4 Productivity Tips from Taskworld’s Senior Leadership Team
Here’s a simple exercise for you. Think of any activity that you might do in a typical day. It can be anything, no matter how absurd or mundane.
Now google if performing that action makes you productive and you’ll find at least one research backing that claim.
Productivity is a peculiar concept because it has both objective and subjective shades. While there are certain productivity tips that are universal (such as discipline is essential for productivity), a lot of them vary with different personalities. For example, “Wake up early in the morning.” works for people who are most productive during the day, but it’s not very helpful for night owls that focus better at night.
In order to gain genuine insights about productive behavior, one should keep an open mind to try out different tips and see what fits them. It’s the same as trying out different T-shirts in the changing room.
We asked four senior leaders at Taskworld one question – What is one productivity tip that helped you the most in your career? The reason we asked for only one tip from each leader is that it compels them to think of one idea that they found most useful. Let’s take a look at 4 productivity tips from Taskworld’s senior leadership team.
1. Plan your workday, the upcoming week and everything in between.
– Reza Behnam, CEO
The key here is to be proactive rather than being reactive. Don’t let things ‘happen to you’ but decide what you’d like to impact and do it.
Take some time to reflect on what’s important and what needs to be prioritized. Focus the beginning of your day/week on the important items that you’ve prioritized. Proactively leave 20% of your time for things that pop up during the day/week (boss requests, helping a colleague, urgent tasks, etc). The key is that you are proactively thinking about all these buckets of work and allocating time to them. Your time allocation will get more accurate the more you practice this.
Practice the same discipline for meetings. Take some time to prepare the meeting agenda, material, and know what you intend to accomplish beforehand. Make sure you proactively communicate this to the meeting attendees in advance so they have time to think and contribute effectively.
2. Split work between the manager’s work and maker’s work.
– Florian Cornu, Head of Data & Product
Charles Dickens once said that the mere consciousness of an engagement will sometimes worry a whole day.
Have you been in a situation when you had an hour-long interval between two meetings? It’s next to impossible to be productive during that time. By the time you build focus, it’s already time for the next meeting. That’s why we feel so good about days at work when there are no prior engagements. We are productive when we can build uninterrupted focus and hit the sweet spot of deep work.
Therefore, split your workday between the manager’s work and maker’s work. Manager’s work includes meetings and specific engagements proposed by your manager that require your presence. Maker’s work is deep work that makes you feel productive. It’s the actual act of writing for a writer, coding for an engineer, etc.
It’s important to dedicate specific hours from your workday for maker’s work and at the same time respect such time for others in your team. This is the secret of high-performance teams.
3. Switch off phone notifications and emails for some time every day.
– Tracy Davies, Head of People
Put aside some time to work uninterrupted on the larger tasks and projects where you need to focus. Put your phone on airplane mode to minimize interruptions. This is easier said than done but your team will understand if there is an hour or two where you are on “do not disturb”.
People often say “get the small things out of the way first”. For me, the opposite works better. I like to tackle larger projects in the morning and leave the smaller things for later in the day when I am usually juggling a number of other issues/tasks that have popped up. Also, don’t use your email inbox as your to-do list! Keep a separate task list so you have clarity on what you need to achieve.
4. Avoid getting caught up doing low value-added work.
– Fred Mouawad, Founder & Chairman
The most important productivity tip is the willingness to experiment with different approaches, measure results, and then optimize performance. Ultimately the measure that counts the most is your impact contribution per hour. Avoid getting caught up doing low value-added work, and figure how you can maximize your impact per hour.
Fred’s tip stresses on the fact that our time and energy are finite. If we don’t prioritize work and optimize our performance, we risk getting caught up in the commotion of everyday life.