Organizational Leadership Development Florida – EI Leadership
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No.1 Tip to Be More Productive (It is not what you think)

The top 3 challenges today are, do more with less, do it cheaper and do it faster.

We are living in the information age - everything is accelerated. What used to take a month to learn or put into operation, now needs to be done in a week or sooner. Everything has sped up; this is the nature of the digital age. Unfortunately, most people have not caught up and do not have the mindset required to thrive in this environment.

The same technology that has added so much in the way of innovation, information, and, entertainment has also hacked our brains.

The average attention span is 8 seconds.

Distraction is the new normal with interruptions coming every 3 minutes in a typical office. Those are the external distractions; what about those coming from you - hunger, anger, thoughts about the weekend, urge to check social media - you  name it!

A study out of Irvine CA found a 15 second distraction costs 25 minutes in concentration - that is if you ever get it back. What is worse, they also found that as distractions occur so does irritability, as feelings of urgency and pressure increase, as they get further behind. I believe this partially explains the snarkiness and disengagement that is now the typical workplace.

Leaders at all levels of the organization find they are putting out fires instead of doing the "mission critical" work. And this is because expectations are not clearly stated and there is lack of alignment from top down and bottom up. This is what happens when people do not fully understand what each other is doing. 

Are you stuck in a vicious cycle of "fixing" problems that do not address the main issue?  

The number one tip to be more productive. Ready?


Do less. Problem solve more.

There is too much being done that is not directly tied to the main objective. Instead of spinning your wheels to "just get something done," spend a time upfront to gather information, understand the issues and then go through a problem solving process.

This is the value of using agile and lean sigma because it has built in structure to follow. It forces you to stop jumping to solutions. 

When you start thinking, "I have to do more to get something accomplished," resist the urge to create a new initiative. Step back and evaluate your process.

About the Author Cynthia Howard RN, CNC, PhD

Performance Consultant. Unleashing potential in leaders and organizations through innovative performance development.