What is personal productivity?
It seems that there is never enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in planning, prioritising, creating and sticking to a plan and using all available resources and tools to your advantage.
Personal productivity is not just about checking boxes off your to-do list; it is about making sure you are getting the right things done, in the right time frame, in an effective way in all areas of our lives.
What is productivity? In simple formula, it is output divided by input. Here, output is quantity of results and quality of results that you produce. Quality is accuracy, completeness and consistency of your work. Input is your time, energy and skills. The results that we produce must be on time, in full and error free (OTIFEF).
To increase your productivity, you either need to increase the output or reduce the time it takes or do a combination of both.
Reasons for lower personal productivity
- Lack of clarity: We are not clear about our goals, if there is no clarity about the goals, our mind becomes confused and does not know where to focus. As a result, we can get very few things completed. This means we have not spent quality time to think about the goals.
- No plan: We don’t have a plan for our goals or have a plan that is not aligned with our goals.
- Lack of emotion management: All of us go through a plethora of emotions every day. If we don’t identify and understand our own’s emotions and express them at the right time, in an effective way with the right people, then we spend enormous amount of energy to address our emotions internally and this energy is not available to do any other work. As a result, we lose our productivity.
- Improper nutrition: Our body is designed to generate energy for us to think and nutrition is the fuel which is required in the right amount, at the right time and at the right frequency. The nutrition has a direct effect on our physical and mental energy levels.
- No exercise: Insufficient or lack of physical exercise. Our body can produce energy only if we exercise.
- Inadequate sleep and relaxation: According to national sleep foundation, adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night for their bodies and mind to function optimally.
- Doing it alone: Not getting help from others when absolutely essential. We must know our strong areas and our areas where we need help.
- Lack of tools: We do not have the tools and/or skills required to perform tasks.
- Not saying no: We do not say “no” to distractions that are not important to our goals.
Importance of personal productivity
- If work is not complete in time, there are missed deadlines.
- Missed deadlines create backlog.
- Backlogs and any incomplete work is a major source of stress.
- Everybody wants results. Personal productivity has a direct impact on the quantity and quality of the results that we produce.
- If we have high productivity, we can complete our targeted to-do list and we can spend more time on personal things and with family.
- If we have high productivity, we feel in control because our daily tasks are complete.
- With higher productivity, our stress level is reduced.
Stay tuned for my next article! I will share how to use the time management matrix.