So how many weeks do you think that the average human has to live on this planet? Just take a guess.
Now when I ask my husband that he guessed around 300,000 and when I was asked I guessed around a hundred thousand, but if you do the math with an average life span between 76 and 79 years, that's about four thousand weeks.
Yeah, that's it. 4,000 weeks.
how you spend and protect your time
Kind of gives you a whole new perspective on how you spend your time, doesn't it?
Now you started working from home over the past year and a half and that became the norm and you probably thought how much more productive you would be. No more hour-plus commute. There's so much more we're going to get done.But instead, you got your to-do list that never stops demands for your time, from all angles, home and work, and relationships. And before you know it you're in back-to-back Zoom meetings all day long. Well, it's not just you.
Researchers at Harvard Business School in the New York University found that the number of meetings that we have all been in since the pandemic has increased by 12.9% and on average the number of attendees per those meetings grew by another 13 and a half percent.
Now, while the average length of meetings did go down, the total time we're spending in meetings went up a lot. But all this extra meeting time didn't do a whole lot for our productivity.
Yeah, big surprise, more meetings means less productivity. Tell us something we didn't know, right?
But despite all of this extra time in meetings, the data showed that it was poor collaboration and insufficient work practices have actually reduced our productivity time by between two to three percent across a lot of organizations.
This isn't necessarily the case for all companies
At least not according to the Harvard Business review article that was published last December.
See if your company and you as a leader were effectively managing your time and your talent and your energy before the Pandemic then working from home, actually did make you more productive. In fact, the article stated that those companies who are the very best at managing their scarce time, talent, and energy were in the top 25% of the companies they researched.
They protect their time.
And it's probably because they were 40% more productive than the remaining 75% of the companies that they looked into. This is a huge competitive advantage. And at this point, we all know what it's like to try and find exceptional talent. It's not exactly easy.
You know, those people as Harvard describes are the ones that are able to bring creativity and ingenuity into their work. They’re as scarce and valuable as resources as toilet paper was not so long ago.
What caught my eye was that the research suggested that the best companies were 20% more productive than the rest because of how they acquired, developed, and led their team with this scarce difference-making talent that they had.
Now the Harvard Business review article also stated that those who were losing productivity
were because of bad collaboration practices. Wasteful ways of working. Hello, endless meetings… and an overall decline in Employee Engagement.
So, how do you change that within your own company when you think being more productive is just yet, another behavioral change that you need to make?
It means that if you are in business or if you're a sales leader it starts with you. And if you are a seller or a business owner, it starts with you.
Because the only thing that we can truly manage is ourselves.
Protect Your Time Using This Simple Strategy:
Now, you could go and search on Google through the 363 million, different results on how to increase your own personal productivity. You could read all of the 10 ways to improve yourself.
The 10 easiest things to do in the extra life hacks that need to happen in order for you to become more productive.
But who has time for that?
Now, there is a strategy that I teach to clients that's built on personal goal alignment
and time prioritization. No, not time management because you can't really manage time -
But you can make sure that your most important work gets done first.
And I'm sorry, but your most important work is not going to be found in your inbox
or the time block on your calendar, or the never-ending to-do list that we described earlier.
It's not how you manage your limited time energy or expand your talent. No, your most important work is what you decide is in alignment with your own personally meaningful goals.
Three things you can do now to align your goals and be more productive.
The first thing is simple, it's simply to reflect on what your values are and envision the future that you want for yourself and your family. You start to cultivate your desire for success by uncovering what your purpose is. Now a sense of purpose is the greatest motivator that we can have for ourselves.
Then the thing you need to do is you need to write that down and share it with others. This forms what we call “commitments to your goals that you're willing to be held accountable to”.
One of the books that I recently read was “How to Change” by Professor Katie Milkman and in it, she shared that when we out ourselves to others, that we've created what she calls, “soft commitments” to ourselves and to others and to our goals. And when we don't follow through on those things that we've shared with others, we're actually creating what she calls a “cognitive dissonance within ourselves” or that feeling of being at odds with ourselves? It's what happens when we don't do what we said we would.
Now the last tip for you to protect your time is to develop what Milkman calls a “queue-based plan” that enables you to know what to do when to do it, and with whom you need to do it with, or need help from.
This is where you can start to prioritize your time to align with your personal goals. This is your plan on how to work and get stuff done.
I have to share with you the first a couple of disclaimers:
First, know that productivity is a process to get you started in understanding what works for you. The mistake that I see a lot of people make and I've made myself is that we try to adopt someone else's process and it doesn't necessarily take into account our own tendencies, our own strengths, or our own areas of weakness that we want to improve on.
So don't get frustrated when you don't do it exactly like I do or someone else does. You’re unique. Your plan for productivity is as well. It's going to always be a work in progress.
Until next time, keep learning out there.