Productivity. That old word. It is always bandied around. But is there anything that you can do in business to encourage good productivity techniques with your staff? Targets and deadlines are essentially productivity techniques. But with those come a high level of anxiety in people that are not used to pushing themselves so much. So, the best approach makes it work for them from the inside out. By this I mean instill values and techniques that work for them, so that a habit is ingrained. They say it takes 21 days for something to become a habit. There are processes that are being used in workplaces across the world to encourage productivity. Here are some of them.
The Pomodoro Technique
Developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s. “Pomodoro” means “tomato” in Italian, and was named after Cirillo’s kitchen timer, shaped like a tomato. The idea behind this technique was that regular breaks increase your mental agility.
With this time-saving technique, there are six steps.
1. Decide on the task that needs to be completed.
2. Set a timer for 20 or 25 minutes.
3. You then work on your task until the timer rings. Just the task. Do not focus on anything else! If you get distracted by an errant thought, you just write it down on paper and get straight back to the task.
4. When the timer rings, write a check down on a piece of paper.
5. Take a break. If the paper has less than four checkmarks, take a short break (from about 3 to 5 minutes). After that, go back to the first step.
6. After four “Pomodoros,” you then take one longer break (from 15 to 30 minutes). After your break, reset your check count to zero. You then go back to the first step.
The whole ethos behind this is to encourage a flow and focus on your task. To achieve this, you need to eliminate external distractions. This is difficult in an office environment. But a lot of leaders and entrepreneurs have time-saving techniques. If you are looking for a comprehensive list of leader insight, click here for some inspiration. But when it comes to employing a technique like this on a grand scale, the amount of time is relatively minimal. It is very beneficial if there are tasks that need completing under duress. There are apps that are developed for focus and concentration, but having a simple timer may be all that you need!
The Two Minute Rule
This is another time-management technique. The thought behind this is that most tasks are not as difficult as we think they are, and we have the skills to complete them.
The two core rules to it are:
1. If it takes less than two minutes, do it now!
2. When starting (not completing) a new habit, it should take less than two minutes.
This is a great method for getting small tasks done, like checking your emails.
So, there are two approaches for undertaking big tasks and little ones. Whichever annoying little duty you have been putting off for a while, or a sizeable task, using one of these two approaches will help out in the workplace.