Welcome to this series on Success. I hope you find the readings thought provoking and inspiring. Please enjoy.
Geoffrey was envious of his colleague who manages to get off work on time every day. He seemed to be able to accomplish all his projects on time. In addition to that, he had the time to offer help to the rest of the members on his team. Geoffrey, on the other hand has to take his work home in order to complete his project on time.
His colleague, Betty always has a list to check off from before she leaves for the day. In addition, she has a separate list whereby she lists her task for the next day. He wondered if that small piece of paper laid the secret to her personal productivity. Geoffrey decided to find out from his colleague, Betty.
According to Betty, the small list which she wrote out the day before allows her to plan her day the next day. This is indeed one of her secrets to personal productivity and helps her to plan out her work the day before. She knows exactly what she needs to get done and accomplish for the day.
Besides that, these are the three additional personal productivity tips she has to share.
#1 Do a time audit
Time is a finite resource. In order to increase your personal productivity, you have to know how you are spending your time. A single table listing every activity you do and the time taken for each will reveal how you are spending your time. For instance, Betty discovered during the time audit that she was previously spending a lot of time surfing the Internet the minute she logged onto her email account at the beginning of the day. Thus, she decided to read work related email once she has completed her most vital task for the day instead of at the beginning of her work day.
#2 Set Goals
In order to make best use of your time, you have to set goals. The best way to manage your daily activities is to take your annual goals and break them into monthly, weekly and daily action steps to take.
You can better manage your time on a daily basis if you first begin the day by listing the tasks that need to be accomplished. By having a list of goals, you can also evaluate your progress on a daily basis.
#3 Monitor your progress
What gets measured improves. Once you have listed your tasks for the day, you have to evaluate your progress.
For a start, evaluate your progress on an hourly basis to ensure you have accomplished what you have set out to do in that hour. Once you are familiar with this process, you can evaluate your progress on a daily basis and subsequently on a weekly basis.
To continue to find new ways to increase your productivity at work, always take an hour a month to evaluate your activities and list down the things that can be delegated to free up your time. This one-hour investment of your time also allows you to improve the process at work. You can further improve your personal productivity by using personal productivity tools.
The key to increasing your personal productivity lies in identifying your time wasters, setting goals and evaluating your progress regularly.
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Nick Thorne is the founder of Nick’s Digital Solutions Limited. He lives in Levin, New Zealand.