Five Steps to Become ‘Super Productive’

Get the biggest impact out of every hour you work.

April 19, 2013

“Super productivity” is about getting the most impact out of every hour you work. It’s about being prepared to write off what doesn’t matter and focus your efforts on implementing and executing those tasks that do.

Consider these five strategies to eliminate waste and accelerate productivity:

1. Use the 15-minute rule

What can you do in 15 minutes that will get you closer to achieving your goals? Consider taking action in 15-minute increments for such things as answering email, hosting a standing meeting (where everyone actually stands), and limiting phone conversations.

2. Cancel unnecessary meetings

Trust, Then Delegate

Being an indispensable asset to your team is an excellent goal—but it’s even more important to know where to focus your efforts and when to share the load.

If it’s difficult to delegate, try these tips, James advises:

Give it up. Recognize and admit that you can’t do everything all of the time. Acknowledge that you’ll benefit from other people’s help and give them the opportunity to shine in the process.

Trust yourself. You already believe you’re the best person for the job—now believe you’re the best person to delegate tasks to others.

Trust others. People won’t delegate because they don’t trust other people to complete a task or activity in the same way as they would themselves. And it’s true, no one will do things exactly like you. Accept that maybe your way isn’t the best way and that someone else might even do better than you.

Communicate expectations. Be clear and specific. And ask your co-worker to summarize your expectations, including how and when the task should be completed.

Offer feedback. Let co-workers know how they did. Recognize their achievement through praise or an appropriate reward.

If you’re holding meetings only because they’re on the calendar for the same time, same day every week—stop. Unless you have a strong agenda and a reason to invest everyone’s time, cancel the meeting.

If you can’t cancel it altogether, at least reduce the meeting time as appropriate.

3. Pay attention

You frustrate your team when you’re constantly distracted by your email. Distraction can be disrespectful.

The biggest investment you can make in someone is giving people your undivided—not multitasked—attention. Look people in the eyes, put down your iPhone, and ask your team to do the same.

4. Choose three strategies

Focus your attention on your top three strategies to accomplish your job.

Make sure your strategies are:

As a leader, your role is to focus on strategies you can execute.

5. Disconnect

Take breaks from technology. Occasionally remove yourself from your email and the minutia that can drain your focus and energy. Refocus on the big picture, your deliverables, and your strategy.

Having the mindset of execution will make you more strategic and successful, and it’ll help you build your reputation as a chief “execution” officer.

NEEN JAMES is a productivity expert and author of “Secrets of Super-Productivity: How to Achieve Amazing Things in Your Work Life.”

(Via Credit Union FrontLine)