Tag Archives: productivity

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workplace sharing

Workplace Sharing Starts with Compromise

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Are you involved in workplace sharing? Do you negotiate for resources? Is everyone willing to share and compromise?

When we don’t agree in the meeting, we may feel the correct path is to compromise. Many believe that compromise means you’re getting less, you’re breaking things into pieces and distributing only part of the whole.

What if the part is the whole?

When FedEx delivers a package, it contains something of value inside for the recipient. Another person standing nearby, may need a corrugated box.

The person who needed the contents doesn’t need the box and the person needing a box doesn’t care about the prior contents. Is this sharing, compromise, or negotiation?

Some may suggest it could be all three.

You may share a bite of your dinner with your dog. Afterwards, you may also share a blanket, but likely not the water bowl. You share what provides value, you may both enjoy the blanket, but the water bowl is off limits.

Workplace Sharing

In the workplace we are always operating through frames. We condition what we’ll accept or reject based on the frame. The frame is largely defined by the organizational culture.

Sharing, compromising, and negotiating are part of a successful team. That team will be both effective and efficient when they are happily operating within their frame.

Sharing will matter. It matters for workflow and job duties. It matters for resources and the work that gets done. Sharing is framed by the culture.

One of the most important things to share is the idea that sharing is essential for team success.

It starts with you, or it may never start.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace curiosity

Workplace Curiosity and Why You Should Have More

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Do you have workplace curiosity? Is the culture creative, interesting, and inclusive? Are there good listeners?

Have you ever felt so busy that you completely miss something happening right in front of you? You are concentrating so hard that you don’t even notice?

That could be a very positive and intense level of focus. It could also be a signal that you to dig a little deeper in your patience reserves and pause for long enough to notice.

Work and Curiosity Matter

Businesses are about work. They work to create a product or service that is attractive and compelling to their audience. They may also serve society or do something for the greater good of mankind.

Yet, work is still about work. There is a job to do and it is always measured against time.

Productivity, efficiencies, and profit matter. So does your organizational culture.

Are you genuinely curious about what is happening in your workplace?

Workplace Curiosity

I’m not referring to drama filled destructive behaviors, political views, or what happened last year. I’m referring to curiosity about the work at hand, the difference to be made for the customer, and the things that could improve efficiency while also creating more opportunities.

Some of the best cultures have the most curious listeners. Those that listen with their ears, head, and heart. Hearing is not necessarily listening. Listening needs intellect and it needs heart.

Are you engaged with what is happening around your workplace? Do you listen for understanding and not to refute? Are you appropriately generous with your time?

Workplace curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, it builds the culture.

Be genuinely curious.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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productive way

The Productive Way is the Only Way

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Are you doing things the productive way or do you find yourself stuck? Are your workload demands overwhelming?

You are not alone.

Becoming more productive is an interesting challenge. Productivity may depend a lot on exactly what and how you measure it.

Productivity or Strategy?

For the person who rushes to work with a bagel in one hand and a coffee in the other, are you productive? Does rushing illustrate productivity?

For the person who applies makeup while driving in your car on the way to work, are you productive? Are you distracted or focused?

And for the person listening to a sports podcast while working on the next marketing campaign for your company’s latest technology product, are you productive?

The measurement of productivity is often very subjective.

Workforce generations may also add to the mix of subjectivity. OK boomer, you grab a book and I’ll watch a video.

It is likely that all productivity, regardless of generation, comes down to the ability to get out of your own way.

Productive Way

Everyone can feel busy, be distracted, and lack focus. Everyone can be running late, facing adversity, and blindsided by an unexpected problem.

Trying to do two things at once is a sure sign you’ll feel busy.

When you step back and recognize that being busy is not the same as being productive, you’ll likely view your opportunities differently.

Tactics will matter, but tactics aren’t strategy. Resources, learning, and risk have a lot to do with productivity.

Sometimes the most productive way, is to get out of your own way.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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decide soon

Decide Soon, Waiting Wastes Time

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Are decisions really connected to productivity? They are, which is exactly why you should decide soon.

Certainly not all choices are the same. Some choices become better with a slower decision. We access more information, the picture gets clearer, the decision improves. What about your daily productivity?

Are You Productive?

An email response in haste may result in a bad decision. Emotions are often higher, the message riskier, the results sometimes misunderstood. On the positive side, you didn’t procrastinate, you did it immediately. Time saved or time wasted?

You can only put off the wait staff so long. They may advise, “I’ll give you a few minutes.” Yet, you still know you must decide quickly. They can’t wait too long and your friends and family are ready to order.

In the meeting you hesitate to speak. You have an idea, a point to make, or some additional information. Is the timing right, will the people understand, will you get blacklisted for making such a ridiculous suggestion?

Decide Soon

The truth often is that we waste time by waiting. Yes, not every decision should be made in haste, but the outcomes are not altered on many of your choices. Time is wasted and productivity is decreased.

What if you receive one hundred emails a day? How many do you glance at, open, close, and come back to later? How much time is spent in thought, consideration, and a careful response? Your conscientiousness is important and valuable, yet there is relevance to the speed.

One of my favorite time wasters? Deciding that responding too soon implies that you are not busy.

Decide soon, your decisions probably won’t change much, but your productivity does.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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productivity trap

Would You Believe Time Is a Productivity Trap?

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Ask someone if they are going to the fitness center, and they may say, “I don’t have time.” Ask about running errands, paying bills, or doing the laundry, people may suggest there isn’t enough time. Could it be that time is a productivity trap?

What is time costing you? When life is all about the opportunity cost, what are you paying?

Time Spent

We make a lot of decisions every day. Many of those choices have to do with the time we spend. There are opportunities that are either gained or lost.

What choices will you make about time today?

How much time will you spend:

  • In the drive through lane at the coffee shop?
  • Studying the quality of the selfie image on the social media thread?
  • Procrastinating about work to be done instead of jumping in?
  • Proofing an email that took you two minutes to write but you’ve been studying it for ten?
  • Picking up your phone, turning it on, assessing in-bound data, turning it off, putting it back down?

What if the cost of an hour changed? Instead of sixty minutes it became fifty? How would this affect your productivity?

Productivity Trap

Imagine you are on the job for eight hours, but you lose ten minutes each hour. Hours are now fifty minutes. The workload and opportunities remain constant.

You lose one hour and twenty minutes per day. That is more than six hours per week. On average then you lose over twenty-four working hours per month. That would be more than 288 hours per year, which is more than seven work weeks.

If you were absent from your work for more than seven weeks what would have changed? Would nothing change, or might you suggest that everything would change?

Taking time for granted is the biggest productivity trap of all.

Waste less.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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managing time

How Are You Managing Time?

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Time management sounds like a boring topic. It seems like everyone should just get it. We often think, “Do it right, do the right stuff, be effective and efficient.” Are you managing time properly?

What’s Your Focus?

The golden rule that we’ve all heard is that we all have the same amount of time. Certainly, it’s true. Twenty-four hours in a day, seven days a week, and we’re all counting.

Consistent with that thinking, time, it seems, isn’t really our problem. It is how we decide, or feel forced to decide, how we will spend it. What space will we occupy or what activity will we do during our time.

Here lies the real challenge. Do you have the dedication, the devotion, and the focus to really be productive? Are you committed to making the most of your time?

It may require emotional labor. Emotional labor feels hard, exhausting, and makes us question the return on investment. However, it may be necessary to make the best use of your time.

Managing Time

The first step to understanding how we manage our time comes from self-assessment. How are you utilizing your breaks? Are you taking a short brisk walk? That may be productive if you need better fitness.

What are your distractions? Are you creating them or are the result of others? Walking to the coffee pot or the break room may be a distraction. How many trips are you making?

Asking your co-worker across the cube if they watched the Grammy awards the night before, or the latest episode of the Walking Dead, or the Presidential Rally is likely inviting a delay of the real work to be done.

Assess the next three or four hours of your work. What are the time wasters? What activities are you substituting into the mix to procrastinate about the real work to be done? If you’re honest, you may be surprised.

Managing time, we all have the same amount.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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productivity fact

Productivity Fact or Perfection Myth, Which Is It?

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Productivity is important for every workplace. The idea is that efficiency drives profit. Are your daily habits driven by the productivity fact or the perfection myth?

What is the difference and where are you spending, or wasting your time?

Perfection Myth

People spend a lot of time and money on perfection.

There are hours spent on perfecting the product. It happens with goods and it happens with services.

There are hours and hours of fine tuning and making it just right. Hours are spent on the meetings, the waiting for decisions, and on rejected work.

In extreme cases, work is produced that is never used. It is only discarded, no longer needed, or locked in the closet being viewed as too risky for release.

We do it with our written communication to the CEO, the board of directors, or for the project proposal.

We may spend 80 percent of our time proofing, rewriting, and tweaking. In the end, much of that 80 percent of time was wasted because the initial 20 percent of time fulfilled 80 percent or more of the requirement.

All of this lends credibility to the idea that perfection is a myth. Perfection means more time wasted, less time producing.

Productivity Fact

What about the productivity fact?

Kittens and puppies are picked every day not because they are perfect, but because people aren’t judging for perfection.

Your best friend probably isn’t perfect. Your favorite book isn’t perfect. The car you drive, nope, probably not perfect.

Your house may be clean, or the lawn may be cut, but neither are probably perfect.

The work that we do, the product we produce or service we deliver, is probably good enough long before it is perfect. Sometimes everything beyond good enough, is productivity wasted. Time spent that we’ll never recover.

Perfect is often a self-developed illusion. One that we can’t live up to, and one that wastes our time.

Productivity fact is much more important than the perfection myth.

Do great work, but keep moving. The clock is always ticking.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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more time

More Time, Is That What Everyone Needs?

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Time crunch, needed it yesterday, or we missed the deadline. Have you ever felt like you needed more time? What about productivity or efficiency, do you have those boxes checked?

More Time

Many people believe that they need more time. It is a reason that many executives cite as causing a gap between what is, and what could be. Is time really the problem or is it more about managing behaviors?

It is important to immediately address one common fallacy. Multi-tasking is not a time saver, it can in fact, be a time-waster. Sure, we may walk and chew gum at the same time, but when it comes to brain power or concentration forget it.

Many workplace professionals waste so much time with distraction, they could easily take an extra vacation or two each year. What are some of the biggest time wasters?

  • Distractions
  • Interruptions
  • Poor planning
  • Perfectionism
  • Procrastination

You may have been expecting to see things like phone calls, email, or meetings. These items can be a distraction, an interruption, or fall under several other categories. Why aren’t they at the top of the list?

Imagine the importance of your job if you received no calls, no email, and never had a meeting? It is hard to imagine much value in your job if there is no cause for action. The bigger catalyst then becomes about your planning and management habits.

Leadership Efficiency

What about the executive? The President or CEO, that is hyper-engaged in the business? Are they productive?

Some of the biggest time wasters for the executive (supervisor, manager, director, et al) are poor delegation skills, a lack of trust in employees, and perfectionism. The root causes? It all falls back to established habits.

Many workplace professionals feel that there just isn’t enough time.

Maybe, there just isn’t enough focus.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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measure productivity

How To Measure Productivity Through Metrics

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Overwhelmed, too busy, and unsure of exactly how to save yourself? Join the crowd. People everywhere are concerned about improving personal efficiency. How you measure productivity is a good place to start.

Metrics

Most measurement begins with metrics. In our digital world personal productivity often includes metrics centered around email processing. Ask someone how busy they are and chances are good that their inbox will enter the conversation.

Doing whatever pops up and identifying that you are busy may be a fact. However, you shouldn’t confuse the fact that you are busy with productivity.

I had to process over one hundred new email messages.

My boss sent me six new to-do’s in the last half-hour.

I didn’t have time to answer your message, I had to process three days of backlogged email.

When helping businesses form strategy I often suggest that many individuals and businesses can get caught up in “firefighting.” This is a tactical approach to solving problems which can slowly erode strategy.

Metrics, such as the number of email messages processed may be valid, but don’t make the mistake of confusing metrics and measurements with productivity.

Keeping Busy

Proving that we have a lot of motion and that we are busy should never become a metric.

The digital relationship builder can amass new social media friends, connections, views, clicks, likes, and shares but that doesn’t necessary mean that they’ve built a single new relationship. The numbers are there. Is the relationship?

We can make metrics improve which will cause busy work, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve created progress or value.

Measure Productivity

Often the most confusing part about strategy is understanding the difference between tactics and goals. Seldom is there a need to make executing a tactic a goal. That is more about motivation rather than strategy.

There is a related concept to measuring productivity. Many people believe being busy is a measurement of accomplishment, thus being better at being busy means improved productivity. It could, but often it is just busier.

Do you really want to measure productivity? You can start by measuring the value of the outputs from all of the work that you do.

Keep in mind that metric improvement may be a fact, but did you create any real value?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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meeting cancelled

Meeting Cancelled, What Will You Do?

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In workplaces everywhere, there are a lot of meetings. Meetings for strategy, meetings for follow-up, meetings intended to improve communication, and so many more. Imagine if your meeting cancelled, what would happen?

In bad or difficult weather conditions, schools and businesses shut down. For some that is a good time, for others not so much.

Lost Forever

For the restaurant it often means revenue lost since people will still eat that day but not at their restaurant. It is a loss they won’t get back the next day because people won’t eat twice as much. It is gone, forever.

Similar situations exist internally in our organizations. Sometimes the meeting feels needed, and other times it is taken for granted, much of the time participants feel redundancy and wasted time.

If your meeting was cancelled today, or postponed until the next day what would happen? What would happen to revenue, production goals, or new client acquisitions? Does the sales funnel get a dent or a bulge?

When the meeting is cancelled certainly some will rejoice. Their excitement may come from a reduction in stress, a temporary reprieve from workload, or not having to listen to redundant chatter.

Meeting Cancelled

What would you do if the meeting were cancelled?

Would you take the time to do something constructive? What if you started early on your next task did that one thing that you’ve been procrastinating about, or helped someone else with a project that has fallen behind?

Imagine if you jumped in and started selling, invited people to participate, and encouraged productivity for time gained, not time lost.

Then the real magic starts. What if all of the activity gained, new opportunities explored, and bottom line results were better than what came before?

Would you suggest the meeting is rescheduled?

More Is Better?

When we work from the mindset of more is always better we may discover a hidden gem. Abundance often has two sides, gain and loss.

Perhaps the meeting wasn’t necessary after all. Maybe you should cancel more.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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