How productive are you?
"Every 18 months, for the last decade," says marketing expert Seth Goodin, "the world has doubled the data it pushes to you." The math is simple. You now receive twice as much email, twice as many friend requests, twice as many sites to check. You now have two – three as many devices.
Consider the impact on your concentration levels, your ability to keep up, and even your ability to think. Seems to me that the more we exchange action for stimulus and then stimulus for action, the more we chip away at pieces of who we are and how we function both at home and at work.
This post though is about the latter, productivity at work in an age of being constantly switched on and the successful strategies being used to allow us to make the most of our day. This is important because these startegies can be linked to job satisfaction, the amount to time we spend at our desks and of course the work itself.
One of my favourite productivity tips is unplugging from the Internet.Yes. I mean literally turning off my wireless router, or taking off the cable when I work from home. Because my firm is connected on all social media platforms I find myself constantly being pulled in by the urge to be part of the various conversations. The fact is once I have my browser up and running the temptation is there to check in. And so I unplug, when I am doing my client’s work, strategising, writing my column or a proposal, I block off the time that I won”t go online and I just focus.
Another tip is to carve out your email repsonse time. I actually got this tip from one of our consultants at Mango Media Caribbean who juggles a full time writing and tv production schedule. Sue has three check in times for emails: 7:00 am. 2:30 pm amd 8:00 pm. She answers every email, slowly and methodically. She responds to questions, she sends off projects, she emails inquires. She has never missed a deadline. I asked her about this tactic once and her answer is that people get clued in to her repsonse times pretty easily and they accept the hours that they will and won’t hear from her. "Expectiaons can be managed fairly well once deadlines are met."
The lesson here maybe if you get caught up in answering every time intensive email that comes your way instantly, you just won’t be able to serve people the same way (and everybody suffers).
Shonali Burke of Women Grow Your Business writes the worst thing you can do is to make your iPhone or BlackBerry your de facto computer which you carry everywhere. I think this has terrible reprecussions in the work place that borders on the rude especially when you start answering your phones during meetings and texting and emailing incessantly as you work. .
Productivity at work in an age of being constantly connected comes down to having self control, applying a layer of filtering, managing epectations and switchng off. As an entrpreneur, it’s important to keep your eyes on the people who are keeping your cash register clicking (clients) and God knows that is hard enough in and of itself.