“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
In our fast-paced and highly collaborative business culture, many of our goals and projects are dependent on more than one person working together. Each team member is personally accountable for their individual commitments and contributions to ensure goals are being met and projects are being delivered on time, completed, and within the original vision. It is easy to become distracted by the responsibilities of our team members and lose track of our own individual responsibilities.
Furthermore, we are bombarded every day with tasks that demand immediate attention. Between emails, voicemails, post-it notes on our monitors, or people asking us to do “just a quick favor,” there is always a new task jumping to the top of the priority list, and it is easy to become overwhelmed from the minute we step into the office. As a result, we become frustrated, and we can lose sight of our goals.
But staying focused on our projects and goals in a productive manner is doable.
Sometimes, managing your time successfully is as simple as prioritization of tasks. The key to productivity improvement is to condense your tasks into one list, instead of having reminders everywhere. Having one goal-focused task list will help free your mind of distracting amounts of information. It will also help you keep all your deadlines in order, so that you can keep yourself and your team accountable for meeting all your goals on time.
You can also experiment with productivity improvement methods. These three have been time-tested and proven to work:
80/20 Rule: also referred to as the Pareto Principle, this method involves getting 20% of the most important tasks done, and that will take care of 80% of your productivity worries for the day.
Ivy Lee Method: Before your work day is over, spend as little as five minutes preparing a list of tasks for the following day. When you come in to work the next day, take care of the tasks one by one, moving on from one task only after the previous one is completed. This prevents you from multitasking, as doing too many tasks at once results in an inefficient work day and a loss of productivity.
CRM System: A strong CRM system develops, retains, and stores your customer relationship information and corresponds accurately to the needs of each client. This is a way to keep all your information in one place for easy access and better organization.
However, all the productivity improvement methods in the world are worthless if you don’t stay disciplined in following the process. But if you stay accountable to yourself and your team, you will eventually see lasting results. When you feel productive, it will lead to increased commitment, efficiency, and engagement with your job and coworkers.