As you begin to ponder the concept of productivity, think over this quote:
“The single-minded ones, the monomaniacs, are the only true achievers. The rest, the ones like me, may have more fun; but they fritter themselves away – Whenever anything is being accomplished, it is being done, I have learned, by a monomaniac with a mission.” – Peter Drucker, Adventures of a Bystander
Are you struggling with productivity? Do you often feel like you are jumping from here to there and back again, only to forget where “here” was? The good news is, you’re not alone. The bad news is, if you don’t fix it, you will be stuck alone with a struggling business. If you don’t want this to happen, you need to practice focused productivity!
Start by Learning How to Say No
Real leadership is saying no instead of yes. It’s also one of the most important aspects of focused productivity. Saying no will provide more focus than saying yes to yet another project you don’t have time for.
Multitasking may make you feel busy and like you’re working hard, but it doesn’t drive results. It’s impossible to get real results while doing too many things at once. This includes checking your phone or email while trying to get a project done.
“Email has to be one of the worst time-wasters ever, even if it’s a necessary thing to have, especially as a COO. Start your day by working on one of your top five projects of the day then don’t check your email until 4 pm – not a moment earlier. It really can wait.” – COO Alliance
Whatever type of environment you need to focus, find it and utilize it. If you do this, your productivity will improve, and so will the quality of your work. Try turning off your cell phone, shutting down your email, and focusing on projects for a little bit each day. You’ll be amazed at what you can get done.
Think About What Needs Your Focused Productivity
During days you really need to focus, it’s good to think about some of the following issues:
- Where in your business could you be focusing more?
- Who could you be building relationships with, whether inside or outside of the company?
- Who are your biggest clients?
- How could you get more business from them?
Now practice focused productivity on your answers and stick to them! Dedicate time for them when you aren’t distracted by anything else. No multitasking!
Take a Focus Day
Are you taking some time to really focus without the trappings of day-to-day business distracting you (laptop, email, phone)? It’s important to think about taking a Focus Day (or a few) to disconnect from the rest of the world and be alone with yourself and your thoughts.
“Once a week schedule yourself a recurring weekly appointment for a 3-4 hour block of “Focus Time.”We’ll call this day your “Focus Day” (even though you’re really only blocking off a 3-4 hour block during that one day.)” – Inc
Focused productivity is so important to getting things done and to getting them done well. As a leader, it’s important that you practice focused productivity to set an example for those around you. That way, everyone is going to be getting quality work done efficiently.
Do you practice focused productivity? What helps you stay on task? Let us know in the comments below.
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send us an email, and someone from my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.