Improve Personal Productivity by Knowing Yourself Well

How do we improve personal productivity at work? Recall that personal productivity is an equation of Me, You and Situation? We want to work on the Me factor. Personal productivity starts from the individual’s awareness or as we term it Personal Awareness. Personal Awareness is based on how our mental model works. Your mental model setups mental boundaries, predict the outcome or process of work. Our personal awareness (surrounding the Me) can be characterized into four quadrants.

“I know what I can do” – The most preferred quadrant. Individuals of this quadrant know what they are doing. Know who, what, where, when and how they can do to achieve their objectives. Usually they are confident individuals that are able to predict the outcome.

“I know what I cannot do” – Usually paired together with individuals of “I know what I can do”; Individuals are conscious of their limit of their abilities. This is important as they can identify which type of work is suitable for them and which are above their abilities.

“I do not know what I can do” – Individuals fail to recognize their fullest potential. Their superiors may have identified their untapped potentials but always stumble with the unwillingness of the individual to unleash them. Usually these individuals are resistance to change.

“I do not know what I cannot do” – Ignorance is not a blessing here. Individuals that fall into this quadrant are usually ignorant and over-confident. They fail to see what they can’t perform and usually get themselves into trouble.

Personal productivity starts from understanding your personal awareness. In the four quadrants, by knowing where you are, you can estimate your effort in a task, the time frame committed, the boundaries you are working in, or even further improve personal productivity. Personal productivity is not merely the personal aspect but it can also be achieved at the situational aspect where for example, you are aware of how much effort is required in performing a certain task in a particular situation.

Of course, there is no one straight cut to a specific quadrant. There can be combinations of quadrant and they can deviate in different situations. Now look back the past events that happened at work. Which of the quadrants do you feel you best relate to in how you are aware of yourself and the situation? Were you able to identify that you were able to optimize personal productivity if you were being more aware of yourself or the situation? Have a thought about it! 😉

5 Ways to Boost Personal Productivity

Are you always looking for a way to stay sharp, gain an edge and boost your personal productivity? If so you are in the good company of a large percentage of the rest of the population of the planet earth. With so much to do and the list seemingly growing every day we are all looking to increase our personal performance if for nothing more than to just make it to tomorrow.

Increasing productivity starts with getting the most out of what skill sets you already have. With that said here are 5 ways to find the productivity improvement you are looking for by ‘fine tuning’ what you already have.

Start Early

The saying ‘early to bed early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise’ is something many of us are familiar with and it holds much truth. Starting your day early gives you the opportunity to take advantage of your energy level while at it highest. Both the mind and body tend to wear down throughout the course of a day so it only makes sense to be sure to get the most out of both while they are at their optimal levels.

Develop a Fitness a Routine

Along the lines of increasing personal performance a fit body will possess more stamina and ‘staying’ power allowing you to stay ‘sharper for a longer period of time. It is also a well known fact that exercise supplies more oxygen to the brain allowing it to function more effectively. So here is what you get for exercising, sharper brains on a more fit body, what more could you ask for?

Also adopting a regular exercise routine will help you fall asleep quicker at night so that you can wake up early the next morning

‘List Out’ Your Day

Developing a daily list of priorities will help you maintain your focus on completing those tasks you judge as important. Generally just simply listing out your ‘day in advance’ will automatically help you prioritize the tasks on your list. As your ‘to do’ list is being developed you can make any necessary adjustments as to scheduling or changes in your priorities. This is a great way of ‘scheduling goals’ on a daily basis!

Strengthen Your Strengths

Any strength you may have can almost ALWAYS be improved upon! One of the best ways of increasing productivity is to simply get better at what you are already good at. Besides if you are good at something you usually also enjoy doing it therefore you will not mind spending more time on it to make improvements.

Work on Your Weaknesses

To get better we sometimes need to venture outside our ‘comfort zone’ which means taking on something we are not good at. By dedicating just a small amount of time each day to work on some of our weaknesses we will begin to see improvements in these areas over a short period of time. After a while we will get better and more comfortable with these ‘former weaknesses’ which will make it even easier to spend more time working on them.

If you are driven it is only natural and quite commendable to want to boost your current personal productivity. With an ever growing list of demands, finding ways to increase our personal performance is the best way to tackle these new challenges. Developing new talents and skills is one way to find the productivity improvement necessary to meet these challenges. Another more practical approach to increasing productivity however and possibly even easier is to further develop the skill sets we already have. The 5 ways to do this as discussed above focuses more on ways to strengthen or better utilize any current assets we have. In this way we can build upon that which we already know thereby making us better at that which we already do.

High Personal Productivity Will Bring You Happiness

If you just reflect for a moment on when you have been happiest at work you will probably recall a time when you were busy but also very productive. When we achieve things we feel better about ourselves and this flows through to other areas of productivity. There are a series of steps that you can take to increase your personal productivity and when this occurs you will feel much more relaxed and much happier.

You set long-range goals in both your personal and professional life. Then you work backwards and set shorter range objectives that are tied to your goals. Each objective has a specific target with a deadline and taken one at time they will lead you towards your goal. To do this you have to understand priorities so that you can put them into a logical order. You set goals and objectives, then you rank them in priority order and make a personal productivity plan based on them. Your personal productivity plan fits within your ideal day where you have blocked off certain times to fulfill key tasks.

Your ideal day is a purely personal productivity plan. You know from your own experience your own energy cycles. You know when you are most productive and you know when you’re least productive. If you take this into account when you are planning your day, you will do your high priority tasks during your time of peak productivity and do your low priority tasks when your productivity levels drop. This is a logical way to ensure that you have the energy resources to deal with what you’re doing at the time.

To achieve high levels of personal productivity, you need to start off with your long-range goals and objectives. Once you’ve done that, you will now be in a position to relate the day’s activities to those goals. Your priorities will be sorted out relatively simply. The more an activity contributes to your goal, a higher priority it receives. You can schedule your tasks according to priorities and also to your own energy cycle.

By writing all this down, you can use the plan to guide you through the crises, the interruptions and the unforeseen circumstances that occur every day in a dynamic workplace. Being able to see the plan is of the utmost importance because you can actually show other people and once they see what you have written down, they are aware of where your priorities lie. Without question, if you want to raise your personal productivity, make more effective use of your time and talent, become happier and more fulfilled, then you should make a daily plan in writing and stick to it.