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10 Small Things People Always Overlook Which Actually Matter To Success

10 Small Things People Always Overlook Which Actually Matter To Success

The quality of your life comes down to the quality of your habits. No success can happen overnight though it sometimes seems so. Every success is made out of little things, little habits which you do regularly every single day, every week.

Success is not that difficult if you decide to take one step at a time. Doing little things, small habits consistently with all your heart makes you efficient every single day and the compound effect of doing so will bring success in your life.

So, what are small habits which matter to success?

1. Take 10 minutes for concentration every morning

Every morning as soon as you go out of your bed and before you start thinking of all your emails you have to open take just 10 minutes to quietly sit down and focus your mind on the goals and good things you would like to achieve in your life.
Don’t let all the problems you have to solve that day to interrupt your concentration time.

This little habit won’t take much of your time but will make you start your day with a fresh mind. It will fuel your mind with success.

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2. Take notes

Wherever you go take your notebook (or your smartphone) with you so you can quickly write down little ideas which can suddenly pop out of your mind during the day. In this way, you will never run out of new, bright ideas which are necessary for any success.

“…my most essential possession is standard sized notebook… …I carry those everywhere and write down all the comments that are made to me by Virgin staff and anyone I meet.” – Richard Branson, a billioner, founder of Virgin Group

3. Don’t check your email box before 10 o’clock

When you start your working day do your most important thing first. Everything else will just distract you. Forget about your emails. They can wait for 2 to 3 hours by the time you finish a great part of your most important thing of that day.

By doing so, you focus all your efforts on your most important thing which matters to your success instead of doing urgent things which can only take your time.

4. Make your ‘to-do’ list every night

Every night before you go to sleep write down 5 most important things which you need to do the next day.
But remember this: don’t make a list of 20+ things but only 5 things otherwise you will easily slip into a habit of doing too many things and your productivity will considerably drop down.

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To lead a life of success, you need to do just a few things every day, efficiently.

5. Read inspirational books for 30 minutes every day

Success leaves clues. So reading books about successful people will inspire you and broaden your view.

“Work harder on yourself than you do on your job” – Jim Rohn

6. Make time limits throughout your day

This little habit can considerably shorten your way to success.
For every task you have to do, make a time limit. Putting a time limit can force you to be very effective and productive and you will be left with much more spare time at the end of the day.

Tomorrow, before you start checking your email box decide how much time you will spend on it. And follow this practice for all the other tasks, too.

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7. Use your smartphone for calling, too:)

Yes, it seems funny but sometimes we get so much into using all functions of our smartphones that we forget to call people. Don’t just send messages. Call people and talk to them. Success comes with people.

Speaking in person is the most effective way to interact with people but if you can’t do it, forget SMS’s and emails, pick up the phone and talk to them. Messaging and emailing is only the third option.

“I don’t use email or a computer, I do everything in person or on the phone” – John Paul DeJoria, a billioner, co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems and founder of Patron Spirits

8. Take 30 minutes of your day for a physical activity

Take 30 minutes of your day for doing sports because success loses all its meaning if you don’t feel well. Doing jogging, fitness, yoga or any physical activity for just 30 minutes a day can make you body fit and your mind fresh.

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place where you have to live” – Jim Rohn

9. Make positive affirmations during the day

Saying to yourself: “I am great, I love myself, I am on my way to success”, can lift your spirit high when you feel tired or when things don’t go the way you wish them to go.

A tip: Do your affirmations every day, a few times per day, constantly so when you really need them to lift your emotions up they will be already deeply rooted in your subconscious.

10. And finally, every night say “Thank you”

Before you go to bed, say a little “Thank you”. Be grateful for all the opportunities you had that day.

All successful people know that success come only to people who are grateful.

WHEN YOU FEEL you don’t progress as fast as you would like and that you are wasting time doing small ‘unnecessary’ habits remind yourself of this fact:
The way you do one thing is the way you do everything.

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Featured photo credit: Victor Hanacek via picjumbo.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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