As the year is coming to an end and the holiday season is right around the corner, many of you (and your team members) are struggling with maintaining and increasing productivity. Here are some thoughts on maintaining and increasing productivity!
1. Visualize your accomplishments for the day before you leave the house. Success starts in the mind . Your predominant thoughts attract similar circumstances into your life. If you spend most of your time thinking about failure, difficulties or lack, then this is what you will get, but if you expect success, completion, happiness or wealth, then that's what you'll get. A Visualization process is also a powerful tool to use when you are attempting to solve a business problem or create new and innovative ideas/products/services!
2. The power in planning the work and working the plan - It's amazing how few businesses take the time to plan a strategy for their business. Many will have a general idea of what they want to accomplish but few actually identify the specific action steps they will need to take in order to achieve those goals. If you don't know how to plan, find someone who does and see how it is done! Ask for feedback from those who have to follow your plans - what did they like and what did they find difficult? Remember to set goals and measurements AND reward yourself (your team) when the goals are accomplished!
3. Watch out for the shiny objects - the shiny objects are those things which distract you from accomplishing your goals! They can be emails, text messages, unexpected guests . even a project that seems like it will be SO MUCH FUN (however, you know that it should be delegated to someone else)!!!
4. Get work done through others - If you are like most managers, you are really busy . you can't get everything done you would like to get done . you have no time for reflection, long-range planning, strategy or visualization! You're working 10-12 hours a day . you've been gone so long that your dog looks at you funny every time you walk in the door! Is it because you're trying to do too much - the major fix for better time management, setting better priorities and increased productivity is delegation! Delegation allows your team to get more done . it motivates . it develops. As you advance in your career, your view should become more strategic . this is impossible if you do not learn to delegate!
5. Create more time for yourself - of course delegating allows you to do this . however, here I want you to look at your spiritual, physical, mental, relational and financial life. Where do you need to spend more time in order to become a better you? Once you begin to spend time working on being a better you . the more productive, creative, innovative and fun you become!
6. Be okay with saying no - When someone makes a request, it is always OK to ASK FOR TIME TO THINK IT OVER. In thinking it over, remind yourself that the decision is entirely up to you. Use your nonverbal assertiveness to underline your answer. Make sure that your voice is firm and direct. Look into the person's eyes as you say, No. Shake your head "No," as you say, "No." Remember that "No," is an honorable response. If you decide that "No," is the answer that you prefer to give, then it is authentic and honest for you to say, "No." If you say, "Yes," when you want to say, "No," you will feel resentful throughout whatever you agreed to do. This costs you energy and discomfort and is not necessary if you just say, "No" when you need to. If you are saying, "No," to someone whom you would help under different circumstances, use an empathic response to ease the rejection. For example, to your friend who needs you to keep her dog while she goes on vacation, you might say, "No, Mary that does not work for me, I can't keep your dog for you. I know it must be hard for you to find someone, however, I have already made plans and I won't be able to help you". Start your sentence with the words, "No, that does not work for me." It's easier to keep the commitment to say, "No," if it's these are the first words out of your mouth.
7. Take a Nap - Research shows that you can make yourself more alert reduce stress and improve cognitive functioning with a nap. Mid-day sleep, or a ?power nap', means more patience, less stress, better reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency and better health. The effects of missed sleep include: Sleep is cumulative; if you lose sleep one day, you feel it the next. If you miss adequate sleep several days in a row, you build up a ?sleep deficit', which impairs the following:
- Reaction time
- Vision (natural eye and your mind's eye)
- Information processing
- Short-term memory
8. Get some exercise - Scientist revealed that people who exercise on work days are more productive, happier and suffer less stress than on non-gym days. Researchers found that employees who enjoyed a workout before going to work - or exercised during lunch breaks - were better equipped to handle whatever the day threw at them. They also found that people's general mood improved on days of exercise but they became less calm on non-exercise days.
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