Employees Create the Space for Productivity by Reducing Timewasters

Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, is a popular professional speaker known as The Productivity PRO®. She has been featured on CNN and is the author of the best-selling book "Leave the Office Earlier" (2004 Broadway Books), which was highly acclaimed by the New York Times as "the best of the bunch." Laura is national Secretary of the National Speakers Association 2003-2006 and presents keynotes and seminars on personal productivity, time management, and life balance.

Highlands Ranch, CO (PRWEB) October 21, 2004 -- Unimportant meetings, crises and emergencies, frequent interruptions, unnecessary email volume, excessive socializing, understaffing and unrealistic expectations, and ineffective communications are the “time leaks” and “speed bumps” that reduce employee productivity. In her book, Leave the Office Earlier, the Productivity PRO® Laura Stack, provides these tips that improve performance results of each and every employee in the organization:

1.    Eliminate the cause of most problems and avoid crises.
If you delay something long enough, you are contributing to a future crisis. By procrastinating you often create the next crisis. The first time it happens, it’s an emergency. The second time, you’re an accomplice. To avoid this in the future: Create a backup plan. Be proactive. Determine “Whose crisis is this?” and delegate.

2.    Control and prevent interruptions.
With phone calls, hallway conversations, emails, and people “stopping by,” it is estimated that even minimal interactions of 10 minutes each can occur at least three times an hour in a forty-hour work week or 50% of your time. The balance to controlling interruptions and staying informed: use an understood signal; establish conditional interruptions; set aside downtime; schedule regular check-in times; and choose to visit rather than be visited.

3.    Handle drop-in visitors and coworkers effectively
Be honest; Use verbal tactics and body language; Be assertive; Place a clock strategically behind you and check it occasionally; Practice the “slow stroll” to another destination point.

4.    Refuse requests I don’t have time for.
Just say “No” – in a way that is polite and from the heart. Set boundaries that allow you to not be the bad guy or feel guilty – and find creative ways to state them (even to your boss). Stick to your guns. Flex the “no” muscle, create your rules, and make sure others stick to them.

5.    Recognize and eliminate personal shortcomings that lead to decreased departmental and organizational productivity.
It’s only when individual people notice, challenge, and implement changes in personal habits that real productivity growth occurs systemically.

6.    Avoid spending time in irrelevant, unnecessary meetings.
Help the group stay on track: Require an agenda; Use a timekeeper to keep the meeting on target; State and stop on time. Eliminate any discussion that involves only two people. When you schedule a meeting, steer clear of the “prime times” of productivity.

7.    Eliminate all unnecessary responsibilities or tasks that belong to someone else.
Maintain a truthful time log of activities over the course of one week. Which part of each day was most productive? What are the recurring patterns of inefficiency? Where did the process get bogged down? Where did you procrastinate? Which activities did not contribute to achieving at least one stated objective? What percentage of work time is most productive? Then, only do the essential tasks. Look for activities that should be given to others. Find a more efficient way to handle the task; or eliminate the task all together.

8.    Get rid of everything I don’t need or use and live simply.
Keep. Toss. Sell or Give away . Getting rid of your junk frees up valuable physical space, but more important, it frees up mental energy so you have more time to devote to your family and work.

9.    Delegate properly.
Consider assigning the following types of work: Frequent and repetitive decisions; Assignments to add variety to routine work; Functions you dislike; Work that will provide experience for employees; Tasks that someone else is capable of doing; Activities that will make a person more well rounded; Tasks that will increase the number of people who can perform the critical assignments; Opportunities to use and reinforce creative talents.

10.    Keep socializing during work hours to an appropriate level.
Putting limits around socializing is an important way to recover time for more important things.

Laura Stack reminds us that Productivity is not about squeezing more into your days; but clearing space to enable you to get the same amount of work done in less time and still leave the office earlier than before.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/10/prweb169943.htm