Increase Productivity Daily, Gain Extra Time Weekly, and Maximize Results by taking charge of your time.

The Global Risk Report 2018 World Economic forum stated, “This generation enjoys unprecedented technological, scientific, and financial resources.”

WEF_GRR18_Report.pdf (weforum.org)

This level of resources has made us more efficient in accomplishing tasks but has caused us to become bombarded with more activities. Things are getting done in a shorter time so more is being added to our life. How do we get it done? How do I make time for family, relationships, self-care, spiritual growth?

If you are like me you are getting things done but the important things still seem to suffer.

How to increase productivity?

Follow this 3 step guide to increase productivity.

  1. Make your To-Do list- PEN to PAPER
  2. Prioritize all your activities
  3. Increase Production by Reflecting on completed activity
This Ultimate Guide to Increase Productivity is the 3Ps- Pen to Paper, Prioritize and Production by Reflection

Has anyone ever asked you, “how was your day?” and you replied, ‘’busy!’’ But when you reflected on that day you didn’t complete the important things and have so much yet to do.  

My busy bee you are not alone.

I have always been known as a busy person, I work full time, am married, and starting my own business. I was and am always busy, I love it but I realized I lacked results, I lacked productivity.

What is Productivity?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, productivity is having the quality or power of producing or yielding results.

Productivity Definition & Meaning – Merriam-Webster

Many persons conclude that getting a lot of things done is productivity, but all you may be is busy but not necessarily productive. Getting important things done and creating extra time to do those other life activities is true productivity. Producing results over and over, being consistent and efficient is what makes us productive.

So, how can you yield true results? How can you get the important things done and more?

Implement the 3Ps NOW!

Make Your To-Do List- Pen to Paper

  • This step is crucial, especially for us Busy Bees. Our minds are constantly at work, our thoughts sometimes ahead of what we are currently discussing or doing. We need to get all our plans down on paper. This can be done to prepare for your hour or two of free time, the day, the week or the month however you decide to plan ahead.

Tip: Anywhere along the 3 step process you remember another activity to complete just come back to this step.

  • I normally draw 3 columns on the sheet of paper. Starting with the column to the left, I insert a ‘Time’ as my title. For the middle column ‘Activities’ and the column to the right I title ‘Priorities’.
  • In the Activities column, write down all the tasks to accomplish or desire to get done. From your meetings, to working on your business plan, to washing or folding clothes.
  • Within the column titled Time, write the amount of time you expect to take completing each task. (Be realistic) Whether it is 15mins to read a work report, 30mins to clean the bathroom, 1hour to fold clothes, 2hours staff meeting, write it ALL down.

Prioritize Activities

  • You will now have to rank your activities from 1 to 3. This part may be difficult. Cause the question arises, What do I rank as 1 or 2 or 3? To help me rank and optimise my time, I use TWO simple questions.
    • Is this urgent? (Yes/No?)
    • Do I have to complete this by a specific day and time of the week? (Yes/No?)

If you answered YES to BOTH questions you are to rank the activity as a 1. Record in the right column which you can label Priorities.

If you answered NO to ONE of the questions you are to rank the activity as a 2.

If you answered NO to BOTH questions you are to rank the activity as a 3.

Remember this guide is aimed to increase your productivity and create extra time which can be used for what other things you consider important.

  • Don’t forget to write your rank of 1 to 3 within the right column of the activities.
  • For those who just have an hour or two of ‘free time’ simply determine which activity ranked 1 can be accomplished within the time you have. If you don’t have any activities on your list ranked 1 or can not be accomplished within the time you have, look at activities ranked 2. Move to activities ranked 3 only if the activities ranked 1 and 2 cannot be done in time you have.  
    • With this strategy every time you have that hour or two you can still get things you want or need to get done. Producing results- Productive.
  • For those who plan for the day, week or month, all the activ ities your priotize or ranked 3, Ask yourself these questions:
  1. Must this be completed within the time I am planning for?

If No– remove activity from the list (place a line through the task and time (cross it off)) ELIMINATE

If Yes– Answer the other question 

2. Can I ‘borrow time’, from another activity? 

MERGE and ELIMINATE

For example 1- if cooking was added to the list of activities (2hours) and you have washing as well (1hr 30mins). Instead of looking for 3hrs and 30mins within your week, use the longer forecasted duration and get the two activities done. So in 2hours, you would complete cooking and washing. For the activity that you merged into another timed activity, place a line through the time in the left column.

Example 2- You want to clean the bathroom, instead of looking for 30mins or an hour from your week, do it while you bathe. Merge time.

Example 3- You want to finish reading that book, why not find an audio version and listen in commute to work or home.

Do this for ALL activities ranked 3. You will begin to realize activities and time being eliminated from your list or merged. 

  • Tally ALL time crossed off. 

My friend, YOU SEE THAT EXTRA TIME?! 

Example of To-Do List

Tip: To gain those extra hours and reap the benefits of productivity complete the activity within its allocated time

Increase Production by Reflecting on completed task – Production by Reflection

This step promotes continuous improvement and increased productivity.

  • Production by Reflection can be done at the end of every completed activity, day, week even month.

This Step involves reflecting or pondering on how the task was completed. Reflecting on past actions can’t change what was done but can help to mold what can be done better and more efficiently in the future. Key to true productivity.

  • Questions that helped me in reflection
    • Did I accomplish the activity/ activities within its time?
      • If you said yes, Excellent!
      • If no, don’t be discouraged, continue to reflect.
    • Why didn’t I accomplish the task within the allocated time?
    • What when wrong?
    • What can I do differently?

Was there an emergency? Then don’t feel bad my Busy Bee, unforeseen occurrences befall us all. What we do under change is important. ADAPT!

  • No emergency occurred so what can I do differently? 
  • Could I ADJUST the activity to be accomplished in less time?
  • You are super, I have no doubt you are, but being productive also involves knowing when to DELEGATE.

Production by Reflection involves:

Asking yourself questions to determine why the task was not completed

Adapting under changing circumstances

Adjust activities to reduce time spent accomplishing

-Delegating

Have your copy of the guide now. Take control of your time