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Improve Your Home Office Productivity With These 4 Timeless Quotes

Improve Your Home Office Productivity With These 4 Timeless Quotes

Quotes are a wonderful way to get inspiration for your day. At the same time, they provide us wisdom in a very compact form.

When it comes to productivity, there are lots of great quotes related to that topic. Although they play a very important role when inspiring and motivating us, the true value comes when you apply the wisdom in your real life.

Enter your home office.

You know that you’d like to be more productive in that environment, but you don’t know how. If this is the case, then these quotes and the steps for applying them are for you.

Enjoy this wisdom and make sure to put the advice into action.

1. “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be wonderful.”

~Mark Twain

    Do you have a difficult task that you seem to be putting off: Is it calling to clients or sending an e-mail to your customers?

    Whatever the task is, you are not alone, since we all have those kinds of “frogs” on our list. However, some people take care of those tasks as soon as possible while some people postpone them until they are forced to do it.

    Would you like to belong to the first group of people?

    How to:

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    When you eat the frog first thing in the morning, your day goes much smoother than if you were to postpone the task until later part of the day.

    In my situation, I deal with a task like this in 3 steps.

    First, I’ll just make a decision to take care of the task as soon as possible. Sometimes I’ll decide to do the task next day first thing. This way I have more time to prepare for it mentally.

    Then, I set the exact time when I will call that person or send that e-mail. This happens by marking the task in the calendar and also setting a reminder on my mobile phone. This way I don’t have any excuses, like forgetting it.

    Finally, I just get started with the task when the time is right. I take the first steps and then often I realize that I actually want to finish what I have just started.

    For instance, if it’s sending the e-mail, I start writing the message. After few lines of doing so, I want to finish the message at once and send it right away.

    Alternatively, if it’s a phone call, I prepare myself for the conversation by deciding what to say. In addition, I have a pen and paper (or other note taking equipment) ready, since I most likely have to write something down during the conversation.

    After I have “eaten the frog,” I feel much better since the task is now done and I don’t have to think about it anymore.

    2. To do two things at once is to do neither.

    ~Publius Syrus

      When you work on too many things at the same time, you are unable to focus properly on any of them, and thus you’re not making any real progress.

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      On the other hand, if you are putting your focus on the one thing at a time, you’ll notice that you are getting much more done that way.

      How to:

      Try to remember those times when you worked on two things at the same time: What was the end result? Did you have to go back to your tasks and fix the errors since you weren’t focusing enough?

      Now listen to this: Would you like to save time and get things done faster? If so, then single-tasking is the answer.

      If you’re working on your computer and creating content for your blog, then following Facebook or Twitter updates at the same time are out of the question (except if you need those sites for research purposes).

      Or, if you are preparing for the webinar presentation while talking to your wife, neither one will get your full attention.

      On the other hand, if you move to an environment which is distraction-free (from electronic or other type of distraction), you’ll realize that it’s much easier to focus on your stuff and get your work done.

      Finally, if your mind is running wild with ideas while you are doing the task, just write those thoughts down. Have a pen and paper with you while you work and “flush your mind” on a frequent basis so that it’s clear of internal “blabber.”

      Afterwards, you can take a look at the list and do the stuff that you have been writing on your notes.

      3. “The best thing to spend on your children is your time”

      ~Louise Hart

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        Your family is the most important thing you have. If you have children, make sure you spend enough time with them. This applies especially to the time when your children are small.

        How to:

        Make a decision to have a work schedule that you follow and let your children (and your spouse) to know about it.

        When you finish working, be with your children 100%: Don’t play around with your computer or do other stuff, just be fully present.

        Play with your kids, go outside for a walk, and just spend quality time with them. Be truly interested what your children have to say and become a good listener.

        You’ll realize that time will fly fast and your children will grow up quickly. That’s why you should spend more time with them when they are young.

        Do it now while you have the chance!

        4. “If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.”

        ~Lee Iacocca

          Do you know what the most important part of your business is? Are you focusing on something that doesn’t really move you towards your goals?

          Whatever the case is, you need to figure out your essential tasks and focus on them 100%.

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          How to:

          Set aside some time – an hour or two – and really give your business some careful thought: Figure out what the core tasks are which bring you the most important results in your business.

          Then, list all of the tasks that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis and figure out the ones to get rid of, the ones to delegate, or the ones to automate.

          If possible, hire a coach who can lend an outsider’s view to your business and who can tell you the strategies and tasks that you should be focusing on.

          For me, hiring a coach has been a game-changer, as I have been able to find the right things to concentrate on.

          Besides, having a person to whom I can pitch my ideas to has been very valuable, since he has been able to shoot down my crazy ideas (not all, but some of them), which would have otherwise taken me off track.

          When you know your overall direction, it’s much easier to put 100% on the right tasks – on a daily basis.

          In Conclusion

          Quotes are a great way of giving you more inspiration and motivation for your day.

          At the same time, the true power of them is revealed when you put them into practice.

          Make sure to take at least one of these quotes and implement it into your daily life. That way your home office productivity gets a boost and you will feel more confident in reaching your goals.

          Featured photo credit:  Young beautiful woman with white laptop in luxury room via Shutterstock

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          Timo Kiander

          Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

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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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