A good start is half the work (as the Dutch say). That’s not just a statement, it should be your mantra for 2019. You can save a lot of time by starting the year with a fresh look. The most important piece of advice for doing more is to make the most of productivity software. To help you on your way to making 2019 an extremely productive year without having to work anymore, we have listed the most useful tips.
Keep it simple
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, an international authority on human resources puts it very simply: “Productivity does more with less: output divided by input.” If you want to be more productive without working more, your only option is to work less. That means avoiding wasted time by dropping trivial activities and focusing on what really matters. “Even if your output doesn’t go up, at least you have more free time to be productive in other areas of your life.”
The to-do list is a guideline, not a law
It may sound illogical, but if you have really planned everything in advance, there is no guarantee that your productivity will increase as a result. Time management coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders says you should set no more than two to three goals each week. You then have the opportunity to properly plan the time for your first goal. The remaining time can then be better divided among the other goals.
Ximena Vengoechea, researcher, writer and illustrator, applies this principle by looking at her schedule on Monday mornings. She picks no more than three goals for the entire week. “Then I prefer activities that help me make progress in those areas.” She does this by asking if these tasks are related to her top three priorities for the week. “If not, they go below the line,” meaning I don’t pay them attention until I’ve achieved the three priority goals.”
Work in a schematic way
Author, founder and strategic advisor Reva Seth has spent the past decade researching and writing about productivity and time management. For her, 2018 was the year when she tested every hack and idea she ever came across. “Be honest about what you need to balance work and life, be energetic and creative. That way you can prioritize better. For me, this meant sticking to my timetable.
What managers can do
Isaac Oates, CEO and founder of Justworks, believes it’s not enough to promote work-life balance to make employees more engaged and productive. The office environment must also be in balance and an open office can be counterproductive.
It is important for employees that they feel comfortable in their working environment. However, this has its limits. That way it shouldn’t suppress creativity. Creativity is linked to productivity. Employees must be encouraged to think ‘out-of-the-box’. This does not have to be a complex task, according to Isaac Oates. “Allow people to focus alone or be creative in small groups,” he says. “Create spaces where smaller groups come together to discuss goals, ask for feedback, or refine each other’s ideas.”
A satisfied employee is more productive
Laura Maness, CEO of Havas New York, believes creating meaningful work is another avenue to productivity and creativity. As such, the company recently launched a personal and professional growth accelerator for employees to fuel their passions and offered a $500 annual stipend to fund a course or activity of their choice. “This not only promotes diversified creativity, but also helps our employees feel more fulfilled,” she says.