We all have this image or idea of a person who always seem to get things done and work so effortlessly day in and day out. It could be a diligent co-worker, a boss you look up to or a role model in your life. These people are the best examples of what you want to be and how we wish we also have this work productivity figured out once and for all. Am I right?
Well, the fact is there is no one-size-fits rule to productivity. With all the work hacks, time management tips and productivity best practices that were invented, no one ever found that one magical key to solve all of work’s problems. In reality, we just all have to find the good habits and develop the skills that work for us, individually.
We’ve been hearing about working smarter, not harder, how we should manage our time wisely and that “Time is gold!”. Yes we know the value of good time management but with all the work tasks and the hustle and bustle of life at work, how do we do all that really? Where do we even begin?
Some people confuse productivity with being busy. They may feel like they have accomplished a lot in the day because they were busy and juggling several tasks.
Look into your output each day. Were the important tasks done or perhaps you were busy replying to several emails that your core tasks were left unfinished?
In one of AOT’s courses, it teaches the Covey Time Management Matrix, a time management tool that helps in prioritising tasks based on importance and urgency. Covey said, “The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” It’s more than just writing down a checklist of tasks for the day, but making sure that the more important tasks are put first on your list. We may think that doing a lot of tasks makes us productive. While that’s not really bad at all, let’s just make sure that we prioritise our tasks in a smarter way.
Here’s an example of how you can use and apply the Covey Time Management Matrix for work.
Never underestimate the effects of poor communication to productivity. It can mean repeating a task done incorrectly because of miscommunication of information or instructions. That can result in a day’s work down the drain, work productivity lost and stress for the employee or team.
On the flip side, some forms of communication can work against productivity. Have you attended a meeting that you think could have been a simple email or have you exchanged a series of several emails that maybe a quick meeting could have accomplished?
That is why we should never settle with just communicating. We must get into the practice of communicating WELL because good communication in the workplace leads to more productivity, fewer conflicts and job satisfaction. Having good communication skills and using them in the workplace can do wonders for you and the people you work with. At AOT, we even have a short course dedicated to this topic alone.
Productivity can be rewarding at the end of day. It gives you the feeling that you’ve done a good day’s work and have given your best. We can never assume that every day is going to be productive and you shouldn’t feel bad when some days are not as good. Just know that there are tools, resources and skills that can help you improve how you do your work, how you can better communicate, how you can manage your time better, and ultimately – work smarter, not harder.
If you feel there are areas you are struggling with or skills gap that you think you can improve on, feel free to visit our website to find professional development courses that can help take you closer to your goals.