The search for a productivity technique that will make you more efficient and effective will be something of the past after this article.
Searching for the optimal productivity technique is valid for any type organization or activity in life. Often we set an efficient productivity technique equal to a complicated method.
In fact, it can often be the opposite. Think about it. If an efficient productivity technique aims to be productive, complicity by nature holds back the efficiency.
Before diving into the method, let’s understand the two primary drivers for a high level of productivity.
Efficiency And Effectiveness Are The Two Pillars Of Any Productivity Technique
There exist multiple descriptions of efficiency and effectiveness, and you can even measure the performance. But to make a straightforward and dictionary-like interpretation, the following description by Peter Drucker would serve perfectly well the purpose of this article:
Effectiveness: doing the right things
Efficiency: doing things right
What does it mean in real life? Let’s take an example from somebody going daily to the gym, with the goal to lose weight and get stronger muscles.
If you are spending most of the time talking to friends in the gym or chatting on your mobile phone, then your effectiveness level will be low. Your chatting, no matter how fun and exciting it is, will never support your goal of losing weight or building up your muscles.
Sweating hard with the gym equipment, but lifting weights with a wrong co-relation between repetitions, number of series and the weight you are lifting, the efficiency level will not be optimized.
Doing the same example with your business, it could be something in this way:
Your target is to reach out to as many baby boomers as possible. You make a massive effort on Instagram, which is the social platform where fewer baby boomers are hanging out. The effectiveness will be low. If instead the same attempt is made on Facebook, the effectiveness will increase.
With a plan for how to approach the baby boomers on Facebook, you start the work, but during the day you get distracted and are checking out your emails or doing other things that have nothing to do with your Facebook campaigns. Your efficiency level will suffer.
Planning Is The Effectiveness Key To Your Productivity Technique
As a passionate marathon runner, I learn everyday things that I can use in my business. To run a marathon (42.2km or 26.1 miles) is nothing you can do successfully without a detailed training program with a well-defined goal.
Why should your business perform differently? Well, it doesn’t!
Before ending a working day, you should work out the working plan for the next day. Make it easy! List the six most important tasks to do and prioritize the tasks. The next day starts with the first task and end with the last one.
This way of working has a name and is called the Ivy Lee method.
If you couldn’t work through the complete list during the day, at least you have done the most important ones. The remaining tasks form part of the new menu for next coming day, and who knows, maybe those “old” tasks now get a higher priority on the list for the following day.
The effectiveness will improve considerably by applying this straightforward and simple method. As my marathon training, the consistency is vital to the success.
Efficiency is always about how you use the time the best way. After all, an hour is still an hour. Read my article “How Much Is An Hour?”
Among all methods you can find, the most efficient productivity technique is in my opinion also the simplest one. I love the method for its simplicity. It’s called…..
The Pomodoro Technique
The name of the technique comes from the word tomato in Italian. Francisco Cirillo who developed the method used a tomato-shaped timer to measure the time blocks that form an essential part of this productivity technique.
An Efficient Productivity Technique
In a nutshell, the Pomodoro method consists of:
- Choose a task to work through. If you apply the effectiveness priority list mentioned earlier, there shouldn’t be any doubt about which task to choose.
- Set your timer for 25. (Sometimes I use to apply time blocks of up to 40 minutes.) Start working without any interruption of any kind. If necessary close your email and turn off your mobile phone.
- Work laser focused on your selected task until the timer rings.
- Stop working when the timer rings. It doesn’t matter where you are. Just stop working! Put a checkmark to know exactly where to start when your second time block starts.
- Take a break, rest, breath fresh air, take a cup of coffee, and you can even go for a short walk. During this resting block, it’s important to disconnect from what you were working. Your brain will recover more quickly, and you will continue more relaxed with time block number two and keep your efficiency at a high level.
- Start the second working block in the same manner as the first one. Repeat the process at least four times. After you’re getting more experienced, you will probably be able to do 5, 6 and maybe 7 working blocks.
- No matter how many working blocks you decide to do, after four blocks you need to take a more extended break, 30 to 60 minutes. You can be flexible here, and often I use to squeeze in between the 4-blocks sessions a training session for my running.
Can you see a familiar pattern here? Right, it’s the same method most schools are using. The Pomodoro method based on how the brain can take in information and the peak point for the efficiency.
A Proven Productivity Technique And Then What?
Have you heard about “walk the talk?” It’s all you need to do to get this extremely simple productivity technique to work.
All the benefits like:
- More work in less time
- Less (maybe completely erased) anxiety
- Better time planning
….will be worth nothing if you don’t “walk the talk.”
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You should never hide that English isn’t your mother tongue, but at least you should use this tool to avoid misunderstandings due to a fatal error in spelling and grammar.
No matter how many tools you add to your work, it all comes back to the same:
The success will finally depend on you, the way you work, and the way you apply the productivity technique.
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