Archives For Productivity

Do you know the difference between inspired, engaged, and satisfied employees? Are you aware of the impact of the difference on their productivity? it is significant!

Read the article by Eric Garton and Michael C. Mankins on HBR.org for some very interesting insights!

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“THE MANY WAYS OPEN OFFICES SAP OUR PRODUCTIVITY” – Fast Co.

surprising uses for Evernote

Interesting article on The Muse about four reasons to cancel your weekly staff meetings. They just might make sense – what do you think?

1. Interruptions Are Productivity (and Potentially Profit) Killers

2. Instant Messaging is an Effective Way to Get Most News Out—Faster

3. There Are Other Ways to Meet

4. Every Meeting Should be Planned With Productivity in Mind

Click here to read the full article – it will make you think about how you do meetings.

BG

multi-tasking is actually bad for your health

the1thingDo you feel tired most of the time? Is getting out of bed most mornings (especially Monday!) a laborious task?

More and more, people are writing about energy management and priority management and less about time management. The reason being is that the way most of us are working may be productive of efficient in the short term, it is usually detrimental to our long-term health and productivity.

I have been reading The One Thing and Gary Keller talks about a simple rhythm for the day that helped him become healthier and more productive. What he is saying has been said by others in different ways, but the core elements are much the same. Following is a slightly edited version of what he calls “The Highly Productive Person’s Daily Energy Plan”:

  1. Start your day with prayer
  2. Eat right and ensure you start your day with a healthy breakfast
  3. Get 7 -8 hours a sleep every night
  4. Exercise 5 – 6 days a week (just 20 – 30 minutes a day will be life changing!)
  5. Hug, kiss, and laugh with your loved ones
  6. Set your goals, plan, and calendar for the day
  7. Make sure you time block for your most important priority – what he calls the ONE Thing.

Most of this is not new, but I like the way in which he handles the subject. The challenge is that while we know what we should be doing, we aren’t. So, develop the desire, discipline yourself to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life (one thing at a time, you can’t do it all at once!!), and after you start seeing some small wins you will start feeling the motivation to continue. Remember, in this case, motivation follows action!

BG

ClarityGood morning!

Recently, I had the opportunity to do some teaching on Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage (an excellent book by the way). The book is focused on organizational health and a major theme running through the book is the need for clarity. It seems obvious, but so few organizations/leaders actually achieve clarity.

Leaders owe clear and consistent direction to those they lead – without clarity people flounder and so will the organization. Read some of the following quotes:

“Unfortunately, most of the leaders I’ve worked with who complain about a lack of alignment mistakenly see it primarily as a behavioral or attitudinal problem. In their minds, it’s a function of the fact that employees below them do not want to work together. What those executives don’t realize is that there cannot be alignment deeper in the organization, even when employees want to cooperate, if the leaders at the top aren’t in lockstep with one another around a few very specific things.

No matter how many times executives preach about the “e” word in their speeches, there is no way that their employees can be empowered to fully execute their responsibilities if they don’t receive clear and consistent messages about what is important from their leaders across the organization.” –  Lencioni, Patrick M. (2012-08-21). The Advantage, Enhanced Edition: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business (pp. 74-75). Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition.

“What would happen if we could figure out the one thing you could do that would make the highest contribution?” I asked him. He responded sincerely: ‘That is the question.’ ” – Mckeown, Greg (2014-04-15). Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less (Kindle Locations 171-172). Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

We owe it to others to provide them clarity about where we are going and how we plan to get there – confusion and ambiguity do not produce organizational health and effectiveness.

So – today -, how are you going to provide your team even greater clarity about where you are headed?

Have a great week!

BG

This is an excellent article from Inc.com on “Why your attempts to be ultra-productive are sabotaging your ability to make meaningful connections and reach your full potential.”

David Van Rooy (@dlvanrooy) lists five benefits from being present.

1. You will be a positive example.

2. You will learn more.

3. You will be more creative.

4. You will get more done

5. You will have less stress

It’s a good article and worth reading – click here to read the full article.

BG

Today – are you focused on the “trivial many” or the “vital few”?

Decide what is most important and tackle that task today and put aside the long “To-Do” list full of busy work. Focus on what is most important and get that done today. Sure, your email inbox may be full, but you will have accomplished something worthwhile.

BG

summer sunlight June 2014Good Friday morning to you! A rainy and cool day here in the Midwest.

An issue that is important to me and that has been rekindled in me by Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism is how we equate busyness and the accomplishment of our to-do list as productivity. As I have noted before, our US culture rewards and values the busy person who is skilled at multitasking (which is a lie as well) and whose calendar is filled with one meeting after another with no room to even breathe much less think. For some reason, we define this as being “productive”.

As I noted in an earlier blog, this could be one form of laziness, for some people it is all they know, and for many of us, it is the behavior that is functionally valued and rewarded in our organizations. However, often the greatest value to the organization are the people who take time to think deeply and to wrestle with the core issues or challenges facing the organization. Those people who are digging to find the root cause(s) and to develop long-term solutions to those problems. People who are concerned  that they are working on the “one thing” that will tip the scales in whatever endeavor they are working on. These people are the ones that often bring the most value to an organization, but unfortunately, in most of our organizations they are seen as “unproductive” as they are not rushing around and attending many meetings. They are often just thinking. Yet, given the chance, they are the ones that solve the biggest problems or develop game-changing innovations.

So, maybe, just maybe, we have a wrong definition of productivity. And just maybe it’s time to change the definition,

Have a great weekend!

BG