Multi-tasking, maintaining or increasing productivity and peak performance demands are at an all-time high. The result, stress and anxiety are also at an all-time high. Today’s economic demands and their undesirable side effects are the same whether you are in accounting, marketing, manufacturing, the healthcare sector or retail.
Maintaining and increasing productivity and performance are usually considered a leadership challenge, not an employee responsibility. In reality, all of the above are a challenge for leadership and employee alike at all levels of an organization.
Whether you are an entrepreneur or the head of a multi-nation international corporation, it is the leadership’s responsibility to self-motivate and create a personal productivity and peak performance roadmap for him or her. However, it is also leadership’s mandate to create a straightforward roadmap that engages, encourages and involves all employees in a way that they are motivated to not only follow but also exceed productivity expectations and become an equal co-creator in meeting the company’s needs, goals, objectives and vision.
It’s All About Focus
The single most important step to increasing both productivity and peak performance is focus. In today’s world of being constantly in contact and multi-tasking, it is almost impossible to maintain focus on the most important task. However, maintaining focus is the only way to raise productivity and reach peak performance. There are three basic steps to your roadmap if you wish to increase productivity and performance.
1. Eliminate! Eliminate things from your environment and thoughts from your mind that drain your energy. Too many things in your surrounding and thoughts create chaos that constantly diverts your attention and dilutes your focus. Clear your office and desk of all those boxes, stacks of papers and magazines and file everything that is not current and needed at a moment’s notice.
Upgrade your thinking by removing negative thoughts from your mind. Do not let negative loop thinking prevent you from being more efficient and effective. Use a yellow tablet and write down all your negative thoughts that occur throughout the day – then shred them. You may have several pages the first time you do this. Get rid of all the “it won’t work,” “I can’t do this,” “if onlys,” or “what ifs” and replace them with positive thoughts. Follow this process daily until you are in control of your thinking – send that Charlie Brown/Pig Pen black cloud that is hanging over your head away for good.
2. Apply the 80/20 Rule! To maximize your productivity, 80% of your desk and your desktop should always be visible. The mind functions best when there is little chaos distracting its focus. If there is too much in view, focus, productivity and peak performance suffer. The majority of your productivity and success comes from the 20% or less left on your desk or desktop.
Be discriminating as to what you leave visible for the mind to view – it will want to act upon everything it sees. This also includes everything connected with social media. It is not acceptable in a business environment to have any personal social media connections and activities take place during working hours. For leadership, this means they need to apply this rule first to themselves then their followers. Engaging in social media during the workday can reduce efficiency and productivity from 5% to 60%. Unless you are responsible for social media communications in your company, leave your social contacting for lunchtime or after work. It is important for leadership and their followers to be fully engaged at work so a business can not only survive but also thrive during any economy.
3. Stop Multi-tasking! Clarity and focus are required when it comes to meeting deadlines, increasing productivity and achieving important tasks. Stop multi-tasking when the issue at hand requires 100% focus. Efficiency, effectiveness and increased productivity come from focused personal energy. In the golden age of leadership, leaders are required to lead by example and action.
Gold Medal Olympian Michael Phelps is a great example of focused productivity and performance. He laid out his personal roadmap for success, employed laser focus and had teammates that were 100% supportive of the overall vision – eight gold medals. He not only lead by example but also was an integral part of the team.
Leadership in the 21st Century is different from the 16th Century model that has been in use for several hundred years. It is time to change to a new Inside Out concept where the leader and the follower operate with the same goals and vision. Leadership’s new mandate for the 21st Century is to teach followers how to focus and create a workplace environment where employees are engaged, encouraged and involved. Like their leader, productivity goes up and peak performance increases while anxiety and stress are reduced.
© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved 2012
Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She creates environments that engage and focus your workforce. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage, Unleash the Power of Focus and Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It and can be reached at 561-408-2708 or via email thru her site.