Let Me Show You How to Double Your Personal Productivity

Imagine what would happen to you if you doubled your personal productivity? How would that affect your work?

Have you ever finished your day and reflected on your lack of progress? You seem to have been busy all day yet achieved very little. Have you ever looked at your “to do” list and realized that it is longer than it was at the beginning of the day because nothing has been crossed off?

When you are managing a successful career or developing the business of your own, your time is in short supply and therefore invaluable. Your time is fixed. You can’t get any more. This means that you have to do all the things that you need to do in a fixed time frame. The clock doesn’t stop ticking. The secret is to make the best use of your time without working any harder. It is a case of personal management.

Logically speaking, the first step to better managing yourself in relation to time is to find out what you are currently doing.

· Measure how your time is being used.
· Check out how much of your time is being wasted.
· Who are the people that waste your time?
· What do they do?
· Can they be neutralized?
· How much of your precious time do you personally waste because of your work habits?

Keep a Time Log

You may say “I don’t have time to mess around doing that!” Keeping a time log is a very effective way to discover your current work habits. You’ll gain a tremendous amount of information about your use of time even after trying it for one day. It seems that once you start measuring what you are doing or what is happening to you, it creates a situation where you become conscious of your habits. Once this happens, you have the ability to examine them and if necessary, change them.

For one week keep a log of your activities. Record each activity as the day progresses. Throughout your day record the time whenever you start or stop any activity. You can use a stopwatch or put a timer on your desk. Be as detailed as possible in your time log.

Whenever your attention shifts from one thing to another, make a note of the diverting activity, no matter how trivial. This means that you will record all interruptions, noting their sources and reasons. Give as much detail as possible. Make a note on how much time you spent on each item. Set a priority for every single item. After a day, you will be able to see what proportion of your time was spent on high priority work.

Record your ideas on how you might have done things better. Write these comments as you go along. This reduces the chance of overlooking details.

Keep the time log close at hand. When you answer the phone, write down the phone call. When someone pokes their head in to make a comment or pass on information, reach over and jot it down on the log sheet.

Use abbreviations and shortcuts.

Show people by their initials.

Indicate interruptions with a big “X”.

For phone calls, use a letter “C” with an arrow pointing to the “C” for an incoming call and an arrow pointing away from it for your outgoing calls.

Each day go over the following points.

· Every time you shift your attention – log it. Be specific.
· If you note a 12 minute block as “Phone calls” you will not be able to tell if they were necessary or time wasters.
· Record everything.
· Do not skip over socialising or brief interruptions because they seem minor.

You are trying to determine how much of your total time is frittered away in such minor activities.

Note how much time you spend on interruptions, emails, reading blogs, web surfing, planning, phone calls, problem solving, research, filing, eating, drinking tea or coffee day-dreaming, doing meaningful work, going to the bathroom and thinking. If you get out of your chair, it probably means you need to make an entry in your time log. At the end of a typical day, I end up with around 80 log entries.

Warning:

Log your time as you go Don’t try to catch up at the end of the day.

When I first checked myself using a time log, I was astounded. Out of my 58 hour week I only did 13 hours productive work. As a self-employed consultant, this was my only source of my income. I soon changed the way I operated and managed myself differently.