What KILLS Your Productivity?

Productivity

“Hey, you have a minute?”

It’s pretty much impossible to get through a workday without at least a few interruptions. How about those phone and computer notifications? Yet interruptions are just part of life and business. So is building relationships. So how do you balance it all? 

“90 Minute Of Focused Sprints with NO interruptions or notifications!”

Research indicates that only 26% of people often end the day NOT having accomplished the tasks they set out to do. It’s all too common to feel as if you’ve been busy but haven’t done anything significant. Can you relate? 

The four factors. 

Factor 1. 

Most of us overestimate how much focused time we have in a typical day. Parkinsons law states: “work expands to the time given.” You will be amazed at what happens when you intentionally plan and execute a 60 to 90-minute sprint for important work each day. 

Factor 2.

It’s easy to overlook proven methods that seem too simple. The concept of implementation intentions was introduced in 1999 by psychologist Peter Gollwitzer. Supercharge your effort by predetermining a specific behavior in response to a particular cue. One example: 

“If I’m feeling tempted NOT to make my prospecting calls, I’ll text my accountability partner.”

The basic structure of an implementation intention is:

IF {situation} THEN I will {your planned behavior}.

Factor 3. 

Change and continuous improvement are NOT all-or-nothing! When we engage in all or nothing thinking, we evaluate life in extreme terms: It’s either perfect or a disaster. You’re either a total success or a complete failure. The reality is nothing is perfect, and we are all a work in progress. 

So, you had a setback! What can you learn from it? What adjustments can you make? 

Factor 4. 

Winging it. If you are not working from a checklist, your productivity is not optimized. A list not only helps you get more done, but your brain loves them. According to research summarized by best-selling author Maria Konnikova, here are some of the reasons why:

  • Your mind seeks organization. Lists tap into our preferred way of receiving and organizing information subconsciously; they hit a sweet spot from an information-processing standpoint.
  • Your mind wants to categorize. A list feels more intuitive. We don’t process information quickly when it’s clustered and undifferentiated (like in standard paragraphs). 
  • List completion is self-reinforcing. We recall with pleasure that we were able to check something off the list. This makes us want to go back to the list for another dopamine hit.

Do your brain a favor and break down what you learned, and your action steps into a series of checklists.

Of course, business isn’t about being a productivity bot. Yet all of the professionals I work with want to feel better organized and efficient in pursuing their wildly important goals. 

About the Author
Mark is the Chief Executive Officer of JP & Associates, a rapidly growing full-service real estate brokerage. He is focused primarily on expansion and productivity. He has invested nearly 20 years in understanding the inner workings of high performing real estate agents, teams, managers, and leaders in major markets across the world. In prior assignments, he served as a Business Coach, in progressive leadership capacities for the 5th largest US-based real estate brokerage firm; in sales and customer marketing leadership capacities for a major consumer goods company; and served a stint in the US Army, Medical Service Corp. He was later recalled to active duty during the desert storm campaign.

Mark is a father of 3, lifelong learner, Spartan and adventure athlete. He earned his MBA from California State University and a Behavioral Change Certification from the National Association of Sports Medicine. A number of years ago he decided to make "One Helluva Move" and not play it safe, and since then in his spare time he has climbed the world’s tallest free-standing mountain - Kilimanjaro; completed the Spartan tri-fecta, the LA Marathon and the world-famous Iowa border to border RABGRAI ride among other crazy adventures.