How to Improve Your Personal Productivity and Achieve More

We have heard many people say, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.” And we have probably said it ourselves. If you want to achieve more in any given time span, stop and take stock of what you’re doing. The chances are that you suffer from interruptions, a lack of planning and jumbled priorities.

To achieve more, you need to eliminate or minimize interruptions. These are the things that steal your time and distract you from your objectives. Secondly, if you don’t plan to be effective, you won’t be. Your personal productivity will suffer without effective planning. Thirdly, unless you have clear priorities your days will be unproductive. The combination of these three factors will gobble up your time to the point where you will feel busy but achieve little.

When you take stock of your particular circumstances remind yourself of the 80/20 rule. This is the approximate rule that you can apply to improving your personal productivity. It’s not exact because sometimes the ratios will be 60/40. Just remember that 80% of your time is spent with 20% of your customers. By the same token these 20% of your customers create 80% of your problems.

To put this into context, 80% of your profit comes from 20% of your customers. If you identify these customers, you can work towards developing more of a similar type that will increase your profit.

From a personal productivity point of view it is wise to remember that 20% of your effort produces 80% of your results. It makes sense to isolate that effort that produces those results and duplicate it.

You will waste 80% of your time through interruptions, a lack of planning and unclear priorities. The secret of achieving more in less time is to increase your productive time by reducing interruptions, better planning and setting clear priorities.

Make a list of your interruptions over the period of a week. Assemble them into columns, those that you create yourself and those that are created by other people. Interruptions to yourself can be dealt with relatively easily. This means not surfing the web when you should be focused on the task in hand.

You will improve your planning if you plan each day the evening before. Never write a “to do list” that contains more than five items. Put these items in priority of doing the worst one first. This means every time you complete a task, the next one will be more enjoyable. This little tactic will motivate you to achieve more.

To improve your personal productivity, you must stop and look at what you’re doing. It’s very hard to improve without this objective self-assessment.