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11 Things To Let Go Of And You’ll Be More Productive

11 Things To Let Go Of And You’ll Be More Productive

1. Let go of believing you’re not doing your best

It’s not easy to be proud of yourself every day, especially when you are aware you can do better. In order to change your performance, you should change your viewpoint.

Try to celebrate the small achievements daily and make it a habit to acknowledge every battle you fight in personal life and work. That way not much time and effort will be left for negative attitude towards yourself.

“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”
Nathaniel Branden

2. Let go of anger when you make mistakes

Whoever respects their work would be not satisfied when mistakes are made, especially when they could have been avoided. But turning to anger and other negative emotions not only brings you down, but also interrupts your workflow, damaging your productivity.

You can demand a perfect outcome, but can’t expect a perfect process, unless you consider yourself an automated machine. The more you work on treating mistakes as a natural part of the process, the easier it will be to recover from them and not harm the final result.

“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire

3. Let go of fearing the unknown

Everything unknown can bring mystery and excitement, but it mostly terrifies you. Getting out of your comfort zone and what you know requires a lot of courage and risk taking. Often though, it’s the unknown that takes us to somewhere we never knew would enjoy so much.

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Unless you try something, you can’t decide if it was worth it. At the very worst scenario, you’ll know what to avoid in the future. Be open and appear more confident than you really are. There’s always a way to make it work, as long as you really want to.

“The only doors that open are the ones you knock on.” – Scott Marquart

4. Let go of believing you have to finish everything you start

Be it a dish you’re cooking or the university degree you are enrolled in, it seems counter intuitive not to finish it. Even when you have found something not to be a good match for your current needs and likes, you may feel guilty and insecure to drop it off and continue with a new choice.

However, it’s easier and faster to start over than to fix something that is not working. Consider it a success that you can actually determine what is not a good fit and use your experience and judgment to pick the right one.

“ Part of being a winner is knowing when enough is enough. Sometimes you have to give up the fight and walk away, and move on to something that’s more productive.” – Donald Trump

5. Let go of brainstorming at the wrong times

Tight deadlines and busy schedules leave no other choice than to brainstorm whenever you have a clear block of time in your agenda. That is fine unless you really can’t get anything out of it.

It’s better to let yourself just be for a while and when the time is right for brainstorming, you will go through it much quicker, gaining the time you “lost” by refusing to force it.

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“Being lazy does not mean that you do not create. In fact, lying around doing nothing is an important, nay crucial, part of the creative process. It is meaningless bustle that actually gets in the way of productivity. All we are really saying is, give peace a chance.” – Tom Hodgkinson

6. Let go of waiting for inspiration

Sometimes inspiration seems to be far away, no matter how much you wait for it. When you can’t afford to wait longer, start working anyway. It could be that you’re too distant with the work you need to do and don’t have a clear panorama of the project.

Avoiding getting into the technical details might be the cause of the inspiration delay too. Going into the technical side of the things, you will get prepared for what is demanded and what should and shouldn’t be done. You will most probably get inspiration when things are clear enough in your head and you know exactly what to do.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

7. Let go of the weight of comparison

It’s impossible not to put yourself on the scale every now and then. Be it when others are doing better than you, or when you’re not doing the best you can, it’s understandable to turn your head elsewhere for comparison.

An easy way to avoid this is making sure you use every second of your time becoming the best version of yourself.

When you’re busy working on your own matters, there’s usually not enough time to deal with others. And when comparison tests come to you, knowing you’re becoming better every day will prevent you from feeling bad.

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“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.” – Shannon L. Alder

8. Let go of avoiding reality

Too be honest, some things are so dreadful that we secretly wish for a miracle to happen, so we won’t have to go through them eventually. It might be your lucky day once in a blue moon, but for in reality, responsibilities are for the adults and there’s no way to hide from them.

Instead of spending your energy coming up with imaginary escape plans, use the time you have in the best possible way. If you don’t want to do something, make up your mind as early as possible. Let the right people know about that, along with a couple of strong reasons backing up your decision and a plan B for them to proceed further with.

“When we truly need to do is often what we most feel like avoiding.” – David Allen

9. Let go of underestimating others

The moment you assume something is too easy or others you’re competing with are not going to be great, you have set yourself up for failure. When you underestimate others, you underestimate their work. As a result, you assume you won’t have to work hard, so you automatically underestimate your own potential.

Make it a rule to always work and prepare as if you’re competing with the best of the field and you’ll see how it pays off to the outcome of your efforts.

“I never underestimate my opponent, but I never underestimate my talents.” – Hale Irwin

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10. Let go of waiting for the right moment

You want the circumstances to be perfect for executing your project so the chances for something to go wrong are minimal. You believe that if you have the right tools, money and time to do what you want, everything will go as planned. Otherwise, you believe the slightest problem will cause failure.

However, things never go as planned in life and there will always be a detail that is not right for the moment. Don’t let your passion “cool down” by waiting forever. If you want it badly enough, you will tailor your whole life to fit your project.

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee

11. Let go of spending time figuring out shortcuts

There could be occasions when you spend so much time trying to come up with an easier way of doing things or imagining how your life would be if everything didn’t require so much effort. But no matter how much we wish for things to be easier or faster, doing all the hard work is often the only way.

Everyone can do anything, to a certain degree. Make sure you go the extra mile, distancing yourself from the competition and eventually being proud of your project when you file it away in your portfolio folder.

“No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.” – Warren Buffett

 

Featured photo credit: http://deathtothestockphoto.com/ via deathtothestockphoto.com

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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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