I Think I Can – STOP THINKING and Start Doing, Dog Gone It!

It means making sure you are focusing at a task on hand and not day dreaming or paying half attention to the situation at hand. It means that the more time you spend focusing solely on one project, the more you can actually get done than by doing multiple projects at once due to the overhead of switching projects and situations in your mind.

Increasing productivity can also be done with technology or finding the most efficient way to do something and not always brute forcing an idea.

Productivity is the combination of intelligent planning and focused efforts. Staying productive at work or at home can be a challenge. Every time the work day ends, odds are that you are not satisfied with what you have accomplished. Productivity can be continuously improved, but here are some pointers that have really worked for me.

It’s time to get down to the raw, honest, and real-deal nitty-gritty on this topic. I got with quite a few passionate people interested in sharing their ideas with you and this article is an interview-style approach to helping you regain control of your time.

Topic at Hand: Increasing Productivity

[This article is part of the research done for the book: "Push the Damn Button" a straight-forward guide to getting off your butt and getting goals done - click here to check it out.]

['R' is me (Richard N. Stephenson) and 'I' in the interviewee]

R: What do you think is the most important thing about this topic?

I: By learning about ways to increase productivity, your daily life will be improved at home by allowing you to more efficiently spend your time. Life at work will also improve if you increase your productivity by either pleasing your employer or by making your own workload reduced or easier to manage. Your leisure activities might even be affected. For instance, if you play games your skill might improve.

R: What is the biggest, life-changing thing that could come from this topic?

I: Do something you enjoy and the productivity should always be present. If you aren’t enjoying what you do then you can only be so productive. Focus on the task at hand. Try distracting yourself by singing a song in your head while you work. Think of things you enjoy while performing the jobs you dislike.

R: Share some of your inner feelings on just how useful this topic is for making people want to be better.

I: Increasing productivity can improve your life in every aspect. They are only 24 hours in the day and we all have to sleep sometimes. Time management skills will help you get more done in less time. This will make you more successful in the long run and give you more prestige in the eyes of others.

R: At the end of the day, who would you pick to be the best at doing what matters most regarding this topic?

I: Business manufacturers are good at understanding how to increase productivity. Manufacturers only profit if they can make many things in a short period of time. For this reason, they become efficient, and have even made inventions, such as the assembly line. Manufacturers constantly work at increasing productivity so that they can also increase profit.

R: Who’s the flat-out worst at this subject?

I: People who are slothful will have problems increasing productivity. They need to work on this though. The more productive you are the more successful you’ll be in life.

R: Can you tell us what it’s like to have this subject in your life?

I: If someone wanted to increase their productivity I’d tell them to read self-help books. There are many out there on this topic. I’d also tell them they could try a seminar or look online.

R: When do you think the average person should start paying attention to this topic?

I: A person should start trying to increase their productivity at a reasonably young age, perhaps during high school. If they increase their productivity at a young age they will be better suited for employment or higher education challenges when the time comes.

A slow and gradual pace from young adulthood would likely more firmly instill the values associated with high productivity, whereas a quick and sudden change later in life would likely be less effective.

R: When is a time you feel this topic needs to be set aside or not even considered?

I: When someone is at a bad point in their life, say when their close friend died. They are still in grieving and won’t be able to perform as well as they are able until after they move on. Be realistic about the person’s performance and encourage them but don’t demand increased productivity. Slowly push them in the right direction and they will return to normal.

R: Describe where you think most people could get better use out of this topic.

I: A quiet, relaxing environment is the best place to increase productivity. The environment should also be clean and clear of possibly distracting items. Lighting is also important. A well-lit, clean, quiet workspace that is free from other people will in and of itself increase productivity.

R: Tell us about the worst place to make this subject part of our lives.

I: From personal experience: I worked in the foreclosure industry for just over five years. My department, which I managed, was tasked with quality control for our file flow (each file represented a property being foreclosed on). As the foreclosure market “boomed” during the recession, we were pushed to maximize productivity without necessarily still valuing accuracy, i.e. “move as many files as possible per day.”

Without an increase in staff size, and the arbitrary goal of moving more files, it became necessary to cut corners and trust previous departments to get things right. This is a very good example of this topic. The drive was a numbers game and did not take into account the quality of the product produced.

R: Give me an example of who you think should look into this subject more?

I: The type of person that would benefit from increasing productivity is someone who is disorganized. If you are disorganized it takes away time from more important work. For example, if you don’t know what your deadlines are or where you filed something, you will waste time trying to find the answer.

I think that someone might need to keep a daily diary to see where their efforts are going. I guess a group/org that could work on increasing productivity would be one that is losing money or one where no one knows what other people are doing.

R: Can you give us any hints or tips for working this topic into our lives?

I: Increasing productivity can be seen from the workers view or the managers view. As a manager, productivity can be increased by creating a problem solving environment rather than a defensive climate. People like to believe that their thought and ideas are considered. If those ideas are considered, managers are likely to receive higher productivity.

R: Please, let us know what you think is the biggest problem related to this topic?

I: People who are trying to increase their productivity should stay away from social networking sites. For people who actually use it for business, and can accomplish making connections with social media, that’s fine.

But, people who struggle with productivity should stay away from using these sites. There is just too much distraction involved, and you’ll spend more time staring at everyone’s opinions and pictures instead of accomplishing something you need to do.

R: This topic is broad and the readers will need some focus. Can you help guide them along with an example of what to do next?

I: Keeping track of progress over time is a great way to better understand productivity. For example, if a person goes to the gym sometimes and does some exercises, but doesn’t keep track, they may think that they are making great progress. If the person writes down the weight they lifted or the duration of their runs, however, they may find that progress is not as much as they expected, and then be encouraged to work harder to see the results on paper.

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Come on now! Aren’t you fired up and ready to get more done in life? There’s at least one golden pearl of wisdom (or is that nugget of pearl?) to take away. See how you can apply it to your life today and start getting more stuff done. There’s just ain’t enough time to dilly-dally, folks!

It’s time to get off that chair, get your butt pumped, and get more important stuff done in life! It’s time to Push The Damn Button already. Click here to regain control of the minutes floating away from your life.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or personal life-changing wisdom below.

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