Triple Your Personal Productivity

Have you ever had the experience of looking back on your week with the sinking feeling that you didn’t get as much done as you’d hoped? When building a successful career or a business of your own, your time is perhaps your most valuable asset, and your income is a direct result of how you spend your time. You cannot buy any more time than you’re given, and the clock is always ticking. A few years ago, I discovered a simple system that allowed me to nearly triple my productivity, and in this article I’ll share some very practical ideas you can apply right away to increase your effectiveness without working any harder than you do now.

Keep a detailed time log.

The first step to better managing your time is to find out how you’re currently spending your time. Keeping a time log is a very effective way to do this, and after trying it for just one day, you’ll immediately gain tremendous insight into where your time is actually going. The very act of measuring is often enough to raise your unconscious habits into your consciousness, where you then have a chance to scrutinize and change them.

Here’s how to keep a time log. Throughout your day record the time whenever you start or stop any activity. Consider using a stopwatch to just record time intervals for each activity. You can do this during only your working time or throughout your entire day. At the end of the day, sort all the time chunks into general categories, and find out what percentage of your time is being spent on each type of activity. If you want to be thorough, do this for a week, and calculate the percentage of your total time that you spent on each type of activity. Be as detailed as possible. Note how much time you spend on email, reading newsgroups, web surfing, phone calls, eating, going to the bathroom, etc. If you get up out of your chair, it probably means you need to make an entry in your time log. I typically end up with 50-100 log entries per day.

You may be surprised to discover you’re spending only a small fraction of your working time doing what you’d consider to be actual work. Studies have shown that the average office worker does only 1.5 hours of actual work per day. The rest of the time is spent socializing, taking coffee breaks, eating, engaging in non-business communication, shuffling papers, and doing lots of other non-work tasks. The average full-time office worker doesn’t even start doing real work until 11:00am and begins to wind down around 3:30pm.

Analyze your results.

The first time I kept a time log, I only finished 15 hours worth of real work in a week where I spent about 60 hours in my office. Even though I was technically about twice as productive as the average office worker, I was still disturbed by the results. Where did those other 45 hours go? My time log laid it all out for me, showing me all the time drains I wasn’t consciously aware of — checking email too often, excessive perfectionism doing tasks that didn’t need to be done, over-reading the news, taking too much time for meals, succumbing to preventable interruptions, etc.

Calculate your personal efficiency ratio.

When I realized that I spent 60 hours at the office but only completed 15 hours of actual work within that time, I started asking myself some interesting questions. My income and my sense of accomplishment depended only on those 15 hours, not on the total amount of time I spent at the office. So I decided to begin recording my daily efficiency ratio as the amount of time I spent on actual work divided by the total amount of time I spent in my office. While it certainly bothered me that I was only working 25% of the time initially, I also realized it would be extremely foolish to simply work longer hours.

Efficiency Ratio = (Time Doing “Real Work”) / (Time Spent “At Work”)

Cut back on total hours to force an increase in efficiency.

If you’ve ever tried to discipline yourself to do something you weren’t really motivated to do, you most likely failed. That was naturally the result I experienced when I tried to discipline myself to work harder. In fact, trying harder actually de-motivated me and drove my efficiency ratio even lower. So I reluctantly decided to try the opposite approach. The next day I would only allow myself to put in five hours total at the office, and the rest of the day I wouldn’t allow myself to work at all. Well, an interesting thing happened, as I’m sure you can imagine. My brain must have gotten the idea that working time was a scarce commodity because I worked almost the entire five hours straight and got an efficiency ratio of over 90%. I continued this experiment for the rest of the week and ended up getting about 25 hours of work done with only 30 hours total spent in my office, for an efficiency ratio of over 80%. So I was able to reduce my weekly working time by 30 hours while also getting 10 more hours of real work done. If your time log shows your efficiency ratio to be on the low side, try severely limiting your total amount of working time for a day, and see what happens. Once your brain realizes that working time is scarce, you suddenly become a lot more efficient because you have to be. When you have tight time constraints, you will usually find a way to get your work done. But when you have all the time in the world, it’s too easy to be inefficient.

Gradually increase total hours while maintaining peak efficiency.

Over a period of a few weeks, I was able to keep my efficiency ratio above 80% while gradually increasing my total weekly office time. I’ve been able to maintain this for many years now, and I commonly get about 40 hours of real work done every week, while only spending about 45 total hours in my office. I’ve learned that this is ideal for me. If I try to put in more time at the office, then my productivity drops off rapidly. The interesting thing is that the system that allowed me to optimize my effectiveness at work also created a tremendous amount of balance in all other areas of my life. Even though I was able to use this approach to triple my business productivity, I still gained plenty of time to pursue personal interests.

Time logging is the intelligent choice to ensure optimal productivity without increasing your hours. But time logging need only be done periodically to provide these benefits. I do it for one week every 3-6 months, and over the years it has made a huge difference for me, always providing me with new distinctions. If I go too many months without time logging, my productivity gradually drops as I fall back into unconscious time-wasting habits. You’ll probably find as I do that your gut feelings about your productivity are closely related to how much real work you actually get done. When you feel your productivity is lower than you’d like, raise your awareness via time logging, measure your efficiency ratio, and then optimize your efficiency to boost your productivity back up where it belongs. Time logging is a high leverage activity that takes very little time and effort to implement, but the long-term payoff is tremendous.

Time Management Strategies For Increasing Personal Productivity

If you could increase your personal productivity by say 20%, what difference would that make to the work you get completed and the success you achieve? With the right strategies and actions it will probably make a huge difference. There are many ways to increase your productivity and the right time management strategies are essential to this process. Being more productive can also leave you feeling more fulfilled rather than feeling dissatisfied when you haven’t completed anywhere near enough each day.

I encourage you to take improving your productivity just one step at a time and continually building on it. Here’s two strategies that can help you with your own productivity.

Prioritizing.

One of the best ways to being more productive is the use of prioritizing. This allows you to see clearly what needs to be focused on rather than just stabbing around in the dark with many different actions that anyway may not lead to the results you desire. Before you carry out any tasks, just take a small amount of time to determine your priorities. These priorities are the tasks that are in alignment with your goals. At a high level you need to prioritize which projects to work on, within these projects prioritize the individual tasks. Then prioritize our daily task list so that the important stuff gets done.

Become more efficient.

Efficiency it about getting tasks done well as quickly as possible. There is often a more efficient way of doing something if we only stop for a very short while to think about and see what that could be. I therefore encourage you to look at your tasks and ask yourself, “what would enable me to get this done quicker?”. It may be that you need to invest in some new tools or equipment, or speak with a colleague and find out how they are able to complete the same tasks quicker than you.

Increasing your personal productivity and making the most of time management strategies helps you to achieve your goals and feel great about yourself.

School Personalized Products for Fund Raising

Almost every school in the world today incorporates fundraiser endeavors as a component of its practice annually. For students in elementary schools, playing a part in a school charity performance is virtually a rite of passage; all of us have fond memories of going door to door in our locality advertising the particular school personalized fancy wrapping paper, candy, and cookies, all to promote our school’s extra-curricular goings-on and after-school agenda. Just akin to everything else, your school fundraisers must progress with the changing era or involvement will go downhill and your school could miss out on some most important endowment prospects. Fundraisers done the conventional way are already a thing of the past. The new methods now are livelier and engage a multitude of people assisting in accomplishing your school or learning institution’s fundraiser objectives.

This is an undemanding method to get on track getting funding for your school – enlist the PTA to help. Fundraising is a regular component of what your PTA or PTO does finest; so allow this enthusiastic assemblage of parents, guardians, and educators to utilize their skills and assets to lend a hand so your school can attain its highest revenue prospective. One trouble-free technique the PTA can help out is by obtaining products stamped with your school’s given name and insignia and reselling them for a higher turnover in your school shop, at public happenings, and in the neighborhood. School personalized bags and water bottles are just the thing for parents, employees and students, while neighboring businesses and neighborhood residents will be grateful for practical and realistic products like fridge magnets, bumper stickers and coffee mugs. When the public are made aware that part of their earnings is going to sustain and help local children, your school’s fundraising endeavors will be thoroughly satisfied.

Even at the basic education echelon, sporting affairs, science fairs and student theatre or recitals make grand school fundraising locations. Decorate tables and make available for sale embossed plastic/ stainless steel/ ceramic cups, personalized streamers, banners or megaphones packed with popcorn or colorful candy and chocolate at little league baseball games or track and field events. Put forward printed T-shirts to memorialize the yearly Science Fair, and put on the market glow-in-the-dark water containers to afford simple to see pick-me-ups (sodas etc) when the illumination is lowered. Tasks like these are over and over again vastly graced; the more people you can get a hold of, the more advanced your school’s earnings probability will become.

Enjoyable events like school pageants or a mini petting zoo are superb accompaniments to the elementary school practice. They are also grand traditions to ferry the community closer and bring in some additional cash for your school’s fundraising money box. Craft a small festival on your school grounds or in your school field. Impose a token admittance charge and put up for sale tickets for refreshment stands, rides, and pageants. Create entertaining carnival sports competition and accord reward such as imprinted backpacks, personalized CD albums, and soft toys for the champions. Minor bits and pieces like personalized erasers, pencils, pens and pencil sharpeners make the ‘just what the doctor ordered’ participation prizes.

Enhance Your Marketing Through Personal Products Promotion

If you are in sales, great customer service and product knowledge are the basic foundation to your success. These skills will undoubtedly increase your production and earnings over time, but growing your business by word of mouth advertising and through past customers referrals will take time. Adding marketing and promotional products to promote your business will be an effective compliment to expand your business faster.

If you are in the financial or real estate business, after you have completed a transaction and your customer is happy with your service, they may tell their friends and family for a few weeks. Unfortunately, after a few weeks the referrals will likely stop unless you maintain contact with them. A strong marketing and promotional campaign is a vital key to keeping up with your competition. Promotional campaigns use products that have your name, logo, and contact information on them to help you grow your business and develop recognition in your marketplace. When calling on your lead sources make your sales calls more effective and lasting by offering them useful products that will promote your services. Typical promotional products such as: pens, cups, flash lights, tape measures, and stress balls are all useful items in the real estate and financial industries. If you add a promotional campaign to your marketing endeavors, you should be able to lengthen the time your past customers and lead sources promote you and your business, thereby retaining a higher percentage of your past customers.

Promotional items will also assist you in introducing a new services or products that you may want to offer. These new products and services may help you specialize and become more profitable. Becoming an expert in rehabilitation loans, first time home buyer down payment assistance loans, or zero down payment mortgage products and promoting your expertise through marketing and promotional products campaigns will decrease the time needed to capture new business and profits. You can create a marketing promotional campaign to maintain contact with past customers, reach out to new customers at events, or more effectively promote yourself through your sphere of influence. Creating an effective promotional marketing campaign will help you and your contacts spread the news of what you can offer. Promotional items should fit your business needs and can be used as closing gifts, informational pieces, generalized marketing, and employee retention and motivation.

Creating an all-encompassing marketing system should utilize all aspects of personal promotion to reach your lead sources, these include: seminars, product knowledge, outstanding customers service, consistent contact, and retention systems to maximize your efforts. Developing a total marketing plan will enhanced your overall image as an expert and increases the likelihood that they will recommend their connections to you.