A Guide to Increasing Productivity
The 19 June marks #WorldProductivityDay and being productive is something I talk a lot about if you listen to the Business of Healthcare Podcast or follow me on Twitter.
I've tried lots of different approaches to optimising my time in order to maximise my and my team's output, while feeling good about our work and avoiding burnout. It's something I'm continually evaluating and improving.
Productivity takes hard work and self-discipline. There is also no one size fits all but there are fundamentals that anyone can apply to yield positive result.
My fundamentals for an organised and productive week
Plan as many of your regular meetings in advance
Always prepare (or request) an agenda ahead of every meeting to stay laser focused
Block out time in your calendar for repetitive tasks or activities
Declutter your inbox - the average professional receives 121 emails a day (this stat varries massively!). Set up a smart folder system and filters to keep priority actions in your inbox, reducing distraction
Turn off notifications when working on a focused task. Apps such as FocusMe or Offtime can help to block screen time and eliminate distractions
It's just as important to take time to reflect. Reflection can be just as productive as active productivity. Use these questions to support your reflection:
What has been working?
What would be better if....?
What hasn't worked in the way we expected?
What are the priorities over the next 90 days?
What do you need to do more of/less of in order to keep to these priorities?
Similarly, taking care of yourself is so important. This is an idea that has gathered pace in the last few years. Whether you reset in the gym or on a run, a family walk or dog walk, reading a book or finding a quiet space and using an app like Headspace to relax. It's just as important to block time for this in your default calendar as it is active work time.
Review, Reflect and Get Planning: A Simple Framework is a useful reflection aid.
Articulating your vision and working this back into a 90 day plan, and then into granular monthly and weekly detail will keep you and your team on track.
In my own business we have our 90 day goals which are shared with my team who also provide their input. We work back the 90 day goals to each team's area, providing them with personal goals and development. This keeps us working towards the bigger picture as a collective. We also celebrate the wins together!
If you haven't got a plan or considering how to approach your plan, you will find these resources useful:
Does Your PCN Have a Plan? | How to create a plan that works.
How to Create a Simple Business Plan | Step by step walk through of a simple business plan and sharable dashboard to help keep your team on track.
If you've found this useful, you might also like these Business of Healthcare Podcasts. Download them for your next walk, run, drive/commute or moment of downtime! Staying productive here.
I have an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and Management, I'm published in the London Journal of Primary Care and I host The Business of Healthcare Podcast.
I have 3 children - my youngest has Type 1 Diabetes and my middle child has the kidney condition Nephrotic Syndrome. Working with healthcare professionals is not just a job for me, it's part of everyday life. And as a result, I've developed a huge passion for helping others to deliver excellent care.