To be a “careerist,” you need to be ready to resolve a multitude of practical challenges every day. From pre-scheduling your months to drafting your weekly budgets – there are several tasks that workers need to accomplish if they want to be successful. Completing these tasks shouldn’t just be about developing your professional skills. It should also complement your personal growth.
Since the most important component of any company are the employees, employers also have an obligation to drive employee productivity. Employee productivity is the measure of each individual employee’s net output. The higher each individual employee’s net output, the higher the chances of business success and growth. That’s why companies that remain relevant in the market always have workforces full of careerists.
How can the average employee increase work productivity and start thinking as a careerist? Here are some tasks or activities that they should engage in to receive quantifiable results. There are also some examples of productivity in the workplace that will help you understand these concepts better –
If you’re not getting the most of your workplace meetings, it’s probably because you have no idea what topics you want to cover at these meetings. Not all meetings have or should have agendas. But, it’s still helpful when you enter a meeting after writing down in advance two to three objectives you want to achieve at the meeting.
Here are some examples of using agendas to increase productivity at meetings.
- Agendas clearly define the action items about the meeting. For example, if Q4 sales are the main focus of the discussion, all participants can prepare their views accordingly before entering the meeting room.
- They define the responsible parties at the meeting. For example, let’s say you want your sales manager and two members of your sales team to focus on an issue that you’re suffering with. Setting an agenda before the meeting and pre-defining what types of conversations you need to have with these people, will help you progress.
- Agenda-driven meetings enable attendees to leave discussions feeling a sense of accomplishment. Their agendas authenticate their productivity.
Many companies ask their employees to use the Eisenhower Matrix to organize tasks. This model of prioritizing tasks is actually very helpful. Here’s what applying the Eisenhower Matrix to day-to-day workplace responsibilities looks like –
Categorize daily tasks into four groups – Do, decide, delegate, or eliminate.
- The “Do” category is for tasks that need to be completed immediately. For example, writing a press release to address market rumors.
- The “Decide” category is for tasks that can be re-scheduled. For example, tell your investors to call at the end of the day to receive weekly progress reports.
- The “Delegate” category is for tasks that others can do on your behalf. For example, instead of calling a client over the phone, why not ask an intern to take that call? Task delegation can help you become productive. But, you must not render your task delegation processes pointless by not fully letting go of them. Once you delegate a task to others, avoid micromanaging every detail and have faith in your peers/subordinates.
- Lastly, the “Eliminate” section is for tasks that don’t deserve your attention. Take an analytical approach while categorizing tasks as worthy of elimination. For example, if unnecessary group meetings are taking up too much of your time, ask your co-workers to update you about these meetings via text messages.
At least 30% of your day should be spent on important tasks that fall under the “Do” category. Spend 90-120 minutes on top priorities. Prepare these categories at the end of each day and enter the following day with a clear set of objectives.
Create Personal Systems
Systemizing your work helps you increase efficiency. Now, there’s no clear framework for setting up such systems. Your system needs to be customized and focused on eliminating the distractions or mundane activities that negatively impact your day-to-day performance and productivity. Here’s an example of a personal productivity system –
- Start the morning by cleaning your workspace. Orderly workspaces improve our focusing abilities which in turn make us more productive.
- Start the day by focusing on high-priority tasks. Turn off your phone, computer (if the task doesn’t require computers), and eliminate all distractions while executing the high-priority tasks.
- Create a system for your personal life. For example, prioritize getting adequate rest, take breaks during the day to take walks under the sunlight, exercise regularly, and have a clear morning routine. Follow morning rituals, be it reading the newspaper, meditation, or exercising. They are great ways to put our minds in the right frame to have productive days.
Optimize Your Daily Activities
It’s easy to say “optimize your day-to-day activities to be more productive.” But, what does that mean? Here are some examples of optimizing your daily activities –
- Optimized Emailing – Studies claim that the average employee spends 13-14 hours per week writing or responding to emails. That’s a lot of time that can be spent more productively on other tasks. So, instead of opening a mail every time you hear that notification sound, select a time window every day for dealing with emails. For example, perform all email communications one hour after you enter your office and an hour before you leave work. Keep emails short. If writing an email can be avoided, avoid it. Use text messages or phone calls instead.
- Optimized Meetings – Face-to-face meetings cost the average employee 87 hours per month. A lot of these hours are spent on unproductive discussions. Many smart employees avoid this time loss by following a simple rule. Instead of face-to-face meetings, they’ll have phone calls. Instead of hour-long phone calls, they’ll ask coworkers to email important details about the discussion. Even less important topics can be condensed into text messages. Wherever there’s a chance to avoid long-format meetings, avoid them. Hold face-to-face meetings only for essential topics.
- Optimized Schedules – Instead of working eight to ten continuous hours per day, divide your work into two or three smaller time blocks. Many workers feel fresh surges of energy after each break.
Follow these steps to manage your own expectations and requirements. Productivity-rich work doesn’t happen accidentally. Take these steps to improve your productivity levels consistently!