This is a guest post from Christopher Austin from PeopleInsight.co.uk
Several years of practice and research have been devoted to improving performance management in companies worldwide. However, the conventional understanding of the performance review process is inefficient in the eyes of employees, managers, CEOs and company owners. Studies have shown that annual reviews are not helping increase employee engagement and performance; what really makes employees happy is the day-to-day process of offering feedback, leveraging talent and communicating expectations.
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At first glance, it might seem like workplace security measures would hinder productivity. After all, security measures block access to certain websites,require the generation of complicated passwords and often necessitate training sessions for employees.
But upon further examination, business owners are likely to find that security measures can actually increase productivity and improve overall employee performance. Rather than being viewed as a necessary evil, security measures – just like breaks – should be used to help workplaces operate more efficiently than ever before.
Here are a few examples of how office security and productivity go hand in hand. Although implementing these measures may require a little work upfront, they are likely to pay off over the long haul in terms of safety and efficiency.
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Staying productive at work for 8 straight hours is tough.
Your focus wanders throughout the day, making it easy to get distracted and to lose valuable productivity. There are some things you can do on your own to help keep your focus on track (make lists, organize your desk, but the actual design of a workspace can be critical when it comes to the efficiency of your business.
Here are some tips to help make businesses more efficient:
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The importance of organization and the impact of order, or the lack thereof, on your workday productivity is not a new concept. Similar to an accident halting the flow of traffic and slowing down everything in its wake, when things are not in order in your workspace, you can lose hours of your life just trying to find what you need! The problem is compounded when the disorder piles up to the point that you are at a complete workday stand-still.
Fortunately, there are some options. By keeping things in order, you can get the flow of your productivity back on track and increase your efficiency immensely. Here are a few organizational tips to get you moving.
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Guest Blogger Graham Allcott, author of “How to be a Productivity Ninja”, discusses why attention, not time, is the key to ninja-level productivity.
Time management used to be so simple: spend the first hour of the day sorting out the post and incoming paperwork, then get on to the high priority tasks. Spend the middle part of the day doing mid-level tasks and the end of the day wrapping up with the easier stuff. There was no such thing as information overload, or at its’ worst it looked like six pieces of A4 paper in your pigeon hold. Then we went digital, information became cheap and we got swamped: email, social media, the internet, software programmes, CRM systems, instant messenger, phone…
Where time management success was judged by completion, modern-day productivity is as much about what you ignore as what you do. It’s time to think like a ninja!
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Since productivity is our favorite topic, we were thrilled to learn about a new book on productivity by Graham Alcott, founder of Think Productive, a productivity coaching company in the UK.
The average book on productivity will load you down with theory. And while it will sound great while you’re reading, when you’re done you’ll be left wondering where to begin. You’ll be overloaded with information, and will end up never implementing any of it. The great thing about Productivity Ninja is that it gives you exercises as you read, so once you’ve finished the book, you’re already starting off with concrete action plans, that are specifically designed to your needs (because you wrote them!).
Possibly the biggest impact this book has had on my productivity is the notion of attention management. A concept that I hadn’t ever considered before, has lead me to make the most of my attention peaks during the day, and manage the more mundane tasks during the dips. Of course this was only possible because of the different tools and exercises in the book that helped me identify them. This will of course be different for each person.
Some general observations of the book:
- Short, sweet, to the point. This book won’t waste your time.
- The author really knows the average working person, absolutely relatable for the reader
- Practical – great workbook aspect that sets you up for your own ninjafying
- Challenges you – I’m having trouble implementing the “ruthlessness” aspect that Alcott defines as a characteristic of a productivity ninja – I’m a sucker for helping others with their tasks when I know I can do it better/faster/easier
- The productivity ninja isn’t always an ethical worker – suggestions like scheduling false meetings to avoid colleague interruptions, gets the job done, but I’m not sure if it’s morally acceptable in every office
This book was all in all a fantastic read. I suggest it, but only on the following conditions:
- You’re looking to make practical changes in your life to increase your productivity (things like managing your inbox, managing everyday tasks, how to make to-do lists that you’ll actually to, have productive meetings etc.);
- You’re willing to challenge yourself;
- You’re open to changing your daily routine;
- You’ll actually dothe exercises in the book as you read along.
There were many practical suggestions, and we look forward to a guest post by author Graham Alcott to give us some more insight to the characteristics of a productivity ninja.
If you’re interested in the book itself, you can buy it online here: http://www.amazon.com/How-Productivity-Ninja-Management-Information/dp/0956689310
Want more productivity inspiration? Think Productive run 21st century time management courses for organisations as diverse as eBay, the UK Government and the National Trust.