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Increase Productivity by 5% In One Day

Friday, February 3, 2012 by Slaughter Development

Every company and every employee wants to be more productive. Are there actually easy things you can do to make a significant  productivity increase in only one day?

According to Jeff Hadden at BNET, the answer is a resounding yes. In his article, he claims that we can make dramatic productivity improvements without spending any money. Here is his first idea:

Create an esteem incentive. We all work harder when we feel appreciated…Have an employee lead a presentation to upper management. Place an employee in charge of an important project. Give an employee the opportunity to train in another department…And if you work for someone else, think about what makes you feel good about your work and do more of it.

This suggestion is kind of like telling your kids they will have more fun on the weekends if they help keep the house clean. Certainly all of these tips will eventually lead to increased productivity and employee engagement. But they aren’t actions which will produce a measurable five percent gain in one day.

Another example from Hadden’s article:

Eliminate the worthless. Every company and every job has some number of once-meaningful but now worthless tasks. Think about all the “legacy tasks” your employees currently do; the “that’s how we’ve always done it” stuff. If a task doesn’t directly impact sales, quality, productivity or safety, get rid of it and free up that time.

Here at Slaughter Development, we’re big fans of reducing waste. Certainly, many organizations might be carrying around more than 5% of “excess fat” that could be trimmed. But once again, the challenge is finding these issues.  That’s much of our long-running campfire stories series, which offers legendary tales of process improvement that were difficult to detect. It’s just not likely that organizations are going to be able to find these issues in one day, especially if they haven’t noticed them for years.

So how can you actually increase productivity by 5% in a single day? Here are some tips that might work:

  • Install a larger screen - If you’re working on an old 15″ monitor, upgrade to a full 19″ display. Or better yet, take advantage of adding a second screen. (If you’re skeptical, check the research.)
  • Clear your desk - Most of the stuff on your desk does not get used every day. Dump it all into a big box that says “desk” and get back to work.  (Yes, this works too. Read more.)
  • Shut your door, turn off your phone - If people can’t reach you for an hour a day, you are more likely to get things done in an hour. (Source.)

All of the productivity improvement suggestions made in Hadden’s BNET article are sound and good for the long-term. But if you need to become more efficient today, try our tips. Get ahead of your schedule, your to-do list and your competition. And if you’re ready to find out how to become radically more productive by rethinking your workflow, contact us at Slaughter Development. We’d love to help you learn to work smarter.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Increase Productivity: Engaging With Others - Increasing productivity may be the objective, but most of the time it seems like we are only increasing activity. A clip from an old animated cartoon makes this point in a hilarious and poignant way.
Read on »
Increase Productivity by Going Mobile - Increased productivity in government sounds like a contradiction in terms. But a new article says that mobile devices may be fundamental to Federal efforts to increase productivity.
Read on »
Increase Productivity: Do Nothing - Over at the website Blogussion, a writer named “Alex” suggests we can increase productivity by doing nothing. How can working less result in more?
Read on »
Want to learn more? Register now for the 2012 Productivity Series

3 Responses to “Increase Productivity by 5% In One Day”

  1. Bryan Hart Says:

    Thanks for the kick in the pants to get this stuff implemented. My screen is fine, butI have been needing to do these other things, especially the simple un-cluttering and unplugging for a while now. I have even been talking to my masterminds group about the importance of a clean office (Going the Entreleadership), but I just need to get it done.

  2. Bryan Hart Says:

    I meant “Going through EntreLeadership.”

  3. Robby Slaughter Says:

    Thanks as always for the comments Bryan!

    Clean space has an amazing effect on the mind. It helps us to focus!

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