How many times after working a full day do you believe that you did not accomplish as much as you wanted to? Have you ever wanted to add an additional day to the week or a few extra hours to a day in order to get through your “to do” list? A challenge in improving your and your team’s productivity is to determine how you currently spend your time. There are a number of apps that can assist such as Be Focused Timer, which is free, an enables you to track blocks of work and track past work history. Another app, Focus Booster ($2.99/month individual, $4.99 month professional) tracks where your time goes and can link revenue, projects and meetings to your to-do list tasks. There are literally dozens of others and always the option of tracking your time the old-fashioned way by recording it on a spread sheet in hour or half hour increments.
Strategic multitasking can help improve productivity. Recognize there have been numerous studies that claim you can’t effectively do more than one thing at a time. That may be the case of certain activities such as preparing a proposal for a new multifamily project, but you can multitask other activities easily. You can listen to a podcast while walking a dog, exercising or preparing meals.
Learn to combine business and personal relationships. We all have business relationships that have turned into personal relationships as well. Networking at industry events is an opportunity to combine the amount of time spent with both friends and business acquaintances.
Don’t be a slave to email. Feeling the need to have to respond to every email you receive immediately can place a huge damper on your productivity. Tactics to consider is to allocate a certain time of the day that you focus on your business’ highest priorities or your most urgent deadlines and consider that time email free. If you have regular client communications, let your clients know that you won’t respond to emails during these times. Once you get in the habit of avoiding emails at certain times of the day, it can be liberating.
Identifying which activities generate the most stress will enable you to delegate more tasks or reshuffle priorities so you can focus on assignments where you can exercise your strengths and capitalize on distinctive competencies.
The old expression you can’t improve what you can’t measure certainly holds true for individual productivity. The first step is to record what you do in a given day over several weeks. You’ll see patterns emerge that will enable you to more effectively allocate and schedule time that results in increased productivity.