How To Improve Your Productivity? A Step By Step Approach

Last updated on 6 Jan, 2018 | 0 comments

How to improve productivity

If you are in a corporate Job or a self-made man, you know how productivity has shaped your career. This is a systematic approach more than a mere target. Generally, productivity is seen as a performance yardstick to assess how close you are to the set goals. Driven by the essentiality of productivity in a business process I thought of writing this blog on improving the same in a step by step manner.

How To Improve Productivity?

Focus, discipline and time management are the key elements that charge up the productivity. But the cumulative effort must be a bit methodical. Hence, in this blog, I tried to accumulate all these factors in a step by step manner so that you can scale up your productivity in the quickest way possible.

Step1: Set Your Goal, Make Your Plans

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”Saul Alinsky

The first step in improving your productivity is to assess your goals and plan your actions. Both these things are integrally connected. Until you have a goal, you cannot work. And you will be nowhere to plan your tasks.

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When you choose a target or set a goal to be achieved, you are in turn defining your course of action. Though it sounds very simple, most of the people got distracted. Some people don’t even know what is the target they should go for. In multiple cases, it has been witnessed that either they stand below their potentiality or their feasibility is out of the context.

There is a saying “Productivity is just not about doing more. It is about creating more impact with less work.” So, you can understand, productivity is not about brainless hard work, but planning works in such a way that pushes you closer to the target. Planning makes things easier to accomplish your goals by optimally utilising the time and resources.

The Action Plan:

This is a two-dimensional approach. First, you decide your goals, then make a plan to achieve them. Though it sounds simple, often people find it harder to figure out their goals. So, how to set a goal? While doing works on this blog I came to know about SMART Goals. SMART stands for

  • S- Specific
  • M- Measurable
  • A- Attainable
  • R- Relevant
  • T- Time Bound

That means, set your specific goals those are meaningful and relevant to your work. It should also be feasible to achieve within a specified time frame. Hope it would be easier for you to choose your goals or targets.

Now you step forward and make a plan. It should be unambiguous and optimally utilise resources. Planning is all about doing the right task first that would take you inch closer to your goal. Consider the following points while planning:

  • Segregate your whole works into smaller pieces. Breakup the overall time and allot accordingly to the smaller jobs.
  • Do the ancillary works first (necessary for warm-up) before jumping into the main course.
  • Point out the high priority tasks and try to accomplish them first.
  • If your work involves creative jobs, do them first because they need a lot of concentration and time.
  • Review your plans from time to time and make necessary changes depending on your goals achieved and time spent.

Though it’s not necessary that you bring down things on a paper, but if you are heading towards a long-term goal, it would be fruitful to do proper documentation.

Step2: Prepare Yourself With Strong Determination

The common thing you will notice within the successful people in different fields that, they are all self-motivated and have a strong determination to achieve the goal. I think you got my point. Without determination, you will not be in a position to augment your productivity. Determination keeps you focused.

There are hundreds of distracting factors that resist your good works. Sometimes they are so tempting that you deviate from your original goal. But a strong determination protects you from such seepage.

The Action Plan:

How determined you are, to improve your productivity rests on you only. Doing meditation, watching motivational speeches often help you to stay focused on your productivity, but still, you need something more to keep on going. Here’s how you can prepare yourself with strong determination and stay focused on improving your productivity.

  • Analyse your way of life you are carrying on. If you lack the habits of a successful man generally have, you must work on that.
  • Find the reasons for your goal. Note down the points. Make an emotional attachment to them.
  • Read out the reasons loud; you will feel more compelled to fulfil your dreams.
  • Take pride in doing the work. The more enjoyable the work to you do, the more emotionally aroused you will be.

Step3: Change Your Habit Of Procrastination

This is the primary bottleneck in improving your productivity. You are focused, superbly planned, but often in the habit of pushing things to be done later, you will be nowhere to improve your productivity. If you procrastinate, you are literally delaying your project. At that point no plan, no goal will work.

As you will see, a successful man never keeps his works pending, no matter how tiny or big it is. He takes every work seriously and sticks to his schedule to the extent possible. If you have a large project, which is further sub-divided into a series of small jobs, a delay in one will automatically derail the whole work process.

The Action Plan:

Before overcoming the problem, you need to know why you procrastinate. There cannot be a single line answer to it, but the following points may help you find the reason for such behaviour.

  • You may find the work uninteresting or may not feel ignited to work.
  • The task is not up to your skill. It may be such a tiny job that doesn’t arouse your working urge.
  • You have a lackadaisical attitude to finish the job.
  • The work is too difficult for you to execute.
  • You fear that you could fail to perform the job.
  • You over think about a work.

An effective technique to fight procrastination is to work on an ultra short-term basis say 5 mins. Start the task that you are in no mood to do and commit yourself that you will do the task for 5 mins. After the first 5 mins commit once again. You will see after 2-3 sessions you feel motivated. After repeating the process 5-6 times, take a break, you will realise that you have already done a considerable amount of job. This is self-motivating and you are on.

Step4: Be Disciplined, Follow A Routine:

Productivity is a long-term process. An isolated instance cannot judge how productive you are. Hence an organised and a disciplined approach is always a priority to improve your productivity. It has been found in a study that a self-disciplined man is happier than a less disciplined person. And it has a long-ranging effect on your productivity too.

Discipline helps a person to deal with a goal conflict situation and motivates to do what is more important. A routine is a documented version of disciplines. It is seen on many occasions, a person who has a fixed routine performs better than others. If you have a fixed time to do a specific job, its become a natural tendency to finish the task within the scheduled time.

The Action Plan:

How to be a disciplined person? See this is a state of mind. People often follow self-made routines that may or may not match the prototypes. I don’t mean it should be something abnormal but should be close to the usual one (to the extent possible). Here are the few points that can improve your self-discipline:

  • Be process oriented, rather than a goal oriented. That means instead of working on a goal, concentrate more on the process to achieve the goal. At the end of the day review your performance and note down the mistakes. Commit to yourself not to repeat them.
  • Include exercise and meditation in the routine. They improve your focus, increase your stamina and rejuvenate you to do work.
  • Go to bed on time and wake up early in the morning. Those who wake up early in the morning reap the greatest benefits of life.

Step5: Do Your Own Research

When you are determined about improving your productivity, no impediment is big enough to obstruct you. The steps cited above are the methodical approaches to improve your productivity. Over and above, there is a scope for an individual to analyse himself and point out those areas that require improvements to step up the productivity.

It’s the person who himself knows better. He knows what’s his strong fields are and where he lacks. A systematic trial and error approach often helps a person to identify the loopholes and develop skills to optimally utilise the resources for better productivity.

The Action Plan:

By doing your own research, you can find out the best practices suitable for you, besides the steps mentioned above. The good thing about this approach is that, since you are the inventor of the techniques to improve productivity those were abeyant, it’s easier for you to own them. While doing research on improving your productivity take care of the following points:

  • Your surrounding environments.
  • Assess your self-esteem
  • Analyse what your personality type is
  • Assess your stress level

Conclusion

When you are instructed or advised to improve productivity, you cannot grow beyond a certain limit. But if you feel the need from your inner sense, it’s easier for you to own it, personalise it and achieve it. If you do more research on your activities, it would be comfortable for you to accomplish higher productivity.

Please do share your feedback through the comments section below.