Productivity – Changing "Harder, Not Smarter" to "Smarter, Not Harder"

Google “UK Productivity” and you will get responses like

· Why is productivity so low since the crisis – particularly in the UK?

· UK workers’ productivity stuck below pre-crisis level – Financial Times

· UK productivity hits new lows

· It’s not just the gig economy, we need to rethink work in the UK

· Worst decade for UK productivity since Napoleon

Our productivity levels are 16% lower than all G7 countries, 22% lower than the USA and France and 26% lower than Germany. This despite working more hours than almost every country in the EU. The only countries working more are Austria and Greece.

Is your productivity the same as most people in the UK? What would it mean if you improve your productivity? More success? More praise? Spend less time at work? Earn more money, larger house, better car, enjoy a better work life balance, realise your long term goals faster?

How can you do this? If you are going to change “harder, not smarter” into “smarter, not harder” you might like to consider;

· Developing the right motivation,

· Focusing your efforts

· Managing your time effectively

· Prioritising ruthlessly

· Communicating more effectively

· Empowering your team and delegating like a pro.

All play their part and I am planning to look at all of them this summer. Let’s start with motivation and the importance of building your internal drive. Your internal motivation is way more powerful than the external motivators fear and reward.

It just needs switching on and one of the most effective ways to do this is to identify goals that are meaningful, worthwhile and personal. Most people do this to some extent but don’t really think things through. If you have a goal with no plan it’s really just a wish. Think things through and take a systematic approach to goal planning.

Start off with a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Tangible). Make it something you really, really want then write it down using positive language in as few words as possible. The writing down is a key part of the process, it makes a connection between you and the goal. Think about the benefits achieving the goal will bring. Now ask yourself “If I really want to achieve this goal, what’s stopping me?” then plan strategies around, over or through all the stoppers you have thought of.

Okay so far? Great! If you have got this far you have achieved more than most people I have met this year. So far you have your goal clearly identified and have strategies to overcome the stoppers. What you need to turn it into reality is a step by step plan.

Think of the activities you must take, put them in order and schedule them in whatever calendar, task list or time planner you use. Hey presto, you have a plan to achieve your goal. Now start, do the activities in order for the right amount of time and work at them till you finish. Remember to keep track of progress at regular intervals and you stand the best chance of success.

Source by Simon Hale

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