Advertising
Advertising

7 Strange BUT Super Easy Ways to Boost Productivity

7 Strange BUT Super Easy Ways to Boost Productivity

It seems kind of obvious that to increase productivity, you want to get more done in less time so you search for the most logical and easy to adopt solutions, the reality is that these don’t always bring about the results you desire. And let’s be honest, some of the advice is just damn boring and completely unmotivating. Understandable why there are thousands of people stuck between ‘wanting to be productive’ and actually ‘being productive’, they just haven’t found something that resonates with them.

You can be more productive in growing your career prospects, starting a business or creating a new routine, in anything you want, but the underlying principles remain the same – achieving more in months than you would normally in years. If you haven’t found any tips and techniques that resonate with you, don’t give up on being more productive just yet. Here are 7 strange but proven and powerful ways to boost your productivity and get more done now.

Advertising

Give up motivation

Zen Buddhism influenced Shoma Morita; a famous Japanese psychiatrist suggests you give up on the idea of feeling productive or getting motivated before doing great work. He charges you to do what needs to be done and stop looking for some external forces to accomplish your task. Forget the idea of motivation, the right time and so on and just start doing what you have to do. If you can challenge yourself to get things done, regardless of your motivation, you will double your output.

Find the right music

One thing that’s always worked well, is listening to music, and this is backed by a study from Dr. Teresa Lesiuk. It found that when professionals listen to music, they can increase productivity. Do you know why that is? Playing your favorite music increases your vibration and creates the energy to do more. There’s also my favorite website – focus@will which puts you into the right frequency to stay focused. Music doesn’t need to be distracting, if you find the right type.

Advertising

Turn up the heat

Research says a drop in body temperature creates a drop in productivity? Yes, that is it! Studies confirmed that when body temperature drops, the body directs more energy to keep itself warm. With more energy expended in keeping warm, there is less for work. If your office is too cold, it’s time to turn on the heater and increase office temperature to get more work done. However, when you wake up in the morning, have a colder shower, if the shower is too warm, it makes you feel lazy and want to climb straight back into bed – be careful!

Schedule according to energy – not importance

This is not to say that you mustn’t prioritize what is important, but when you are scheduling your agenda, don’t schedule based purely on importance, also factor in your energy levels. How energetic are you in the morning? At mid-day and in the afternoon? Look at the task at hand and ask yourself what energy do you need to have to perform this task as productively as possible and then schedule according to that. What you don’t want to do is set all your hard tasks for the morning if you know you don’t have the energy you need to tackle them first then, because you will most likely end up procrastinating or taking too long.

Advertising

Don’t be too serious!

Nobody feels like being productive if they are in a bad mood! In an atmosphere of laughter, humor and playfulness, your energy increases and you get more accomplished! What is your environment like? Even though work is professional, it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! In fact, it should be. If you have fun and enjoy what you are doing, you will be far more productive. Look at ways to make your job more fun, what can you change about your environment or yourself?

Fire your memory

Trusting your memory may affect your productivity. It affects your ability to manage your time because your memory does fail to remember everything. That is the idea here. Get your phone; let it do the remembering for you, it won’t forget! The less ‘things’ you have going on in your mind, the more energy and space you free up to focus on more important things. Get a system of tools which allow you to easily set and be reminded too effortlessly.

Advertising

Work where you want

Productivity starts with you being in the driver’s seat of your life – at every moment. This means that you open up so many more choices of what is possible, and the first one is: work where you want to. When you are at gym – you could listen to a podcast that helps you grow in your business for example or while commuting.

Use your smartphone for what it is for; make sure you have all the apps you need; get a program that allows you to access your files on your computer from anywhere. If you look at any free time as an opportunity to get more done and set up systems so it’s easy – you move away from the black and white thinking of Monday to Friday working hours and you will quickly experience the benefits.

You don’t need to wake up super early, be glued to your desk for hours and kiss your social life goodbye to achieve more. The secret to being more productive is all about doing things smarter, not harder. How you manage your time determines what you will and will not achieve in a day.  Life is meant to be fun, in every area – so have fun increasing your productivity too – it’s not a one-size fits all approach!

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

4 Reasons Why You Can’t Achieve Your Goals How to Be More Productive: 4 Tiny Tweaks to Make 10 Negative Thoughts We All Have and What to Think Instead 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated) 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Trending in Productivity

1 4 Effective Ways To Collaborate With Your Team 2 Why Your Habits Hinder You From Reaching Your Goals 3 We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why? 4 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away 5 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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:

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    More Productivity Tips

    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next