How to Maintain Your Personal Productivity in the Face of a Crisis

In some organizations, personal productivity is shredded by a succession of crises. Every day there is another one or two. Some are old ones repeated and some are brand new ones that have never been seen before. If you are to maintain your personal productivity how are you going to handle crises that suck up your time, drain your energy, make you defer your important priorities and leave you exhausted the end of the working day?

The crisis may come round any corner, may involve any person at any level within the organization or any supplier or customer. Whatever the source of the crisis, the outcomes are sadly similar. The crisis will divert you from your important priorities for the day even though an important deadline is getting closer, you, on the other hand, are stuck with the task of resolving the crisis. At this stage, the enemy of personal productivity appears. Murphy. When you are confronting a crisis, your boss decides that there are other tasks that are important. Then, in the middle of the crisis something else goes wrong. This winds up the tension and creates an environment where tempers get shorter and blame is allocated, sometimes in a loud voice.

Management by crisis means reacting to a crisis and dealing with it after it has occurred. The best way of handling crises is keep them from occurring. With the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it is normally possible to see how to prevent it happening again in the future or to reduce the impact of the crisis. A lot of people will say, “But that’s impossible, if I knew it was going to happen I could plan for it.” These same people, have a first aid kit, a spare tire in their car, food in the cupboard as well as an emergency number by the phone. Now, they don’t know when they might need them but you do know there’s a pretty good chance that you will need them at some point. As a result of this knowledge they have taken reasonable precautions.

To maintain your personal productivity it is worthwhile using the same process. You cannot predict when a crisis will occur, but you can minimize the impact by some careful planning. You may even be able to prevent it. Get yourself and your team into the habit of asking, “What could possibly go wrong here?” Then, “If we fixed that, what else could go wrong?” By trying to anticipate what is likely to happen, you and your team are in a stronger position to fix or alleviate the problem quickly. This means that personal productivity will not be damaged to the same extent. Furthermore, it will leave a sense of achievement with the people who have fixed the problem.

How to Double Your Personal Productivity in Just 30 Days – 1 – The Art of Prioritizing

How often have you said to yourself, “If only I could get twice as much done as I do now!” The good news is, you can… as long as you have the right method and the motivation to change. In this 3-part series, I’m going to teach you a step-by-step method that will allow you to double your personal productivity in just 30 days. Actually, you could do it in a week, but I prefer to allow for the fact that most people aren’t very consistent at applying new information!

There are 5 mistakes people make that cause them to struggle with low productivity and the feelings of frustration and inadequacy that brings, and I’m willing to bet you’re making some of them every day:

1. Wasting time on tasks you don’t need to do at all

2. Putting time and energy into Low Value Tasks (LVTs); tasks that have little or any impact on your bottom line or your ability to achieve your goals

3. Failing to distinguish LVTs from HVTs (High Value Tasks) correctly and failing to devote 80% of their time and energy to the HVTs

4. Not working on your HVTs when your physical and mental energy is highest

5. Allowing interruptions during your working time

What is an HVT?

A High Value Task is any task that contributes directly or indirectly to achieving your goal. In network marketing or any home business, this means an HVT is a revenue generating activity. Some revenue generating activities give direct and immediate results, such as making an offer to your list or following up with your leads, while others are more indirect, such as writing articles like this one or producing videos about your business. The direct ones generate revenue now and the indirect ones fill your bank account later.

Either way, your success will be directly proportional to the percentage of your working time you spend on those revenue generating activities. And, by the way, the same applies to a health goal, a relationship goal or even a spiritual goal. Since actions bring results, more of the right actions bring the results you want faster.

Consequently, your ability to identify your HVTs and to concentrate on them single-mindedly is your ticket to success. This is the first and most important element in prioritizing your tasks. You’re probably familiar with Dr. Steven Covey’s famous distinction between what seems “urgent” and what’s actually important. It’s no accident that what seems “urgent” is more often than not an LVT, while everything truly important is by definition an HVT. Success, therefore, requires the inner strength to resist the lure of the seemingly urgent.

Prioritizing Your Time and Energy:

Lots of people talk about prioritizing tasks, but few mention the need to prioritize your time and energy. What this means is that after you’ve identified your HVTs, you need to allocate your time and energy to accomplish them. And your success will depend on how consistently you match the Highest Value Tasks with those times of day when your mental and physical energy is at its peak.

For most people, this means first thing in the morning. True, some people can work productively late at night, but for most, creative tasks are best done early in the day. And there is a huge psychological payoff for this – if you can get your top 1-3 priorities off your plate by 10 or 11am, you feel absolutely wonderful! Developing this habit is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your success in business and in life precisely because it gives you a feeling of control over your life, your work and your results.

The Bottom Line:

If you want to double your personal productivity right away, you can do so very easily by following these simple steps:

1. Distinguish your HVTs from your LVTs

2. Devote an increasing percentage of your working time to your HVTs

3. Schedule work on your HVTs for times when your mental and physical energies are at their peak

4. Schedule your HVTs so that you can complete as many of them as possible by mid to late morning each day.

In part-2 of “How to Double Your Personal Productivity in 30 Days,” I’ll share the secrets of preparation – how to prepare yourself and your workspace to guarantee your working time is much more productive than you’ve been used to. See you there!

– Dr. Symeon Rodger

Facilitators Maximize Discussion Productivity

Corporate retreats, often situated in exotic locales, can be a lot of fun for employees. Yet corporations should also make sure to maximize the benefits that are available when so many members of the organization are together in one place. Whether meeting to address a specific problem and brainstorm a solution, or simply to work on team building and group facilitation, a lot of good can come from a corporate gathering. Yet businesses should be careful. Having too many people together in one place, all with varying interests and views can sometimes hinder the flow of ideas. For a company to get the most out of the gathering, it should strongly consider bringing in an outsider to help with company discussions. Doing so will boost the productivity of any kind of meeting, as the professional hired will usually possess unique skills, experience and training that allow them to do more than someone within the organization could. So, what kinds of services can a facilitator provide?

Team Building Services

One great offering is team-building services, which target unseen issues related to the group’s dynamics. Using the three-level approach by Leadership Strategies, these professionals will work to uncover dysfunctional behavior and a lack of trust among employees. Additionally, they will be on the lookout for poor communication and an inability to address disagreements. These certified professionals will not only diagnose these issues but will also help to remedy them, by giving everyone a chance to speak and by mediating and resolving conflicts without allowing them to take over the event.

Strategic Planning

Events devoted to strategic planning will also benefit from the addition of an outside professional. These experts will do research prior to the event to diagnose the problem and gain a better understanding of each participant’s interests. During the event, they will make sure that each participant has the opportunity to speak so that a genuine consensus is reached. Then the discussion will shift to defining achievable objectives and writing down a detailed plan for how these objectives will be reached. Since this individual comes from outside of the company, they will bring no personal bias or interests to the table.

Conference Planning

These experts will not only be helpful during an event, but can also aid in conference planning. Their experience means that they have attended a number of these events in the past, and thus understand what elements allow these events to be successful. They will focus on balancing the amount of time devoted to discussions, guest speakers and audience engagement to make sure that everyone benefits from the event.

These are just some of the many meeting facilitation options that a company will have. For more information, executives should find a service that matches these professionals with interested companies. These types of services will typically offer many options for type of service, and can customize a solution based on pricing concerns or the level of experience desired.