How to Improve Personal Productivity in the Workplace?
Improving Personal productivity in the workplace is big need today. Considering the workplace complexity and daily never ending task list, it is impossible to survive at work without improving the skill of personal productivity at the workplace.
Productivity is the essential driver for effective delivery of great results at the workplace.
Being productive is about being efficient on how things are done. It includes navigating complexity to identify the right priorities, focus actions on those priorities and resolve execution issues to deliver the end results.
It may sound simple but is practically difficult to implement in real world consisting of no clear structure, complexities and ambiguities.
Sharing a real story of my earlier days on how I used to spend an unproductive day at workplace and approach I used on making it more productive.
I was always very busy and fully occupied at work throughout the day.
Time used to fly in days and months without much awareness and understanding of what is happening.
If colleagues asked what I have been doing, I would start thinking but could not verbalize clearly.
Felt that lot of effort was exerted and nothing significant had been achieved which was impacting output and results at workplace. There was not much control on the situation and I wondered where the gap is.
To come out of this situation and improve my results, I started reading various books and attending leadership programs to understand how to improve personal productivity in the workplace which helped me to come out of this dilemma.
I discovered that it primarily happens when one is driven more by priorities and urgencies (person/email/meeting/project) of others.
Mind takes the path of least resistance and start working in auto mode following a routine, which is influenced by others.
Once it becomes a habit, mind is attuned to routine and it becomes difficult to come out or even think about breaking the cycle. Moreover orgnization complexity makes it more difficult to come out of it.
Overcoming this cycle is essential to improve personal productivity at workplace
I learned and implemented three simple yet effective steps to break this cycle:
- Know what you are doing:
First step was to create awareness about activities that are being done. Prepared a weekly timesheet with day and hours and tracked the activities every hour.
Then categorized into subunits like meetings, email checking , breaks, training , improvements and was surprised to know the amount of time spent on non-value add activities. Taking actions on non value add activities and eliminating them will give free time to focus on value add activities which deliver immediate results.
Refection is thinking everyday about what I did and why we did .Was it essential or non-essential. In rush of things people tend to forget to be reflective. It is habit, which has to be nurtured by following daily discipline. Before going to bed daily, just think about activities that you have done during the day and results achieved. It will help you to build reflection power.
- Improvement plan:
Reflection provide insights into what could have been improved or done better. It enables defining one’s own priorities and sticking to it. Now, focusing activities on high priority areas will start giving immediate results. As improvement plan was implemented, I had more available time to deliver extra output and productivity improvement at workplace and most importantly it gave me lot of work satisfaction
By following the three steps, I experienced enrichment at work place, improved thought clarity, significant improvement in personal productivity in the workplace and in full control of what is being done.
Mind automatically started thinking about how time is spent and is it spent productively. Now, had the time to take additional projects for learning and growth.
I self-realized that experience is not gained by number of years but by amount of time spent reflecting on knowledge and learning that has been gained over the time and this learning will enable to improve personal productivity in the workplace
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How to improve Personal Productivity in the Workplace ?