The 12 Paths to Productivity

Group of employees speak around a table
By: Dee Brown
2 Minute Read

A practice we work with recently reached out to us with a problem: Employee productivity was declining during certain times of the year, especially around playoffs, athletic tournaments, holidays, and good weather.

Practices don’t need to see their productivity drop every time the sun comes out or a favorite team makes a March Madness run.

There is a balance that can be struck. To allow some flexibility for employees while allowing for occasional fun, we recommend that practices proactively communicate what I call “The 12 Paths to Productivity.”

  1. Focus on what matters. Establish clear goals and a vision for what you want to achieve long term.
  2. Know the difference between “urgent” and “important.” Don’t spend your time fighting needless urgent fires—the things that may seem essential but aren’t; instead spend your time on important things—what needs to get done.
  3. Plan your days. Plan to-do items around appointments and set goals to complete what is most worthwhile.
  4. Know where to find what you need. Establish a system that lets you find the information you need when you need it.
  5. Have a set routine. To free up brain power and time, set a time to go to sleep and wake up every day; eat breakfast, exercise, and meditate.
  6. Salvage wasted time. List things that need to be done, and pick out the actions you can take in the time you have.
  7. Do the things you don’t want to do. Overcoming procrastination—at least most of the time—is essential for high performance.
  8. Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfection is not attainable and will lead to dread when it’s time to start challenging projects.
  9. Leave gaps in your schedule. Give yourself time—you can always find a way to spend time wisely.
  10. Multitask wisely. While you shouldn’t write a paper or check email while driving a car, you can sometimes write or check email while listening to a call.
  11. Quit strategically. Liberate your time and energy; delegate things that can be done more cost effectively or efficiently by someone else.
  12. Only attend meetings with purpose. Make sure your meetings have five components:
    • Make sure the right and necessary people are in the room
    • Make sure roles are clearly defined
    • State the meeting purpose upfront (e.g., brainstorming, decision making)
    • Set objectives for the meeting
    • Define next steps and action items before the meeting ends

Leaders that communicate these 12 Paths to Productivity to their employees are equipping their teams with the tools they need to stay productive even during distracting times of the year.

For more information or more detailed guidance on productivity, members are encouraged to view our webinar on the subject here. For guidance on other HR situations, Curi member practices may also call 1.888.HREXPRT or email me.

Dee Brown
Dee Brown is Curi’s on-call human resources consultant. Members may contact her directly at dee.brown@callhrexperts.com or 919-431-6096.
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