5 Ways to Improve Your Personal Productivity
As a CNC factory owner or manager you know the importance of making your manufacturing processes as efficient as possible. To a great extent this means investing in appropriate technology and having a productive workforce. In fact, improving worker productivity should be a continuous activity on every factory floor. However striving to be more productive should not be reserved only for the floor workers. Everyone in the organization from top management on down should be focused on continuously improving personal productivity. So here are 5 simple ways managers can become more productive.
- The List. A good place to start is with a daily “to-do” list. Some people are natural list makers, while others…not so much. Truth is, it’s a rare individual who can hold a comprehensive list of tasks in his or her head and keep their priorities straight, so even if your natural tendency is against creating a written list, try it for a few weeks and see how it works.
- Keep It Short. If your daily list contains too many items it can overwhelm you and actually waste time as you worry over each item. For most of us about 4 – 6 tasks constitutes a doable list. Some people create two lists, one that focuses on today’s activities and a longer one that has additional important tasks for the future. Don’t look at the longer list until the end of the day, when you can use it to help set the next day’s priorities.
- Test Against Your Goals. The very act of writing and prioritizing a list of activities forces us to consider each task’s true value in relation to our overarching business goals. As you put together your daily list of things to do, ask yourself “Will this item help move us closer to our goals?” If not, you should question whether it belongs on the list at all, or should, at least, drop to the bottom.
- Work On Your Business, Not Just In It. It’s easy to get caught up in everyday activities and putting out fires to the point where you lose sight of the bigger picture. Take a day each month to leave your day-to-day activities behind so you can reflect on the long- and short-term goals for your business, and how well you are achieving them. Do your goals still make sense or should you modify them? What internal or external forces are impeding your progress? How do you define the ideal state for your organization? What’s preventing you from getting there? For many owners or managers, working with a business advisor or joining a peer round table made up of other executives can help you gain a better perspective on your business and develop better strategies.
- Is There An App For That? If you’re like most of us your mobile devices – smart phones and tablets – are your primary communications tools. However they can be much more than that. There’s a mind-boggling number of APPs that can help increase your personal productivity, from “to-do” list APPs like Any.do that plays a ringtone each morning then reviews your schedule and tasks for the day, to cloud-based file storage like Dropbox that lets you store and share files (documents, spreadsheets, CAD) with designated co-workers.
This is not a comprehensive list, of course, but these basic ideas will help kick-start your program for improving personal productivity.