Executive_WorkingIncreasing personal productivity is not just about doing more with less. It's about ensuring that what gets done actually needs to be done efficiently.

For most businesses, the fall ahead is intense, daunting, and demanding. Many leaders are concerned about the economy and how their companies will hold up if things do get worse. Add to all that the digital demands of the world we now inhabit. Armed with ever more ways to connect with each other, and to stay current in every moment, we often are not sure where to put our focus. We find it harder to give all of our attention to anything — or anyone — for very long.



The consequence is that we are undertaking more and more tasks every day, but they often add up to less and less real value. Just think about how many emails you now receive and respond to each day and how many of them merit your attention. How to focus on those, and invest minimal time on the rest?

What, in short, does it take to be productive and efficient in a world of infinitely rising demand, and endless potential distractions? Productiveness, means generating goods and services with lasting value. Efficient, means doing so with the least amount of unnecessary expenditure of time and energy. The expert Tony Schwartz suggests the following six behaviours that can help to booster your personal productivity


1.Make sufficient sleep a top priority. Schedule your bedtime, and start winding down at least 45 minutes earlier. Ninety-eight percent of all human beings need at least 7-8 hours a night to feel fully rested. Only a fraction of us get that much regularly, in part because we buy into the myth that sacrificing an hour or two of sleep a night give us an hour more of productivity. In reality, even small amounts ofsleep deprivation take a dramatic  toll on our cognitive capacity, our ability to think creatively, our emotional resilience, the quality of our work, and even the speed at which we do it.


2.Create one to-do list. Include everything you want or need to do, on and off the job — and everything, including any unresolved issues that merit further reflection. That's the essence of David Allen's simple but profound work . Writing everything down helps get it off your mind, leaving you free to fully focus on what's most important at any given moment.


3.Do the most important thing first when you get to work each morning, when you're likely to be have the highest energy and the fewest distractions. Decide the night before what activity most deserves your attention. Then focus on it single-mindedly for no more than 90 minutes. Productivity isn't about how many tasks you complete or the number of hours you work. It's about the enduring value you create.


4.Live like a sprinter, not a marathoner. When you work continuously, you're actually progressively depleting your energy reservoir as the day wears on. By making intermitent renewal and re-fuelling important, you're regularly replenishing your reservoir, so you're not only able to fully engage at intervals along the way, but also to maintain high energy much further into the day.


5.Monitor your mood. When demand begins to exceed your capacity, one of the most common signs is an increase in negative emotions; the more we move into "fight or flight," the more reactive and impulsive we become, and the less reflective and responsive. The first question to ask yourself is "Why am I feeling this way, and what can I do to make myself feel better?" It may be that you're hungry, tired, overwhelmed, or feeling threatened in some way. Awareness is the first step. You can't change what you don't notice.


6.Schedule specific times for activities in your life that you deem important but not urgent. With so much coming at you all the time, it's easy to focus all day on whatever feels most pressing in the moment. What you sacrifice is the opportunity to take on work such as writing, strategizing, thinking creatively, or cultivating relationships, which may require more time and energy, but often yield greater long-term rewards.


Remember, increasing personal productivity is not just about pushing to try to do more in the amount of time allotted each day. Increasing personal productivity it is more about making an assessment of what really needs to get accomplished and doing only those things. It is not about being all things to all people. It is about doing the right things for the right reasons.