How to get your productivity back?

Structure is everything for me in business. I run my life and my businesses with a set of routines that keep me focused on the task at hand, and prepared for whatever comes next.

The thing with plans and routines though, is that there is always something that will come along to ruin them. It happens to me and I’m sure it happens to you too. So, how do you get back on track? How do you get your productivity back?

You just do it.

That’s the harsh truth. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can put some measure of productivity and structure back into your life. When that flywheel of your routine comes to a stop, it’s not going to get back to full speed straight away. The first few revolutions will take a lot of work, but once you get started, you will find it easier to pick up speed again.

Yes it’s easy to fall into bad habits when things are uncertain, and when life becomes uncomfortable, but at some point, you have to kick back into gear.

It always comes back to some fundamental considerations.

First things first, make sure your environment is right. You’ve got to make sure you’re in a space that’s comfortable for you and free from distractions (where possible). The office for me is a place of work and productivity and I make every effort to avoid working elsewhere. If the situation demands that I work from home, I grab my Lenovo ThinkBook 14s and select a specific location to work from. I don’t jump from the couch to the kitchen table for different meetings. One spot. One perfect set up. All the technology I need to be hyper focused. No distractions.

Secondly, you must allocate time every week to sit down and get your schedule in order. It’s critical to have a plan, but you’ve got to make sure you’re not spending more time than you need on it. This is where technology is most useful for me, pulling together all the things I’ve got going on, and saving me half-a-day of planning.

Finally, don’t forget to make time to rest, because you can’t expect to continue to perform when you’re burning the candle from both ends. It’s often the case when you step away from things that you can see new patterns, links, and solutions to old problems. For me, Sunday night is the time every week that I take to step away and get ready for the week. I make sure that anything business related is out of my head before the sun goes down, and use the night to switch off and prepare myself for the week ahead.

Now that the fundamentals are all in order, it is time to execute. So how do you go about that?

Strategise.

The first thing that any good idea needs is a plan. What are you trying to get done? Who needs to be involved? What are the risks associated with getting it done? Spend some time thinking about this before you jump in and you’ll find everything that much easier.

Write it down. Get it out of your head and see it visually. I turn my ideas into notes to develop them and so I can come back to them later. If it’s not written, it’s not real.

Tools.

Look for technology that is supports you and your goals, and allows you to focus on the task. Chose smarter technology, like the Lenovo ThinkBook series, that is full of time saving features, as well as being portable and reliable to ensure you can focus and be productive wherever you are.

Initiate.

You need to be the one to get the ball rolling. Use your technology to communicate and delegate anything you have to, and set up some scorecards or some way of measuring your progress. Without a goal, you can’t score your success.

Timeframe.

Without a delivery date, things slip through the cracks.

There are millions of little hacks and tips you can read up on, but you’ve got to remember that those tips alone won’t help you do anything. At the end of the day, it comes down to YOU to get your productivity back.

MB.

This article was written as part of Lenovo’s Small Business Series with Mark Bouris. You can access a recording of the session and much more, where Mark addresses the below areas:

  • Managing the challenges of running a business
  • The importance of the right tools for businesses
  • Insights for small businesses on the road to recovery
  • How to use a recession to your advantage
  • Best in class examples of businesses adapting