The Secrets of Perfect Productivity

By Michelle Symonds

We all know people in our lives who we envy for their productivity. They seem to fit so much into their days, we just don’t know how they do it. If you want to get the most out of your role as a project manager or even just in life in general, here are 6 things you need to master to boost your own productivity.

  1. Know when you are most productiveSome of us are morning people, others are night owls. Some people love Monday mornings, others function better on a Friday. Earmark those times of the day or week that you know you are at your most productive and then guard it with your life. Use this time to do the important, engrossing or more challenging aspects of your job.
  2. Wake up early

    Waking up with the lark doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go to work earlier. Getting into the routine of an earlier wake up time will give you the breathing space to look after yourself as well as your career, doing things like reading, meditating, going for a walk or just relaxing, setting you up for a more productive, less stressful day.

  3. Get more sleep

    It can be tempting to burn the midnight oil to meet deadlines, but actually you are setting yourself up for a fall. Staying up late means getting up early will be less likely, meaning you miss out on that important me time at the start of the day. Not only that, but you are likely to start feeling fatigued after lunch, which will mean you are less able to be productive the following day. If you must stay up late and miss out on your 8 hours of sleep, schedule in a nap the following day to keep yourself at your peak.

  4. Take more breaks

    It might sound like the opposite of productivity, but actually well timed breaks from your work are just as important as the time actually spent working. Aim to step right away from work for around 15 minutes every couple of hours and don’t forget to schedule yourself some well-earned annual leave (and don’t take your laptop!). Productive people know the value of recharging from time to time.

  5. Learn to delegate

    It’s all too easy to think you are the only person who can get the job done properly, but to maximize your productivity, particularly within a project environment, it is important to learn to delegate too. Find tasks that take your time but don’t require skills that are unique to you and dish them out to your team.

  6. Be productive rather than just ‘busy’

    To be successful as a project manager you don’t always have to be frantically engaged in a deadline dependent task. With successful delegation and better organization, you can be more productive and actually less busy. Sometimes what you really need is an hour to yourself to do some deep strategic thinking so that you can approach things in a more logical, more productive manner or to sit back and listen to a project management podcast to keep your PM skills up to date.

Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.

There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.

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