As human beings we are naturally built to be productive – we want to get things done. Although we want to get things done we don’t always get it done efficiently, timely or resourcefully.
The word productivity is the state of being productive. In getting things done we utilize our time, energy, attention, and resources to accomplish our goals successfully.
This article discusses different aspects of productivity.
Key Aspects of Productivity
Time – The proper use and management of time are crucial to productivity. Time should be tracked with proper limits and deadlines maintained. When you spend time on activities that do not add value to the task on hand, productivity is impacted negatively.
Some activities act as distractions and hinder productivity. These could come in the form of phone calls, email notifications, social media notifications, etc.
Resources – If we want to be productive we must make use of resources properly. Resources could be in the form of technology that can be used to enhance performance and save time. Resources could also be in the form of people.
Energy/Attention – Our energy is a vital component of our productivity. The amount of energy we have each day is limited. What we give our attention to will determine the results that we get.
If we spend our energy and attention on what we want to accomplish we will be more productive.
Goals – Another important aspect of productivity is setting and maintaining goals. By creating long-term and short-term SMART goals we keep our minds focused on getting things done.
It must be noted that with long-term goals, we must perform small daily actions towards accomplishing them. A goal of losing 100 pounds cannot happen in a day or week. It can be accomplished by a committed long-term approach to a weight loss program.
Lists – by maintaining task lists and to-do-list we will be better able to track our productivity. The task or to-do-list is the list of actions we need to do or perform to accomplish the goal.
The length of a task-list is important. When a list is too long it can make us anxious or frustrated. A task-list of 1 to 3 time consuming important tasks, and 3 to 5 less time-consuming maintenance tasks is ideal. By creating lists, we stay organized and it allows you to stay focused.
Tasking – Tasking is identifying the individual steps needed to accomplish a goal. Something to avoid is multitasking.
Multitasking is when we are simultaneously trying to do many tasks at the same time. Our brain has to keep switching from one task to another and studies have shown that it not only lowers IQ but decreases productivity by 40 percent.
Focus on one task at a time and give it your 100 percent attention. When creating tasks focus on creating result-oriented activities. The Pareto principle states that 80 percent of our results come from 20 percent of our actions. Find out what those 20 percent activities are that will bring 80 percent results.
Planning – Planning is another key aspect of being productive. With proper planning, we are able to schedule properly. Planning keeps you focused on the task without going off-track.
Here are some ways to increase productivity are:
- Minimize distractions
- Stop multitasking
- Stay organized
- Track your time
- Use technology whenever possible
- Set SMART goals
- Learn to say “No” to anyone or anything that needs your attention when you need to stay focused
- Plan ahead
- Take care of yourself – body (exercise, diet, proper hydration, and sleep), mind – meditation and breathing techniques, diet, proper hydration, and sleep), mind – meditation and breathing techniques
Benefits of Being Productive
Let us look at what it is to be unproductive. Unproductive behavior is one that is wasteful of time, energy, attention and resources. Because of the waste, tasks do not get accomplished.
On the other hand, the benefit of being productive is that you are able to move ahead with your goals and dreams because we have mastered the key aspects of productivity.
When we are productive, we are keenly aware of how to be efficient with time and resources.