5 simple tactics for boosting productivity
Dean Simpson, training consultant at Renault-Nissan Consulting gives 5 easy-to-follow tactics to boost your productivity
Maximising the time you or your employees have in a day to do required tasks has been talked about, written about and put into practice for decades. While it might seem like mastering an art when you’re swamped with work and deadlines are looming, there are a few simple, scientific methods that can help you boost productivity within your business. Below are six of the ways we can connect efficiency to the work carried out as part of a Continuous Improvement plan.
1. Educate employees on continuous improvement
Reducing waste in all areas of business is one of the guiding principles of continuous process improvement, but in order for it to be a success it should be rolled out across your organisation. By educating employees and department leaders on the benefits of reducing the time spent completing tasks, you can empower individuals to monitor and improve their own productivity.
2. Review time and resources
An important part of continuous improvement is the assessment of how time is spent and resources are used. A regular review of the way your organisation operates and where changes can be made will help you become more productive. For example, if you operated a manufacturing firm, old equipment might be slower than newer models and need replacing. Or one of your team members could have insightful ideas into how you can speed up processes by cutting out unnecessary tasks.
3. Set clear deadlines
Your continuous improvement programme will lead you to what we call your ‘True North’. This is your end goal – the condition you’d like your organisation to be in as a result of reducing waste and boosting productivity. Along the way you should create deadlines to help you and your team achieve their objectives and create a more streamlined business. This can also create a cultural shift within your organisation, as employees become accustomed to setting – and reaching – the deadlines that will be critical to business and operational excellence.
4. Review meeting structures
Reducing the time you spend on unnecessary tasks or finding faster, smarter ways to work is one of the core principles of Continuous Improvement. And one of the most time-consuming activities in any business is meetings. We book them, attend them and, very often, we complain about how much time they sap from our daily lives.
Meetings can often be unnecessary or, at the least, take long periods of time out of your schedule. To become more productive, review the meeting structures within your company. You can implement a ‘stand up’ style, where meetings are kept to short intervals of 10 or 15 minutes with employees literally standing so they don’t get too comfortable and lose track of time.
It can also be helpful to ensure you have a set agenda that you can all stick to, and as a last resort, question whether a meeting is essential. There may be times when a phone call, email or online chat may get the job done.
5. Don’t get distracted
One of the single greatest ways to manage your time effectively and boost productivity is to focus on the task at hand. These days, we have so many distractions tearing us away from our work. Emails, notifications on our phones, requests for meetings and online chats all add up to take away valuable time from our day.
Be proactive when it comes to managing your time. This means deciding when you will and will not read or respond to emails or other messages and understanding when you are most effective at doing particular jobs. This will give you more opportunity to manage your To Do list and work on your own terms and boost your productivity.