I have been reading a lot about stress at work, but also hearing a lot of you talk about stress, too much work, not enough time to get through the things you need to complete every day. Both in personal as work life. We tend to be working longer day’s, spending evenings and weekends to complete our the things we need to do. All of this seems nowadays an expectation instead of an isolated experience. At least. That is the perception and mindset we have adopted in our everyday life.
In my engagements with team members, partners and customers I often hear that the time they have to focus is limited. Changing focus areas, unclear vision and demanding or even impossible timelines, blur focus on what’s important and effective. I personally experienced some years ago that my focus on delivering and completing imperatives led to actual lack of productivity and self-fulfilment. Work becomes actual work (on a negative way) and creative exploration and a fulfilled feeling at the end of the day, week or month slowly start overtaking the positives. In this blog, I want to share some simple ways of making your day more productive. Apply focus on what matters. And deliver results which make you proud.
My top 10 tips for making your (work) day more productive
Tip 1: Make a list sorted on importance and impact.
Define what really needs to be done and what can wait. Prioritising your day is key to being successful and achieving a fulfilling day. And when you focus on impact, you will deliver great things. The detail is fine, but at the end of the day, you cannot do everything.
Tip 2: Stop jumping from one mail to the other.
Helping others is fine. But if this means you have not completed what you intended to do. It’s not! Sometimes being a little bit selfish is what it takes to end the day with clear deliverables and success. An email should be used as confirmation, not shifting responsibilities. If it’s important, then use the chat or phone. Personally I never read emails or respond before I delivered my 1-3 most important actions for the day. I feel it makes me unproductive and I lose focus on what is really important
Tip 3: Define the short, mid and long term achievements and align them with your leader.
When a change of focus is required, realign them to be sure the impacts and results stay in line with expectation.
Tip 4: Align a clear action plan with team ownership.
It’s too easy to say yes, but there needs to be mutual ownership and drive to be successful. As for something in return. For instance. I will do this for you, but before I can, can you then…..
Tip 5: Do not accept ownership of a problem, unless you understand the “Why”.
Too many ad hoc priorities are shifted on to your plate. If you do not believe in the goal. OR even worse, do not understand the benefit. You will never be able to put the effort into it.
Tip 6: Plan your day upfront.
Stick to the plan to deliver your 3 main actions before you move to other activities.
Tip 7: Stay flexible, however, be wary that flexibility comes with a price.
You working every evening and at weekends is not a benefit for driving the right results. Your brain has a limited attention span. Creativity and structure are needed to stay relevant and be relevant.
Tip 8: Communicate your priorities
When you need to adapt, plan this work and communicate well when you will deliver. You do not have to have an answer instantly. Just make sure people know when they can expect a response
Tip 9: Work smarter, not harder.
Even when you do repetitive work, it’s always good to look at a smarter way of delivering. There are digital technologies in the market to do the repetitive work. You are here to make a difference every day. And when you do this, you will feel more fulfilled about what you do.
Tip 10: Consider working less, but more effective.
Do not forget that your life needs to be balanced. Your family and friends are just as important. Your work and your energy been to be in line with how you want to live your life. If one of them is unbalanced, unstructured or not fulfilling, it will pull down the other.
I’m not adding this as a tip. But it’s common sense. Bring fun into the game. Life is too short to wonder what you have not completed. Make sure that with fun and elegance, you balance out your day. Play a game of table tennis, or go for a walk outside and enjoy a personal chat with your team members and colleagues. You will be energised by these engagements and at the same time be able to apply creativity and fun to whatever you do. Passion will lead you to do great things in life.
I’m sharing this as it helped me, my team, my family to be more productive and successful. With positive stress and a good focus on delivering what matters. But also placing the fun factor in everything I do. Have brought me to where I am now. I’m passionate about the things I do every single day. And this passion, with a lot of structure, helps me achieve my long term objectives. And maybe even will lead me to complete my bucket list in life:). I hope this will help you too.
About d-n-a consulting
D-N-A is a passionate management consulting networking team focussed on purposeful and agile change and program support. We offer a wide range of program and portfolio management support, tailored to the needs of your company. With a strong network and knowledge in/of Customer Experience, Digital, Technical and Organisational change management, we are here to support you during your transformational journey.
Visit our website via www.duchainassociates.com to learn more about us.
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