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10 Effective Ways To Super Boost Your Productivity

10 Effective Ways To Super Boost Your Productivity

One of the best feelings certainly comes from accomplishing what you set out to do. Doesn’t it just feel so darn good to get things done and achieve more? Of course it does — it is inherent in us. The problem, however, is that we really aren’t as productive as we actually could be; most of us are way off, in fact.

The world is changing each day. Being more productive is not an option anymore, but a prerequisite to getting ahead in this competitive world, and even being happy. Here are 10 effective ways that you can super boost your productivity now.

1. Challenge your own excuses.

Did you know that around 40% of your daily actions are on automatic? You do not make a conscious decision with everything you do, because most of your actions are habit.

This definitely serves you in many ways; imagine if you had to learn how to brush your teeth again every day! Other times it doesn’t serve you, though, especially when if you come up with unwarranted excuses and hold onto limiting beliefs that stop you from being as productive as you could be.

Typical phrases that you might find yourself saying without much thought are…

• I am just too busy to…
• I have never been organized or productive, I never will be…
• He/she is the reason why I can’t…
• I want to do so much, I just can’t…

It is only when you start to challenge your own excuses and limiting beliefs that you will find out how much truth or fact there really is to it. Start questioning your excuses and limiting beliefs and get more done now.

2. Use apps and technology.

You have never had so many different tools and apps available to help you leverage your time. Are you taking advantage of this? If you want to be more productive, there has never been an easier time to tap into the free resources out there.

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There are apps that will help to organize and synchronize your information, prioritize your to do’s and give you targeted focus. There are also music apps to help you concentrate more easily and those that automate your do-lists into a planned schedule.

Whatever your needs, there is sure to be an app for you. You will be amazed by how much technology, considering it is used correctly, can boost your productivity and support you in getting more done. Read more on the top apps here.

3. Change your limiting habits.

Everyone has a few bad habits when it comes to being as productive as they could be. What are your limiting habits? Do you have a habit of jumping from one task to the next? Do you fail to plan and prioritize your daily work?

If you can identify just one habit that, if you changed, would have the biggest positive effect, what would it be?

Work on this first. Start by improving just one limiting habit at a time. You don’t need to try to change everything at once, but at least start somewhere. It doesn’t make sense to only focus on developing skills and ignore the limiting habits which will undoubtedly continue to undermine your results.

4. Communicate more effectively.

Surveys certainly reveal some shocking statistics from time to time. Hundreds and thousands of money is wasted on poor communication and unproductive staff each year. Instructions not carried out properly and time wasted due to miscommunication all add up and undermine productivity.

Communication is key to being productive. Read more about how you can enhance your productivity by communicating effectively.

Perhaps you are a great communicator, but I guarantee you there are a few tips and techniques you could learn to get more done by communicating more effectively.

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5. Set weekly or daily objectives.

The easiest and most effective way to get more done is to set weekly goals or daily objectives. This targeted direction boosts your productivity because your actions are more closely aligned with what you want to achieve and you immediately become more productive.

Start with the end in mind. What do you want to have achieved by the end of the month or week? Set yourself a target.

Break the target down into action steps that you need to take to achieve this. For example, let’s say your goal is to get 5 new clients by the end of the month. What action do you need to take?

For example,

• Gather information on the potential customer
• Make X number of phone calls (depending on your conversion rate)
• Follow up on potential leads
• Close the deal

Each of these steps need to be included in your schedule and planned for.
Be crystal clear on where you are going and what you need to do to get there.

6. Let go of ‘the right time’.

Have you ever waited for the right time to take action on something? How did that work out for you? Often the right time never comes. Don’t wait for the right moment; bring the right moment to you. There is usually some action you can take now or something you can do instead of waiting around for something that might never come.

If this sounds like you, dig a little deeper. Are you really waiting for the right time or is it just an excuse to hide your procrastination?

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If you are waiting for the right opportunity to come your way before you do anything, you might be waiting for the rest of your life.

7. Make use of every opportunity you can.

Do you travel to work by car or by public transport? Add up how much time you spending traveling every week and ask yourself if it possible to make this time more productive.

Let’s say for example, that you need to read some paperwork, taking advantage to do this while traveling by tube is a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Alternatively, if you are driving and you enjoy audio, you can listen to an audio book or an audio of something personally or work related.

Opportunities to leverage your time aren’t always plainly obvious, you need to make an effort to identify them. Get creative and ask yourself how you can best use this time. Brainstorm a few ideas and choose the best one.

8. Use your energy levels accordingly.

Your energy levels rise and drop throughout the day and everyone’s is different. You might find that you have a lot of energy in the morning and towards the afternoon you lose a lot of energy, or vice versa.

Plan to do tasks when you have the most energy. So for example, let’s say you have the most energy in the morning. Use this time then do the tasks that require the most concentration from you.

Later, when you know that you start to lose energy, use this time to reply to emails or make phone calls, etc.

You will be more productive because your energy will be aligned with the effort you need to make, so naturally you do more.

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9. Always batch when you can.

Batching is all about doing similar tasks together as opposed to doing them separately. Plan to do all your “out of the office” errands on the same day. Group your meetings and plan time to reply to emails or make your phone calls throughout the day.

Batching saves you from wasting time jumping from one task to the other, losing focus and concentration. It also minimizes the amount of distractions you have as an added bonus.

Take a moment to think about all the tasks and activities that you can group together to be more productive and take action now.

10. Mind Map your way to clarity.

Last, but definitely not least, is to use mind-mapping to support you. One of the biggest productivity hindrances is often just taking the first step, or taking the wrong first step and having to start over.

Using a mind map when you feel blocked can definitely boost your productivity and give you targeted direction moving forward.

Always start with the end in mind — take the final outcome or result you are looking for and work backwards. As you use categories and subcategories when you mind map, you can organize and therefore manage your ideas much better. Having everything laid out visually in front of you helps to keep you focused and it streamlines your thought processes.

If you have ever felt hesitant to start something because you simply lacked the clarity you needed or you felt that your thoughts are all over the place – this is the best thing you can do to move forward productively.

At the end of the day, being more productive is about choice. What do you choose? More, or less?

More by this author

Kirstin O´Donovan

Certified Life and Productivity Coach, Founder and CEO of TopResultsCoaching

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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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