Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tips To Increase Productivity and Personal Effectiveness

When assessing how to increase productivity and personal effectiveness, it is necessary to consider to broad areas - speed and personal application.

Productivity is not just about getting things done more quickly. It is essentially about getting things done more effectively. Therefore how we apply ourselves as individuals towards an outcome will impact personal effectiveness.

For example when I was involved in women's football we use to practice skills in training with and without speed to master technique first, then accuracy under pressure of speed.

The ability to work fast under pressure has to be balanced out by the skill of accurate application, in order to increase personal effectiveness and peak performance.

Tip 1 - Health

Energy is essential when looking to increase productivity and personal effectiveness, yet I am surprised how often health is neglected, whether for work or life in general.

From my days of working in psychiatry within the NHS it is well documented that absenteeism due to work related stress accounts for billion of pounds in the UK yearly.

Yet there is something called presenteeism, where someone continues to plough on at work when they are not well, due to denial or guilt they might feel if they report in sick. Presenteeism is equally responsible for low productivity and under performance.

So make sure you take time to regenerate and have leisure so that you can approach the necessary tasks with fresh energy rather than corrosive energy. Realise that the quality of your giving is directly related to the quality of your own energy.

Keep your cells hydrated. Remember that 70-80% of your body is water. Your cells need hydrating if they are to work for you. Dehydration is cited as the most common cause of fatigue and whilst many are familiar with the statistics, few hydrate their bodies well.

Tip 2 - Relaxed Awareness

It is better known that if you conduct tasks in a relaxed energised state, you get things done more quickly and effectively. The relaxed aware state is known as the alpha brain wave state.

Those who meditate will be familiar with this. For those who find it difficult to meditate, brain wave entrainment has now made it possible to meditate passively whilst retaining the same benefits as traditional meditation.

The more you learn to access this state proactively, the more resourceful you will become in responding to situations rather than reacting to situations.

Tip 3 - Focus and Concentration

Whilst focus is the capacity to direct your attention to the matter at hand, concentration is the intensity of attention you give it. We live in a world where so many things prey on our attention, so it requires greater ability and capacity than before to navigate through the distractions and keep focus on the matter at hand.

When you apply focus and concentration to a task do so against the clock to sharpen focus and concentration. Short bursts of intensive work against the clock will sharpen your focus and concentration.

Make sure you have fun beating the clock so that this does not get perceived as unduly stressful. Anything you create fun with is more likely to bring the best out of you.

On the subject of pressure, some adrenaline is good if you want to increase productivity. However too much pressure and adrenaline rush can have the opposite effect, so know where your boundary lies with pressure.

If you have a lot on you plate learn top prioritise and then see you decision through, rather than chopping and changing.

If you need to take on additional work look at what you can let go of to create space for that new task, rather than to be al things to all people.

Tip 4 - Increase Learning Skills

Develop the skill of accelerated learning and speed reading. Both skills when properly developed enable you to process information more quickly without losing understanding and recall.

Mind Mapping is a process that allows you to map out and integrate information within a map that is easily accessible by others when working on a collaborative project.

Companies could easily increase their productivity if they embraced mind mapping software that has collaborative tools, enabling them to cut down on travel time that accompanies regular meetings, whilst communicating in real time with each other.

Tip 5 - Become a Skilled Listener

Practise being present to the person who is talking to you, and actively listen to them. The quality of your relationships in general, and in business will flourish and you will accomplish more in shorter time.

Andrew Carnegie was the richest steel mogul of his era, and yet surprising to many, was the key he shared to his success. Carnegie did not put his success down to his knowledge, but his capacity to surround himself with those who had the expertise he lacked, and empower them to work in a harmonious and cooperative way.

So draw up a list of the areas you could improve to increase productivity and personal effectiveness, practise on those areas regularly, and observe how life and work progresses accordingly.

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