Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Friday, January 27, 2017

What Does It Really Mean to "Be Productive" or "Boost Productivity"? Redefine Productivity for Greater Success

Productivity is a popular topic at networking events, in office conversations and for articles across many business-focused publications. I often hear people talk about how productive they are. Some folks use this buzzword to describe the rate at which a person does useful work while others use it to reference how much is getting done or how capable someone is to accomplish all that is needed. Maybe it's as simple as accomplishing what one sets out to do, fueling greater peace, happiness and success.

Although the dictionary definition of productivity is "the quality, state or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance or bring forth goods and services", I think it is so much more than simply getting more done in less time; from my viewpoint, productivity is about efficiently working to effectively achieve results desired for all elements of life. The emphasis on each element of life fluctuates as priorities change while our actions and efforts in each element of life can complement the other elements rather than having them compete with each other.

All individuals must determine what is "right" for their own productivity based off varying priorities and desired results, knowing there is not one best way to do this. Here are 6 common themes in how I help my clients boost productivity:
  • Time is a limited resource and needs to be invested wisely. Each day gifts us only 1,440 minutes; each week is only 168 hours. Saying yes to doing something means saying no to anything else using that time. Once we have lived that time, we cannot get it back; unlike money that can be invested to grow, the return on time spent must be greater than simply more time. How each of us measures the return on our time investment should reflect directly on our priorities.
  • Distractions are extremely detrimental to your desired results. Research shows the average US office worker is interrupted 11 times each hour of the workday and, then, it takes 3 to 8 minutes to refocus, although it can take up to 25 minutes to really refocus when working in deep thought. I'm not a mathematician, but even I can deduce how that doesn't leave much time for getting things accomplished. Since time is so limited, reducing distractions is a valuable skill to learn.
  • It is imperative to utilize all available resources. Each of us has different assets in our productivity toolbox, but we all have tools to use. Resources can include apps or websites, streamlined workflow processes, an organized space in which you know where things are stored, consultants hired for their expertise, employees or service professionals to whom you delegate (including house cleaners and chefs), calendars, timers, boundaries, to-do lists, email, automation and much more. Sometimes, an unbiased individual with a fresh set of eyes can best find additional sources of help, but there are always tools to support our efforts and make life easier.
How do you define being productive? Do you tie it to literally producing more, helping you feel more in control, making more money or something else? When thinking about boosting productivity, are results or feelings more important to you? What do YOU consider productivity?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How Are Your Resolutions Coming? Or Do You Have a "Word of the Year" Guiding Your New Year's Direction?

The beginning of a new year often presents a fresh start and is an ideal time to develop new habits, attack new goals and "be better" or "do better" in whatever areas of life have been challenging. Yet, for many of us, motivation and momentum starts to wane a bit after a few weeks. Life gets in the way, distractions arise, your annual battle with bronchitis comes back with a vengeance or you move on to whatever might be bigger and better at that moment.

Research tells us 92% of new year's resolutions fail. There are a number of reasons resolutions fail, including overly ambitious targets, vague details and peer pressure, but the fact remains that resolutions are rarely successful in driving change.

What if we tried something different for this calendar year?

I've heard more and more people moving away from new year's resolutions; instead, we're setting a theme by picking one word to summarize who we want to be, what we want to accomplish and our overall desire for directing our actions in 2017.

It won't really matter what word you choose as long as it resonates with you and your vision for the new year. How do you want to feel? What goals do you want to accomplish at work, at home, in the community and for yourself? What are your dreams and big, hairy, audacious goals? What successes would make you proudest?

For 2017, I have chosen "uplevel" as my word of the year. According to the Urban Dictionary, uplevel means "to transform and grow in an area previously stagnant." This covers everything from my network connections to the service I provide clients, how present I am when hanging out with friends to how organized I keep my home and how proactive I am in my Lung Cancer Initiative volunteering to my dedication for working out at least once per week at LifeTime Fitness. It's an all-encompassing goal!

If you create new year's resolutions, how successful are you each year? Alternatively, have you considered replacing your new year's resolutions with a word for your new year? If you chose a word for this year, what is your for 2017?