Can you possibly focus too much on better personal productivity? The stakes are so high that I don’t think we can focus on it enough. If you could be even 20% more productive, getting 20% more tasks done in a week, think about how much better your life would be both at work and at home.
Read on for the one thing that could actually double your productivity in less than a week…
In last week’s article, I provided three general keys to improved productivity. These were just quick-fix tactics, but if you use them, they’ll undoubtedly help you chip away at many classic productivity thieves.
This article deals with a bigger productivity problem—the kind of problem that can lurk under the surface and really sap your energy.
You could be at home, on the job, or volunteering for your favorite non-profit. But if you don’t approach your tasks in a smarter, more innovative way—no matter what tactics you use–that ToDo list will just keep getting longer. It’ll also remain populated by things that are just not getting done.
I once visited a friend’s company in the middle of the day. While there, I watched as his lead programmer stepped out of his office, plopped down on a couch, and proceeded to read the newspaper for close to twenty minutes. He repeated this maybe twice an hour for most of the afternoon. This guy was spending almost 50% of his time idle reading the newspaper!
None of us need to be reminded of how precious programmer time can be.
I took a chance and asked my friend what was up with this programmer’s breaks. My friend said it happens every day—that the research project the programmer was working on uses a massive data download that then needs to be analyzed and organized. The programmer takes a break while his computer is tied up with the download.
I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers, but I reminded my friend how much he was paying this programmer. We did the quick math on the lost productivity, and he realized how much these newspaper breaks were really costing him. I then suggested upgrading to both ultrafast internet as well as the fastest multi-core solid-state memory-loaded computer he could find. Both these items came with a cost, but it was a fraction of what he was currently paying for wasted programmer time.
The next time I visited my friend’s company, that same programmer thanked me for my suggestions and said he’s now getting twice as much done. He also confessed that he’d always felt guilty just reading the paper.
Sometimes the solution to a time-wasting problem can be fairly evident—unless you’re in the middle of the situation. When you’re working inside, the time-wasters can slowly creep up on you. That data download/processing issue began as a three-minute mini-vacation for the head programmer. But as the task expanded over weeks, those three minutes slowly bloated into twenty.
This is how hidden time thieves can emerge–slowly at first, but then grow unnoticed. When it’s happening around you, maybe even on your own ToDo list, you might not notice.
The one thing you can do to guard against the big time-wasters is to take a mental step back and shift into outsider mode for a few minutes. That’s what I was at my friend’s office—an outsider. Take a look at your ToDo list, what goes on during your day, what you’re getting done, and do it all with fresh eyes. I know this probably sounds like more work, but just for a few days, keep a time log. I guarantee you’ll have a few surprises—the kind of surprises that can change the entire way you get things done.
Use your time log to identify tasks that can be either eliminated or done in a different, more efficient way—like getting a superfast computer and faster internet connection. If you can spend a few hundred dollars to save a few thousand dollars, you could become a legend. Spend a few thousand dollars to make a few hundred thousand dollars, and they may erect a statue in your honor!
Once you identify the time-wasters and generate a few ideas on how to offload, reassign, hire, buy, or rent resources to help you work more efficiently, fire up your spreadsheet and run the numbers. You’ll probably find that, at a relatively modest cost, you can get more done faster and save money in the long run.
Then comes the tough part: Do something about it. Make changes.
Consider a productivity bonus:
We’ve put together a set of productivity boosters as a bonus for you. Totaled up, they come to $1,050 worth of services, education opportunities, plus a few fun items. (Yes, a little fun is okay when you polish off all those A’s and B’s on that ToDo list.)
Learn more about our Productivity package here.
Yes, there’s a catch:
You need to sign up for our Shoutworks service to help you Inform, Engage, Sell & Support your people. And the first month is free—free signup gets you $1,050 in bonuses. No, the Shoutworks people aren’t crazy. They’re just convinced that once you try their service, you’ll see how valuable it is.
Communication is the key to getting things done:
As humans, we’ve been communicating by voice for over 200,000 years. Printed words and keyboards are a relatively recent development. And while non-voice communication can be convenient and quick, sometimes, when we really need to get something done, voice is the way to go. Nothing catches the intent, meaning, and urgency better than the spoken word.
The first way to communicate with people is through your web page and content. This is probably the first and last thing people see when they discover and engage with you and your organization.
A few years back, websites were caught off guard when mobile device and tablet use exploded. Now, well over 50% of all web access is via mobile devices. Hopefully, your website has a mobile responsive design. If not, you’re cutting out over 50% of your possible visitors.
Now that smart voice device use is also growing exponentially, is it any surprise that people gravitate toward voice? Always keep in mind that voice has been our go-to communication method for over 200,000 years. When they want something done now, most people use voice!
Today there are more than 150+ Million Alexa Devices and 4.5+ Billion Alexa-Ready devices in the world—and growing. If you aren’t there today, you may be missing a big chunk of potential contacts.
Of course, there is a one-click solution to voice-enable your web content. It’s fast, free, and AI-driven, making all the programming work automatic. With one click, you’ll hear your web content spoken via Alexa.
Shoutworks is a fully automated one-click AI-Powered Amazon Alexa Voice Skill creator. It voice-enables content from WordPress webpages so your users can hear your content wherever they are and whatever they’re doing.
Not only that, but all new users who sign up for a Shoutworks account will also receive our Productivity Premium Package with more than $1,000 in free offers.
Why use voice to reach your people? Because Alexa devices and their hundreds of millions of owners are sitting in living rooms, cars, and kitchens all over the world, just waiting to hear your valuable website content.
I know which one of these free premium offers I’d go for first. What would you choose?
Want to drive 43% more traffic to your site through Amazon Alexa, while you sleep? You’ll want to try the Shoutworks plugin (takes 2 minutes). Quick, do it before everyone catches on!