July 14, 2022
GLC loves productivity.
Really. We love it.
We love seeing a job that needs doing and finding the most efficient way to complete the task, the best way to maintain overall efficiency through that task and finding the right people to manage and oversee the job.
But what is the best way to keep productive through that job? Some of the services that we manage are completed in a matter of weeks or months, while some need maintenance over years. Many services of a functioning business will never really be completed, they’ll continue to evolve with the business and either run like an efficient machine or a liability.
All employees play a part in the functionality of a business. Without the right people in place, even the strongest organization will deteriorate quickly. So, how can people stay productive over the course of the day, or even months and years on the job? It’s hard enough to stick with New Year’s resolutions. How can we ensure that we stay focused on our goals and company goals each day, making the most of the time that we are using during the workday?
Luckily, there are many techniques that are helpful in keeping ourselves on track throughout the day and keeping us accountable for our own achievements. The three techniques that we’ve outlined are great for keeping people at all levels of their careers on track to achieve goals in both the short-term and the long-term.
If you consider yourself easily distracted this productivity technique is for you. It was developed in the 1980s and balances bursts of work with short breaks.
Typically, the user of the Pomodoro Technique will set a timer for 25 minutes before putting their head down and working vigorously at the task at hand for the full length of time. Once the timer goes off, that’s the cue to take a five-minute break.
Repeat this cycle about four times before your take a longer break, usually around thirty minutes to recharge.
The key here is to use the working time with full focus. No checking email, texting a coworker, or watering your plants while the timer is set. Use your break time meaningfully to keep distractions at bay and ensure you’re able to return to your daily tasks without the mental clutter that pulls you away.
Eat the Frog
If you’re not familiar with this term, it comes from the famous quote by Mark Twain; “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
We find this method to be valuable in both personal and professional settings, especially if the most daunting things on your to-do list weigh on you throughout the day, and into the next until they are accomplished.
Don’t put off the things on your task list that you are dreading. The concept of “eating the frog” means that you will make the item you are most dreading the first thing that you accomplish during the day. Make your least favorite things a mental trophy of goals accomplished today and proudly cross it off your list. You might even find that it gives you momentum to tackle the other tasks, and doesn’t weigh so heavily on your mind.
Time blocking is a really popular method, but we’ve found it to be difficult to execute in an office setting. So, be warned, that it takes some discipline to effectively implement time blocks into your day. If you find you work well with a set schedule, you may be among the many people who use time blocking to effectively manage their day.
Time blocking sounds simple enough. You start by batching alike tasks of your day. Next, you break the day down into sections of time that you will spend only working on those tasks. Basically, you set a schedule for your day which is personalized to the things you must do to have a successful and productive day.
Working in time blocks means you are less likely to get stuck on things that are not essential to achieving your goals (we’re looking at you, email). Using time blocks can be very gratifying. Moving on to a new block of time can be a relief in the course of an eight-hour day, and knowing that you have scheduled time for each thing means that you’re less likely to get distracted by task switching.
Have you tried any particular techniques for productivity? Have you found them to be effective? Have you stuck to the methods for an extended period of time? We’d love to hear how you manage productivity, both in your professional life and outside the office.