In this information and digital age, everything is at our finger tips; apps, websites and softwares exist to make our lives easier and more productive, but often if feels as if we are creating more work for ourselves. According to this LinkedIn Pulse article by a New York Times Editor, Productivity is the name we give our attempts to figure out the best uses of our energy, intellect, and time as we try to seize the most meaningful rewards with the least wasted energy, or; getting things done without sacrificing everything we care about along the way.
Increasing efficiencies? More spare time? Okay, sign me up! The article is well worth a read as it touches on how to make the best use of our time and, therefore increase, our productivity.
This is also the subject of a book I am currently reading – Productivity Ninja, which comes highly recommended. The premise of the book is “work smarter, not harder” and that is a philosophy I can get on board with! Although only half way through, I have started implementing two key things from the book, which I’ve notice has already impacted on my day to day efficiency.
1. Get your inbox down to zero – depending on what role you’re in, this can seem like a completely impossible task, but it is achievable! Yesterday alone, I sent 143 emails and think how many responses that will generate – a lot! Thanks to the book, I have started implementing the two-minute rule. Can it be dealt with in less than two minutes? Then deal with it now. The time and energy spent adding it to a to do list and allocating time to do it when it could have been done in less than two minutes? Get it done and get it out of your inbox.
2. The @waiting inbox – have you ever fallen victim to ticking something off your to do list by putting the ball in someone else’s court – asking for a meeting as an example, but then needing them to respond in order for any action to actually be taken? Create an @waiting subfolder in your inbox (@ means it will appear at the top of your sub folder list). Any task where you find yourself waiting on someone else, pop it in there. Whenever you have a spare 15 minutes in the week, have a look to see who you need to follow up, with action. This way, it’s removed from your mind, stored safely and you will trust your system enough to know that it won’t fall through the cracks!
Currently half way through the book, there will be more advice and tips to share, but try implementing these two small things and see if it makes any difference in your day. In this digital age, when we are contactable 24/7, organisations are asking more of employees and employees are working harder. The more we can do to create efficiencies, the more productive we will be, and the more balance we can introduce to our lives!