Productivity is one of the greatest tools in your arsenal. It helps you be more active and attentive to the tasks that you perform in your personal or work life.
Although Personal productivity is considerably more intimate than Team productivity, the core concept remains the same, as at the end of the day, you just want you and your team members to be more productive and performance-driven to bring more value towards the company.
In this article, we are going to discuss some amazing opinions provided by some highly career-driven professionals that definitely know a thing or two about productivity.
Plan Your Day
One of my favorite proven productivity hacks to nail personal and business goals is to conduct weekly audits. This is an opportunity to check in with yourself (and/or your team) on a weekly basis, assess the previous week, identify what did or didn’t work and why, pivot strategies accordingly, and plan for the upcoming week. Weekly audits are crucial for preventing communication issues with your team, and they also drastically improve clarity on your goals, while reducing overwhelm.
Thank you, Sagan Morrow .
Focus on Automation
Managers and business leaders need to think about their business from
multiple perspectives. Who are the relevant stakeholders and what processes
do they currently (or need to) perform?
Identify tasks or activities that are repetitive, time-consuming,
complicated, frustrating, or variable in nature. Once this is done,
document the existing steps. For existing processes, observe and record the
sequential steps currently being undertaken to complete the task.
Note seemingly mundane, but important, observations, like:
– Who’s involved
– What they’re doing
– Where they do it
– When they do it
– Why it’s being done
Then, brainstorm improvements
with a focus on automation. In light of these
observations, ask yourself whether any of the process steps seem
unnecessarily laborious or burdensome on resources.
Does everyone need to be involved? Could anything be done quicker, or
better? Can you consolidate separate tasks or condense the times they take
to perform? If there is no pre-existing process, think about the optimal
steps that are required to complete it.
Technology presents you with unprecedented opportunities to automate
repetitive tasks that previously demanded the time and individual attention
of your team members. Nowadays, you’re able to replace many of these
repetitive steps with automation technologies. These tools help you reduce
costs, increase productivity, decrease the frequency of mistakes, improve
levels of customer satisfaction, and become more agile.
Thank you, Evian Gutman – Ringcommend
One Task Per Day
One proven hack to get more done with less effort to nail your business and
personal goals is to have one priority task for every day. You can still
have less important tasks as well as a list of tasks, but having one
must-do task every day makes it easy to check off the most important task
of the day because you’re not distracted by a laundry list of tasks that
need doing. Instead, you’ll be completely focused on checking off an important task to move your business or personal life forward each day, and
then every other task you accomplish will be the icing on the cake.
Thank you, Stacy Caprio – her.ceo
Improve Your Planning Process
I think a great way to increase your team productivity and to achieve your
goals in the new year is to start planning better. Firstly, start with your
schedules and how you can better plan your time. You have to work the hours
that you do, but what can you be doing as a team manager so that the
company does better in those hours you have off? You could take a class in
management or brush up on other skills that will help you. Everyone only has
24 hours in a day, and what you do with those hours is very precious. In a
business sense, 8 hours a day is a lot of time to get things done. Being
better prepared will help you in the new year.
Thank you, Ethan Taub – Goalry
Keep Your Team Motivated
Team productivity comes when your team has the motivation to be able to
carry out a task to a high quality. My best suggestion for this is to
always work on a common understanding and goal. As a team, you want the
company to do well, so use that as leverage to continue to do better as we
head into 2021. Common understandings will light a fire in everyone, as
they all have an essential role to play for that success to happen. If all
the cogs are not burning, the machine overall will work. Everyone is
important in the team and if they feel that the work will get done and you
will achieve your goals in the new year.
Thank you, Daniel Foley .
Use the “Right Tools”
The best way to increase team productivity to achieve your goals in 2021 is
to give your team the *right set of tools they need*. No matter how
committed, happy, or skilled your team members are, they can profit from
having good tools at their end. The project management tool has come a long
way in the past many years, and you should take benefit of it. The best
project management software has Kanban boards and built-in collaboration
tools that can keep you oriented and increase productivity.
Please feel free to ask me any questions.
Thank you Dusan Stanar – VSS Monitoring
Have Regular Strategy Sessions with Your Team
It’s really a great topic to raise, as sometimes the goals are migrating
from one year to another and it may seem that it’s time to give up. It was
the case with some of my business goals before I started better analyzing
the steps I take to achieve them.
One thing that helps me the most in accomplishing business goals is *regular
monthly and quarterly strategy sessions* with my team. During such
meetings, we do the health checkups for our goals and the methods we use to
achieve them, we see what works well and what needs to be done better, and
sometimes when the initiative needs to be transformed in the process. We
also, dedicate some time to the retrospective during such meetings to see
how we can improve, what are our weak points, and what blocks us on the way
to success. Usually, it ends with brainstorming for development ideas and
action points for the next such meeting. Such calls work as consulting a
map to make sure you are moving in the right direction, as usually after
checking where you are now you can better plan your next steps.
Thank you, Stewart Dunlop – Linkbuilder.io
Track Your Time and Tasks Accordingly
I used to think I was the type of person who could just handle things as
they came up. I rarely tracked tasks and didn’t believe to-do lists could
help me at all. I got things done, even if it wasn’t in the timeliest
fashion. I told myself I was using my time wisely and efficiently, and any
improvement would be marginal.
I was really just fooling myself. The pandemic opened my eyes to that fact.
As things began to fall apart, I struggled to remain productive. I finally
gave in and tried Trello and I cannot speak any more highly of what it’s
done for my productivity. Tracking tasks in such a way has allowed me to be
a better business owner and team leader. I’m able to communicate much more
effectively and meet milestones without the sudden burst of stress that
comes from having to suddenly be extremely productive in a short amount of
Thank you, Dan Bailey – WikiLawn
Keep Your Team Happy
No matter how productive our team gets; I always find new ways to
incorporate that take workplace productivity to a whole new level. Here are
some of the strategies we’ve implemented:
- Get to know your strengths and weaknesses: I believe that a manager
or a team leader’s partial duty is to discover talents and keep them in
mind while allocating tasks. Knowing that they are making the best use of
their knowledge, expertise, and skills, employees look forward to
contribute to the workplace.
- Give them space: I’ve noticed that many workers tended to lose
interest as soon as I tried to put my ideas into their heads. After
allowing them to do things their way more often, their productivity
increased as well as the quality of work done. However, I remained
approachable so that if someone in the team has a question, I can clarify
- Give more incentives: After I did some research, I found that 85% of
the employees seemed more motivated to do their best when given an
incentive. These incentives can be in the form of money, free vouchers,
paid vacation, more time off, lunch-outs, and so on.
- Set four daily goals: The way I motivate myself is by setting
exactly four non-negotiable goals each day. It brings a level of control to
my otherwise hectic days and helps me prioritize what work needs to be
Thank you, Thierry Tremblay – Kohezion
Focus Exclusively on Deliverables and KPIs
I stay productive and manage my time by doing two things. First, we do
daily standup meetings at 10 AM PST. During these meetings, we discuss what
we did yesterday, what we are working on today, and talk through any issues
we are experiencing. Second, we do all of our meetings via Zoom to keep
each other accountable. Also, we have every task set up in Basecamp to keep
things tracked and organized. It’s important to ensure that deadlines have
been discussed so there is no guesswork, and you don’t have to micromanage
One of the most important things businesses can do for productivity is to
focus exclusively on KPIs and deliverables. Managers should not start
wasting everyone’s time by measuring and tracking every little move that
employees make while working from home. Again, set clear expectations in
terms of KPIs and deliverables that each employee is supposed to achieve
and let it rip. These goals should be just as ambitious as the ones you
would set if your employees were in the office, but they must also be
achievable. You don’t want to sandbag yourself, and you don’t want to
overshoot. Set SMART KPIs.
Thank you, Kevin Miller – GR0
Create Different Resource Templates
As a healthcare professional, I was pushed to the limits in 2020.
The increased caseload of clients forced me to rethink some of my current
practices and try and improve to keep up with the faster pace of work. One
thing that helped is to create templates of resources to help each client.
Here is what I mean…
While speaking with 1000’s of clients who were impacted by the pandemic, I
noticed a similar trend of problems. People generally needed assistance
applying for unemployment, rental assistance, or help with food
deliveries while they quarantined. Based on these needs I created
step-by-step guides to explain how clients should go about applying for
these benefits. Doing this allowed me to help 700+ COVID clients connect to
resources that they desperately needed.
You may not work with the same population as I, however, you can still
benefit by anticipating your client’s most common problems and creating
documents to help them through their issues. While it does require time and
effort to create these documents, you realize the benefit later when time
spent on the phone decreases and you are able to assist more people.
Thank you, Nick Bryant – HoustonCaseManagers.com
Divide Your Day into Different Time Blocks
The best productivity hack I worked into my routine in 2020 and intend to
keep into 2021 was chunking blocks of time during my day. This technique is
used for time management and involves breaking your day into different
blocks assigned to specific tasks. For example, you might have an hour in
the morning devoted only to your social media presence. Then two hours
devoted to responding to emails and attending meetings. Three hours working
on the current milestone project, etc.
This helps me compartmentalize tasks and ensures everything I need to do
gets the appropriate amount of time and focus. The ability to focus on
individual tasks (or task sets) is the biggest benefit for me. It’s all too
easy to get distracted away from one task, gradually work on it throughout
the day alongside twelve other tasks, and never actually finish anything.
With task blocking, I’m able to get a lot more done and I know this will
only continue to be important in 2021.
Thank you, Rex Freiberger – The Call Of
Create Virtual Events for Your Remote Team Members to Interact with Their Peers
First and foremost, begin by encouraging employees to form personal
relationships within the company. This is especially hard to do while
everyone is remote, but we’ve found it more important than ever since we’ve
added so much headcount during the pandemic at Gainful. It’s bizarre to
join a company where most folks haven’t ever met in person, so we try to
have small virtual social events to encourage people to feel more
connected. In addition, we’ve provided team members with a remote work
stipend that they can use on everything from a new desk chair to a
houseplant to beautify their workspace. Lastly, don’t forget to show
empathy and understanding during this year, it’s more important than ever
to realize that everyone is having a unique experience that may be more
difficult than your own. Each employee is faced with individual
circumstances; displaying gratitude and extending support is vital in
maintaining a positive remote work environment. We try to encourage team
members to take time off, even if they’re not traveling anywhere. A
vacation is a time to unplug and recharge – you don’t have to fly to a
beach somewhere to avoid burnout.
Thank you, Eric Wu – Gainful
Don’t Overwork! Take a Break
When it comes to maintaining productivity and effectiveness, I notice my
productivity levels drop, and I become less motivated to push through my
work when I work on one project or task for too long. The obvious solutions
to this issue are taking a short vacation, change your work environment, or
incorporate small breaks into your schedule but at the time of a pandemic,
these solutions become less viable. From my experience, I can work much
harder on a project that is new, exciting, and challenging. I am not one
who thrives in repetitive environments. Consistently having the opportunity
to do something different and learn is highly rewarding for me and keeps me
engaged longer. From an employee standpoint, I would recommend asking to be
included in new projects or task forces. Also, time blocking your schedule
can help to keep the excitement alive. Making sure you are not overworking
yourself by trying to keep up with different time zones if working with
people from all over the world. I always stress the importance of rest and
work-life balance to all of my employees.
Thank you Jason Akatiff – Boundery
Increasing productivity can be a difficult feat, whether personally or professionally. However, one basic tip can apply to any situation when you need to be efficient. If you’ve heard that you should avoid interruptions whenever possible, it’s no joke. In fact, the University of California in Irvine completed a study that shows that, on average, it takes a person around 25 minutes to get back into a productive flow after an interruption. Imagine that happening numerous times a day!
So, if you’ve ever been advised to put your email notifications on pause or set your phone to do not disturb, it isn’t for the weak or those with poor concentration. Finish the task at hand, and then take a break to check in on emails or other messages. I promise you – they’ll still be there!
Thank you, Travis Killian – Everlasting Comfort
Use an Application to Assist You
One thing that you absolutely have to make sure of in this fast-paced market, is to get yourself and your team a useful software to help you perform your work tasks easily and effectively.
This application must be a robust and feature-packed Behemoth like nTask, which is a task management and project management solution for small to enterprise-level businesses.
The software has some incredibly personal and work level solutions, that can profoundly increase your productivity levels in no time.
Thank you, Fred Wilson – nTask
Always communicate. It’s a must that employees communicate with managers
and everyone in the workforce especially if they are working remotely.
The number one key to building good relationships and an efficient workflow is
when employees learn to be open to co-workers in every work-related
aspect. Communicate even when things are going smoothly, moreover when it’s
rough. Don’t keep them blindsided with how you work or what strategies you
apply, because it’s always a domino effect and a simple mistake can cause a
big impact on the team.
Thank you, Alicia Hough – The Product Analyst
Follow the SMART Guideline
My best tip to achieve your personal and business goals is to ensure to
follow the SMART guideline. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable,
Realistic, and Time-bound.
Set a clear and well-defined goal. Go for something challenging but
possible. How do you see it progressing in 1-3 months? Yes, keep an eye on
it. There are free apps that send you reminders when it’s time to evaluate
your development. Lastly, it must have a deadline. We tend to procrastinate
if we know that things could wait. But I’d say it’s always best to be on
top of your goals.
I also believe that a comfortable work environment promotes productivity
and competitiveness among team members.
Thank you, Ajmal Dar – Moccasin Guru
Every Effort Counts
As a businessman, it is very important for me that my team and I are in the
same level of understanding when it comes to achieving our goals. Every
first week of the month, we always conduct a Goal Setting Discussion
wherein we talk about the past, present, and future goals. We make sure if
we have reached our goal and if we are ready to set new goals, or we talk
about what we need to improve and do more so we can all be successful.
Aside from the meeting, I also make sure to give incentives to those
employees or departments who have achieved goals no matter how long they
have done it, as long as they were able to reach or even surpass the main
goal. I believe that doing this can help them maintain or increase their
productivity level as well as their excitement to work for the company.
Thank you Chris Muktar – WikiJob.co.uk
Take a Breather and Keep in Touch with Your Employees
Productivity is one of the most important factors that every member of the
organization should prioritize. This helps you to ensure the continued success of your business or company.
As a business owner myself, I always make sure that I take the necessary precautions to increase not only my productivity but also my employee’s.
That being said, here are my 2 best tips to increase personal and team
1. Take a Break. It is very important to take a break after some time
during your working hours. It is one of the things that are commonly
overlooked which causes you to be overworked that actually makes your
productivity rate low.
2. Stay In Touch With Your Employees. As the business owner, it is your
responsibility to take good care of your employees. A simple asking of
personal questions during your checkpoint meetings can greatly help your
employees which help your employees to feel better and increase their
Thank you, Samrat Amarnani – Collars & Cuffs
Be Self-Aware and Improve Your Organization Skills
Be organized. Create a plan, break it into smaller tasks, and set deadlines
for them. One big difficult task will seem hard to achieve. This can kill
your morale before you even begin. Smaller tasks, however, are more
manageable. And every time you complete one, you will feel good and
motivated to take on another one.
Being organized also gives you peace and makes it easier to pay attention.
You know what you are going to do next and you prepare mentally for it.
Some time back, I used to say that I will go with the flow and do whatever
I feel like doing. But I ended up wasting a lot of time deciding what to do
next. There was too much clutter and I missed deadlines. At the end of the
day, I didn’t even have a way to measure my progress.
Another tip that helps with productivity is self-care. When you have too
many goals to accomplish, even getting enough sleep feels like a waste of
time. But you need to rest, work out and do things that bring you peace.
Create time for yourself out of your busy schedule. You will be rejuvenated
and you will feel good about yourself. This boosts your confidence and
improves your focus– both of which make you more productive.
I know that taking time to rest sounds like a crazy idea to many
entrepreneurs. But burning yourself out won’t make you more productive,
take it from me. So take some time off and rest.
Thank you, David De Haan – Fantastic Kayaks
Improve Your Planning and Time Management Skills
When it comes to achieving your goals, time management and planning are key
These are my top 4 tips to get more done with minimal efforts to nail your
personal and business goals this 2021:
1) Have a plan: Planning the year ahead, setting our goals and intention in
advance makes it easier for us to achieve what we want. So let’s start this
2021 with a goal and an intention in mind to never lose track. As they say,
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”
2) Focus on what matters: You cannot do everything. You probably
think you can, and maybe you do, but it is not optimal. Picking the most
important tasks you should work on to get the most results is what will
make you achieve your goals with ease. Think about the 20% of the things
that could bring you 80% of your results (this is known as Pareto Law).
3) Time blocking: This technique allows you to use your time wisely. By
separating your tasks, putting several similar activities in the same block
of the day, you increase your productivity since you don’t have to be
constantly changing from one thing to another.
4) Do not multitask: You might think you are more productive if you do more
than one thing at a time, but the truth is you are not! Focusing our
attention on more than one thing means not having focus at all. To get more
done with less effort, we must focus all our attention on one thing at a
Thank you, Alejandra Marqués – Your Plan A
Use Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law states that ‘work expands to fill the time available for
its completion,’ which suggests that if you give yourself a whole day to
finish a 2-hour task, then your mind will see the task as more complicated
and daunting. Consequently, it will take the whole day to
accomplish the relatively minor task.
Unfortunately, the additional time spent on the task doesn’t even improve
the standard of the work. Instead, most of that overtime is going to be
wasted on procrastination, pondering irrelevant details, and distractions
like email and social media.
To use Parkinson’s Law to your advantage, you’ve got to have deadlines that
are much shorter than you’ve ever set them before. This forces you to focus
on the essentials, avoid distractions and stop procrastinating — in any
case, you’ll just have to use your time wisely.
If you’ve ever procrastinated on a project until the eleventh hour, you’ve
already experienced Parkinson’s Law first hand. Did you suddenly become a
productivity machine? That’s Parkinson’s Law at play.
When you have an excessive amount of time available for completing a task,
you won’t feel the need, motivation, or pressure to exert energy or focus
on intensity. There’s space available to waste time, so you’ll
unconsciously make use of this space. the answer is to form your deadlines
shorter. Much shorter.
To start, try cutting your deadlines in half. If you’d normally take four
hours to end a selected task, see if you’ll finish it in two. This might
feel unrealistic initially, but you’ll surprise yourself at what proportion
more productive you become when some time is restricted.
You’ll likely find ways to urge yourself to get it done within the limited
time — and often get it done right!
And, if you don’t make the new deadline, you ought to first truthfully
analyze if you’re still pondering over irrelevant details or wasting time
on meaningless distractions. If not, loosen the deadline a touch until you discover your deadline sweet
Thank you Valentine Okoronkwo – PassiveSecrets
Stay in Contact With Your Team and Improve Time Management via Techniques like the Pomodoro
Time management is of the essence for nailing goals. Time management methods
like the Pomodoro technique can be very productive when managing different
roles and responsibilities. You can divide your day into different tasks like
a work deadline, or an activity with your kids, or exercise routine and so
on. That way, all important tasks are documented as well as timed, so you
can very easily achieve them and feel happy at the end of the day. My
startup life changed dramatically after my daughter’s arrival and I spent
sleepless nights and long days trying to find an agreeable balance between
my work and personal life. Pomodoro technique allowed me to focus on one
task and in case I get pulled away for something, on my return I knew the
task that I’ve missed and where to start again. Because of this simple
hack, I am now able to accomplish at least 60% more tasks than before.
To have a productive team
, meeting once a day in a remote working
environment is a good practice. Begin your day with a 10-15 minute team
meeting depending on the size of your team. Give each team one minute to
explain what they accomplished the previous day, what they intend to
achieve that day and if they need help from any other team member. This
means that in a virtual world, you can quickly bring transparency within
the team and also everyone has pressure to accomplish some task before the
next day’s meeting. I’ve found this frequency as a good productivity
booster. Short meetings each day, managerial review once a week, and company
level review twice a month brings everyone on the same page. Even in a
remote world, each member in the team knows what others are working on and
how they can contribute to delivering on results faster. In 6 weeks, the team
productivity was up by 30%.
Thank you, Sonu Bubna – Shopper.com
You can use the above tips to improve your personal and team productivity this year. Feel free to share your thoughts with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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