Seven Steps to Increased Personal Productivity

Your ability to increase personal effectiveness emanates from you. We are inundated with the “tools of technology.” From our computers, to GPS, PDA’s, iPods, Kindles, and the ubiquitous cell phone. You would think the person with the most “equipment” would have the edge, be MOST effective. It is my observation that often the individual with the 39 cent yellow pad is the most effective. Why?

It is not about the “tools”, it is what you do with them. Here is a checklist of several elements that influence effectiveness.

1. Self-Responsibility: The choices, actions and responses you make determine your outcomes. Here is a poem that has influenced me for the past 30 years: The Man In The Glass (author unknown)

2. Accountability: Webster says “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility.” Often I hear “the blame game”, people dodging or failing to accept responsibility, this is a non-productive waste of time. Step-up, take charge and make things happen. Think of these ten words that insure success, “If it is to be, it is up to me.”
3. Awareness: Do what you say you’re going to do. This fundamental strategy will place you at the head of the pack. How do you feel when others fail to follow through on what they said they were going to do? Don’t make promises you can’t keep; it dilutes your effectiveness.
4. Desire: Is it your goal to be more effective? You must own the goal and link effectiveness to results, i.e., clearer communication, retention of employees, shorter sales meetings, and increased revenue.
5. Knowledge: There are many “how to” books on time management, one of my favorites is “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Here is a summary: http://www.quickmba.com/mgmt/7hab/. This will help you with the “what to” and “why to” of being more effective.

6. Develop Habits: We are creatures of habit, it is not easy to change or “break” habits. To be more effective you must create new habits that will lead to positive behavioral changes. Begin by seeing the outcomes you desire. What actions must you take to get there?
7. Practice: When you identify the actions you must take to reach your goals, begin the journey. Practice by doing the things that will create your success. It you want to do webinars to develop your target market, start by finding out what must be done to do a webinar. Then take the steps to make it happen. Effectiveness is DOING not trying.

Personal Productivity Or Emotional Intelligence?

To be productive, one has to create a state of mind that allows them to meet, conquer and transcend the challenges of life. One has to live from a vision and purpose rather than being reactive to circumstances, events and other people. Why should a Company invest training dollars in a program designed to increase emotional competencies for their staff?

Psychologists understand that the traditional IQ test does not measure all of the factors of an effective, successful, happily productive person. “Book learning” is not the only, and perhaps not the most important, measure of intelligence.

Many of the factors psychologists found to be important in making people successful in their business and personal lives are included in the terms emotional intelligence or emotional competence. The more aware we are of our own emotions, the more control we have over them. The more we empathize with the emotions of others, the more emotionally intelligent we become.

It certainly seems that it emotional intelligence is an important aspect of many business roles. But, business people have one dominant question: how does it affect the bottom line? Can putting employees in touch with their emotions actually make them more productive?

Emotional intelligence is not some new age, touchy-feely concept. Over two hundred studies, done in various countries, agree that emotional competence accounts for two-thirds to four-fifths of the difference between top performing and average performing employees.

When L’Oreal used emotional intelligence as a selection criterion for hiring sales representatives, they discovered that emotionally intelligent people outsold their colleagues by $91,370 a year, on the average.

The United States Air Force saved three million dollars by using emotional intelligence screening to select recruiters. The General Accounting Office reported an annual savings of $300,000 per year on a $10,000 investment in screening.

Emotional competencies can be learned it is not fixed at birth, it can be nurtured and strengthened in all of us. With a good training program, a Company can maximize the potential of the employees it already has, from the top to the bottom of the organizational chart.

For any business that would like to see increases in productivity and efficiency; more effective sales people; more creative teams and more responsive management, it is vital to invest in a good emotional intelligence training program.

Personal Productivity – Boost it in 15 Minutes

No matter what you do, one day will never be more than twenty-four hours. No matter how long your to-do list grows, you have exactly the same amount of time to get things done as everyone else. If you want a shot of getting it all done, you need a system that is flexible so that it works for your life, but is effective in that it keeps you productive. The PAR System is that system which will bring you elite productivity that you can work into your life.

The PAR (Process + Attitude = Results) System is based on two very simple principles. First, write everything that you have to do down in a notebook or planner and then recopy your list every morning. Secondly, after you have your list, prioritize what needs to be done and do it first. That is it. If you can master those two skills, you can do anything you put your mind to (and then write into your notebook).

Why these two principles?

First, write everything down so that you do not forget. During an average day, you are going to be bombarded with information and questions and stress. No matter how good you are, things slip through the cracks. Without a system, you may forget that you promised to do something for your boss or that you have a deadline tomorrow for a project. However, if you stay disciplined about writing down tasks into your to-do list, your notebook will be your brain. It will keep track of things that you do not. Then, as you recopy your list, you can get the memory jolt you need.

Secondly, prioritization is important because it keeps you from spinning your wheels. Ever had one of those days where you work and work and work and feel like you got nothing accomplished? You probably feel like that because you did not accomplish any of your priorities. Sure, things may have gotten crossed off your list, but they were not what really needed to be done.

It is also important to stick to your priorities after you have set them. Everyone who tries the PAR System should trust themselves enough to know that the priorities they set for themselves right after they have recopied their list are the proper ones during the stress of the workday.

With that being said, there are, of course, things which happen (family emergencies, angry customers, etc.) that will cause shifts in priorities. This is unavoidable, but the PAR System addresses it using the first principle. If sometime pops up that needs to be dealt with, write it down on the to-do list, make a note that it has priority and work on it until it can be checked off.

There is more to the PAR System that builds off these two principles including setting goals and living your dreams, how to tell what is truly most important, and how to reward yourself for achieving your goals. However, none of these things matter without a mastery of first writing things down, recopying them every morning, setting priorities and following them through.

Above all else, I wish you good luck and Godspeed as your follow your path.

Personal Productivity Strategies – The Importance of Productivity

Have you ever seen your work output rocket up in certain surroundings, decline rapidly when in the wrong mindset and dramatically shift depending on external circumstances?

Productivity isn’t something that just comes to us, it’s a completely dynamic effect that requires a great deal of thought, planning, and most importantly, optimization.

The importance of productivity is well documented, with many of the most important and successful people, whether professional, athletic or creative, employing productivity strategies, specific surroundings and other changes to boost their work output.

The importance of productivity really comes down to competition. When you’ve got a limited period to work within, it’s absolutely essential that you make the most of that time.

Even if you’re determined to work at your own pace, there are always milestones to meet, deadlines to stick to, and other people to work with. Productivity is so essential because it forces us to find new ways to optimize our work style and work at 100% capacity.

Need a simple change to your routine that will boost your productivity? Perhaps the best way to boost your productivity is to simply find a time of day where you excel, both in motivation and in actual measurable output.

For some, that’s the standard 9-5 schedule. For others, however, optimum efficiency comes late at night, very early in the morning, or often split into two clear cut sessions throughout the day.

The importance of productivity optimization is that it allows us to find these key times – known as ‘circadian rhythms’ – and work with them to create maximum output.

For many professionals, that output is far more valuable than the time invested in it.

Thus, by mastering productivity techniques, creating a productive setting, and working without distraction you can achieve more, invest more time in the things that you love to do, and master your domain more effortlessly.