If I am hearing anything from professionals in health care today its that the pace of work has accelerated dramatically. There are more projects, more new initiatives, more tasks, and fewer qualified people to do them. While only a few will reluctantly describe the environment as ‘overwhelming’, I suspect many feel that way.
The situation is unlikely to change for long time. So how can a person stay at the top of their game? How can you orchestrate a day for maximum productivity?
Here are eight simple steps, if practiced daily, will help any professional stay focused and effective:
Segment your day into two blocks of time, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, of two and a half to three hours each. Plan to do only activities that have the most impact on your objectives during this time. Guard this time and work to keep distractions to a minimum.
Create a daily hour that you will use for distractions. Let your subordinates, co-workers, vendors, etc… know that you are best reached during this time. 4:00 – 5:00 pm seems to work best for most people. This is when you can be available for non-urgent calls or quick meetings.
If there are people outside of your organization who need to reach you (clients, customers, etc…), let you them know that you hold your calls before noon because you are working on their priorities. If they need to reach you before noon ask them to inform your receptionist or assistant to interrupt you.
Quit talking about what you have to get done. Just get to it.
Get email under control. Stop responding to messages the moment they arrive! Few of us have jobs that will cause the world to stop if an hour or two passes before you answer an email. Set specific times you will check and answer emails. Many find that first thing in the morning, after lunch, and at the end of the day to be good times for this. And for goodness sake turn off that email ‘Ding’!
Kill the elephant in the room! If you have something to do that you dread doing, then do it first. If you don’t knock this out first thing it will hang over your head all day and prevent you from fully engaging with other priorities.
Set aside time for reading, research, social media, etc… during off peak hours or in the evening.
A productivity trainer once taught me to ask this question throughout my day, “Is this the best us of my time?” If you can’t say yes, then delegate it or quit doing what you are doing. You’ll get the majority of your results from your top talents. Find a way to constantly leverage your strengths and manage or delegate your weaknesses.
It takes 21 days to develop a habit. Practice these eight steps for 21 days and you’ll see a noticeable increase in your productivity and your results.
Tell me about your secrets to greater productivity…