When we talk about productivity, we’re talking about getting good quality work done as quickly as possible. Clients often come to us looking to boost their output or reclaim some time in their lives, which is where our group or individual coaching comes in. We always (so far) manage to help them, but they are often surprised by how obvious some of the things we help them with are on the one hand, and how counterintuitive some of the other changes are.
When we work, we always start with a foundation of wellbeing as we see time and time again that it’s not something nice to indulge in when you have a bit of time, it’s at the heart of thinking and working well.
3 Common Sense Productivity Practices
These are things that all of us know, deep down, help us work better, but which require a lot of discipline to implement consistently.
Minimise distraction. It never ceases to amaze me how many distractions most people have in their workspace, whether it’s at home or in an office. Distraction is probably the biggest productivity killer we see, and yet many people are very attached to their distractions and need a lot of help letting go of them.
Take control of your time. So many people go through their entire day reacting; never getting round to the tasks they wanted to finish that day and instead letting their time be dictated by their inbox. Being more purposeful with how we use our time is key to remaining productive, particularly in the knowledge sector.
Ensure that meetings are meaningful. Recurring calendar invites are the bane of the modern workplace. We often default to meetings without really thinking and this can end up wasting many people’s time. Working out when meetings are actually necessary, feeling confident to challenge them and then ensuring they are effective can massively boost productivity.
3 Counterintuitive Productivity Practices
Taking more time for yourself boosts productivity. This is at the core of everything we do, as wellbeing and productivity really do go hand in hand. You might be able to sacrifice your wellbeing to work longer for a short while, but in the long run it’ll send you into a downward spiral. When we work, we always start with a foundation of wellbeing as we see time and time again that it’s not something nice to indulge in when you have a bit of time, it’s at the heart of thinking and working well.
Being available doesn’t make you productive. Are your email notifications on? How about your phone? If your answer is yes, that puts you in the majority. Most office workers feel (particularly when working remotely) that they need to be constantly reachable. This may be true for certain roles, but for most of us it’s just a sense that we’ll be seen as slacking if we don’t reply to an email within two minutes (which is the average.) However, this stops us from getting into a state of deep work and constantly distracts us. It’s much more productive to focus on your output, rather than your availability, and consign email checking to specific times
We don’t need to focus constantly to be productive. Whilst focus is vital, particularly for certain tasks, our brains often do a really good job when we’re doing something else. This is different from being distracted, which creates damaging attention residue, this is intentionally taking a break from thinking about a tricky problem and focusing on a trivial, ideally manual task for a bit. It’s essentially a way of bringing more shower thoughts into our day without wasting litres of water!
Productivity isn’t easy, but it’s also not that hard. It just requires a level of discipline and an understanding of how our brains work best.
If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org