Work smarter rather than harder
Welcome to part 2 of my 5 part Tracksuit Economy blog series designed to help you assess ways in which you can work more flexibly and begin to live and work rather than work and live in between all the running about.
After exploring our blocks to productivity in part 1 of this blog series, this post looks at your productivity levels and how to determine if you are worker harder than you need to be.
Grab a sheet of paper (or use your phone or tablet) to work out how set out how long you spend on a typical work day:
commuting to and from work;
writing and responding to emails;
sitting in work meetings;
running errands; and
any other tasks that take up a lot of time.
Looking at the list you have created, consider how productive you really are? Be honest with yourself too. Do you really need to hit “reply all” to 10 emails a day talking about lunch?
Is productivity (rather than being time poor) your main problem? If so, tweaks to your productivity plus some small tweaks to workplace flexibility could make a huge change for your available time.
Solutions to consider
Again, look at the list you have created and close your eyes and consider whether you could:
batch your email times to twice a day;
work from home at least 1 day a week;
delegate tasks (at work or home);
stop hitting “reply all” to emails or including unnecessary parties into email correspondence;
cut down on meeting attendance. Perhaps a bullet point email will suffice, or a daily meeting could be made weekly, a weekly meeting fortnightly etc;
use your commute for paying bills or other tasks you can do online (meaning you are using that time productively and you do not have to run as many errands);
do your kids really need to do all of the after school activities? While some activities are good, some afternoons at home are great for all members of the family;
order your groceries and other shopping online and have them delivered;
do your beds really need to be made every single day; and
any other solution that will save you time day to day.
Don’t beat yourself up if the answers are not instantly apparent to you.
Always sleep on a thought like how you can improve your productivity. In the words of Brene’ Brown, “Rumble with it” and the answer will come to you in the shower or randomly.
I would love to hear from you
Finally - let me know if you have made any day to day tweaks to your productivity that you swear by.