So how to get that personal productivity head start?
I don't particularly care whether you work at home or at the office, the main thing that concerns me are results. Many people who are employed don't actually know what they are paid for. The main responsibility for this lies in poor management, which doesn't have a clear picture of what their employees should do.
Make an effort and read your job description, try to figure out, by yourself, what's bringing the most benefit to your company or yourself for that matter, if you are self-employed. What's the key number one activity that brings you or your company highest increase in revenue? That's the activity you should be doing the most.
Somehow most people end up in "FIFO" principle of getting things done. FIFO stands for "First In, First Out". This means that the first distraction that pops out is the first task you're going to finish. While I worked at the banks I've seen this phenomena a lot of times. If tasks lasted a little longer, they usually would never get done.
One of the crucial tips for productivity increase is to constantly acquire knowledge about forming new habits and learning new tips and tricks.
It's normal not to achieve everything during the day, after all we have only 8-10 working hours, but what's troubling me and many other company executives is the lack of implementation of planning. People simply aren't focused on their core activities enough, wasting time bouncing emails and interrupting each other. Meetings are also usurping the productivity a lot. Less meetings and more clear tasks are a must for any organization that wants to survive in this financial jungle.
So what are those 5 steps that can get you on the right track and allow you to get that raise and earn more money?
1. Identifying the core activities and following them religiously - Core activities are like your prayer. If you are sales person, that's putting in the most number of phone calls and generating most sales. If you are doing anything else, you can consider yourself as wasting your time. If you are blogger, that' writing your articles. If you are tweeting or facebooking, you are wasting time. No networking doesn't count as producing great things, get over it. Simply write more. If you are working as an intern in the company, fetching coffee is not productive, your main task there is to learn.
Try to identify those core activities and stick to them. This tip alone increased productivity levels of many people by more than 100%.
2. Consolidate your working environment - Declutter your desk, declutter your desktop. Minimalism in your work area is zen of modern working men. You don't want to have anything unrelated, circling around on your working environment. Keep it as simple as possible, that way you will clear your mind. Clear mind gets most focused ideas.
3. Get best possible tools of the trade for your business. If you working mostly with people, get the best clothes. If you are a blogger, get yourself the best computer out there as possible. It will keep you motivated to bring even better results. Investing in your tools of the trade, is hacking your mind in the right direction. You will literally feel ashamed of yourself for spending a lot of money on the gear you're not using. I overpayed for my Apple laptop and gave a lot of money that I would never give on a computer, if it wasn't bringing me the money. But since I know I gave that much into it, I am trying to pull out its maximum for me. By doing so I am making my investment a worth it's while. Other examples of investing in your "tools of the trade" would be getting the best possible equipment as a dentist. Or if you are on phone a lot, getting yourself the best possible phone out there. It's essential for bringing out the most productivity out of yourself. Get yourself comfortable with the tools you're using. We're not that rich to buy cheap things.
Also keep in mind that there are many free tools available out there for those of you who can't afford expensive equipment and software. One of the tools that I am absolutely in love with are Google tools for productivity.
4. Be an inspiring example to others - don't wait for others to lead the way. Or better yet, don't wait for your boss to give you the work. If you have downtime in your company, where there isn't much of a work involved, jot down new ideas and come up in front of your boss with them. Try to figure out how to do your job faster, smarter and more efficient. Be the ultimate game changer in your field of work and make yourself irreplaceable. No other employee will get as much of the core activities done as you are. Follow this rule especially if you are a manager. My father is hard-working manager and he's inspiring entire of his office to achieve results. He's getting really angry when someone wastes his time. Learn to respect time of your superiors and come up only with clear ideas and courses of action.
5. Stay calm - Stress is one of the factors that's killing your personal productivity. Clean your mind, don't stumble to stress. The job you are doing now, might not be the best one for you. Don't fall into fear of loosing it, just get into mindset of producing value for your employer or better yet for yourself. Be as calm as you can be and don't get into "urgent tasks" and don't stress about them. If job is properly organized, than you won't stumble upon "urgent" issues. Nothing is urgent and everything can wait. Nothing is worth enduring the stress over something virtual as debt and money. Nobody can give you high enough pay check to sacrifice your nerves for it.
Hopefully by following these simple steps you will be able to bring more to yourself and your environment and making this world a better place for everyone. Always keep in mind the power of accumulation. The more you do core tasks, it's going to be more apparent to everyone what you are doing and how you are contributing more than your environment is. Keep it simple, stay organized and religiously follow your core tasks like prayers and your success will go to stratosphere.