July 4, 2016 Youth Impact

8 Hacks to increase productivity

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Identify the Essentials

A great place to start is identifying what items you need to perform your job. We’re getting back to basics here. Determine what your bare essentials are and then give each item a designated place where it is always within an arm’s reach.

What should you do with the non-essentials you’ve had lying around? Toss them, file them, gift them, or return them to the appropriate person or place.

Set expectations

It is important to set firm, clear, and concise expectations for any group. Accountability will not grow where team members are unsure of the group’s purpose and vision. Teams need to know what is expected of them before they are expected to be held accountable.

Set goals with realistic deadlines

Unfortunately, goals can get derailed when assigning them with unrealistic deadlines. Deadlines are imperative to productivity, but they can be quite the opposite when they are seen as un-doable or even threatening.

Measure progress

Measure the progress of team members in alignment with the goals and expectations set out at the beginning. Goals can only be measured when they are quantified. Compare the measured results to the goals to find out where team members need the most improvement.

Provide feedback

After setting clear expectations, committing to set goals, and measuring progress, it is important to provide feedback to team members so that there can be improvement towards the goal. When creating a culture of accountability, make sure that the feedback that you do give highlights both the positive things that the team member has done and the areas where they can improve.

Stop multi-tasking

New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drops our IQ by 5 point). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice!)

Evaluate effectiveness
Not all methods of operation are effective! Waiting until the end of the process or project to evaluate the effectiveness can severely hamper the potential of you as

an individual or your team as a whole. Step aside and assess the plan and the participating team members. Evaluate the effectiveness of each component, good and bad, in relation to the goal and mission.

Be flexible

Pro tip: Always leave about 15 minutes of “cushion time” in between items on the to-do list or calendar in case something pops up and if a crisis does strike, the most important thing is to remember to stop and breathe.


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