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Ten Steps to Be Ultra Productive

By Dr. Geri Markel On Ten Steps 8-29 blog -1

As a leader, how productive do you feel?

Do you perform better at the beginning of the week or at the end? Is your focus better in the mornings or late in the evening? Better with some tasks and responsibilities than others?  Part of being productive or ultra productive lies in understanding your habits as a leader.

High productivity is labeled ultra productive by some. For example, one author, Mike Michalowicz, provides 7 rules that are followed by those who feel they are extremely productive. These include, getting enough sleep, making good lists (those that include critical company goals), balancing work and home, taking care of your body, effective delegation, having the right tools for the job, and evaluating your progress.

Without question, these rules provide a basic framework for productivity and job/life satisfaction.  However, given the research on the negative effects of stress and distraction upon productivity, a few more rules are needed.

Leaders who seek high productivity are advised to consider 3 additional rules:

  1. Use systematic routines and strategies to manage stress.  Many leaders are so busy that they are oblivious to the amount of stress that they deal with daily.  Brief breaks of 3 to 5 minutes throughout the day can reduce the stress. Simple strategies may include deep breathing, stretching, or positive visualizations.
  2. Manage the barrage of interruptions by others on-site or via email, social media, and phone.  Do you have an open door policy that is misused or overused? Perhaps you need to advise others about when and how to contact you for questions or concerns. Often policies and procedures are not defined or discussed leading to needless questions and interruptions.
  3. Manage the insidious and sabotaging effects of personal distractions. Do others think you have a phone growing out of your ear? Do you get lost in the maze of social media or avalanche of emails? Do you take breaks playing digital games and get lost in time and space.  Count up the time you allow needless digital and other distractions to interfere with your productivity and take action to get back on the productivity track.

When leaders seek long-term, high productivity and work/life satisfaction, effective management of stress and internal and external distractions need to be considered.

Here’s a checklist to help you identify which of the 10 rules listed above are challenging your efforts to be ultra productive.

Self Check:

__ Am I getting enough sleep?

__ Are my lists useful in that they reflect company goals?

__ Am I adequately balancing work and home?

__ Am I taking care of my body?

__ Am I empowering others by effectively delegating?

__ Do I have having the right tools for the job?

__ Do I evaluate my progress?

__ Do I effectively manage stress?

__ Do I manage others’ needless interruptions such as excessive emails, texts, or calls?

__ Do I manage my misuse or abuse of technology or other distractions?

If you’re seeking greater productivity, review your answers to gain guidance about what to maintain and what to change. Even small changes can reap big rewards in your performance and satisfaction.


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