same success that we previously achieved, maybe because then we were younger, smarter, or luckier. Not only is this a common mistake, but also a colossal and naive one.
Now, after years of work and achievements, we have more experience, and as a result, more tools to help us to successfully reach our goals. Because of this, thinking that the best has come already is a limiting belief, something we are convinced of that hampers our ability to seize opportunities to succeed again and again in life.
Another very common mistake is deciding to give up when success is right around the corner, because we are exhausted. In doing so, we lose all we were about to achieve. It’s like digging a hole for hours to find treasure, and giving up just two or three inches before reaching it, because we are impatient and believed we would not find it there.
Remember that real success takes time, and sometimes it includes feelings of failure as well.
This is why I want you to understand that the key to success is tenacity, because you can accomplish whatever you want, if you are committed to your goal.Advertising
“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan
If you believe that the best things in your life are in your past, and that happiness and success will never come back, you are sabotaging your present and unavoidably your future.
You have to be careful with this kind of mental behavior because it may prevent you from succeeding in many areas of your life, such as relationships and career- and it may be the cause of low self-esteem and poor life satisfaction.
Never give up just because you don’t see any immediate results; if you make this mistake, you will regret it in the future.
What Can I Do?
Some Practical Tips
To prevent such a mechanism impairing your life, you must convince yourself that the best has yet to come and that you can still accomplish a lot in your life.
In other words, in order to stop these self-sabotaging thought patterns, you have to follow some very simple steps.
First of all, what you need to do is take a piece of paper and divide it into two parts. Second, write down the negative beliefs that you think are obstructing your success in the first section.
Then, in the other section, identify the things that you want and can achieve- the things that would make you the happiest person on earth.
Then, use the power of the dreams that you want to realize, to prove to yourself that your limiting beliefs are affecting your life, and start working hard to reach your goals.
Believe that the best has yet to come, learn to be patient, and succeeding will be easier.
This way you will feel more satisfied, and the most interesting thing is that you will find yourself working even harder for your success.Advertising
“Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. He will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process.” – Sai Baba
Successful People You Should Emulate
“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” – Louis Pasteur
Did you know that a man called Henry Ford failed five times before founding Ford Motor Company? Yes, you read correctly, he failed five times, but he was determined and believed that he could succeed, so he tried again.
Have you ever heard of an engineer who had an unsuccessful job interview with Toyota, and started his own business? His name was Soichiro Honda, and he was the creator of the billion-dollar business, Honda.
Did you know that before he became famous, Walt Disney was working for a newspaper and lost his job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas”?
Also, many years ago, a secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it. The person who was trying to sell this recipe was Colonel Sanders, the creator of KFC.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
What do those people have in common?
Well, the answer is very simple: they didn’t let anything discourage them, and they persisted in what they were doing.
They knew pretty well what the key to success was. They knew that real success needs time, and sacrifice, and it doesn’t come overnight.
Those people kept believing that the best was yet to come.
“I’m excited about what the future will bring and I think the best is yet to come.” – Alonzo Mourning
Image: Anthony QuintanoAdvertising
Featured photo credit: Paul Bica via flickr.com
Last Updated on January 6, 2021
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 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.
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.
More Productivity Tips
- 50 Ways to Increase Productivity and Achieve More in Less Time
- 35 Quick and Simple Tips for Better Productivity
- 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People
Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com
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