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5 Productivity Improvement Techniques that you must know in 2023

Learn how to become more productive in 2023 through these proven productivity improvement techniques, and fulfill all your promises to yourself and others.

As we move into 2023, the way we work and how we achieve success is constantly changing. With the emergence of new technology, the rise of remote work, and a lot of factors to get us distracted, the need to become more productive is greater than ever before.

Fortunately, there are numerous effective techniques and framework for productivity improvement available to help us become more effective and efficient. I have picked up the top 5 that I believe to be most helpful.

1. The Pomodoro Technique.

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that has been around for over 25 years. The technique is based on the idea that if you break up your work into short, 25-minute intervals, you will be more productive overall. The idea is that if you can focus on one task for 25 minutes, you will be more productive than if you try to work on multiple tasks for multiple hours.

The method is simple to use. First, set a timer for 25 minutes and start working on your task. When the timer goes off, take a break (anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how busy you are). Then, start working again for another 25 minutes. If you finish your task before the timer goes off, you can stop right away; if you don’t finish it, you can continue working for another 4 minutes.

This productivity improvement technique has shown to be effective in both professional and personal settings. It has been used by businesses to increase employee productivity and by individuals to improve their focus and attention span.

2. The Eisenhower Matrix.

It was 2011 and I was handling a large sales area for one of the topmost PSUs of India.

I was struggling to complete my tasks and would frequently miss on important activities. I decided to figure out a way and purchased the bestseller book “7 Habbits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey.

This was when I got introduced to the Eisenhower matrix, also known as the Urgency-Importance Matrix. It is a great framework for prioritizing tasks and organizing your days.

I divided every day of my diary into 4 quadrants literally and started following the matrix every day. Soon I was able to cut down my tasks by a huge volume.

This matrix helps you to identify the most important tasks that you should focus on, the tasks that can be delegated, and the tasks that can be eliminated.

Productivity Improvement Techniques - the urgent important matrix

It consists of four quadrants :

(Urgent & Important) – Do

The first quadrant is “Do”. This quadrant is for tasks that are important and urgent. These are tasks that need to be done right away, as they can have a major impact on your overall success.

( Not Urgent, but Important) – Schedule

The second quadrant is “Schedule”. This quadrant is for tasks that are important, but not urgent. These are tasks that should be scheduled for later, as they are important, but don’t require immediate action.

(Urgent, but Not Important) – Delegate

The third quadrant is “Delegate”. This quadrant is for tasks that are not important, but are still urgent. These are tasks that can be delegated to someone else.

( Not Urgent, Not Important) – Delete

The fourth quadrant is “Delete”. This quadrant is for tasks that are neither important nor urgent. These are tasks that should simply be deleted, as they don’t have a major impact on your overall success.

3. The Pareto Principle.

This is one of the most effective productivity improvement techniques that I have ever used at work. The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, is an invaluable tool for productivity.

It states that 80% of the results come from 20% of the effort. This means that the majority of your work and time should be focused on the 20% of tasks or activities that will bring the most value.

The Pareto Principle can be applied to almost any area of life, from business to personal productivity.

For example, in business, it suggests that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your clients, or in personal productivity, it suggests that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your effort.

At one of my stints, I was getting over 200 customer complaints per day from a set of 22 distributors that I managed. A simple data churning on Excel helped me identify that about 80% complaints were coming from only 4 distributors ( 4/22 = 18%). I took actions on those distributors – sometimes penalties – sometimes hand-holding, for the next 3-4 months. And to my surprise, the complaints came down to only 20% of the original figure.

The Pareto Principle is an effective way to focus your energy and resources in the right direction. By focusing on the most important tasks, you can maximize your time and resources. It also helps you identify the areas of life where you need to invest more time and effort.

When it comes to productivity, the Pareto Principle is especially useful. It helps you prioritize tasks and activities that will bring the most value. For example, if you have four tasks, the Pareto Principle suggests that you should focus on the two that will bring the most value, while minimizing the time and effort you spend on the two that will bring the least value.

4. Time Blocking

Time blocking is the practice of dividing your day into blocks, or chunks, of time that are dedicated to specific tasks. You can use it to ensure that you have time for everything you need to do, from work tasks to personal activities.

The key to effective time blocking is to plan your day in advance and break it down into manageable chunks. The idea is to focus on one task at a time, so you don’t get overwhelmed or distracted.

To start, make a list of all the tasks and activities you need to do in a day. This includes both work and personal tasks. Once you have your list, break it down into smaller chunks that can be completed within a certain amount of time.

For example, you may decide to spend one hour on email, two hours on writing, and one hour on social media. Once you have your list of tasks, schedule them into your day.

Determine how much time you have for each task, and set a timer or alarm to remind yourself when to move on to the next task. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are making the most of your time.

5. SMART Goals (Use with Caution)

The SMART Goals technique is a useful tool for personal productivity. It helps you set achievable objectives, track your progress, and remain focused on the end result. This method encourages you to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goals. By using this approach, you can stay motivated and accomplish your goals in an efficient and timely manner.

Why should you take caution while setting goals through SMART framework

SMART Goal Method is a great tool for setting and achieving goals, but it should only be used with caution.

In my experience, I have taken a lot of goals, achieved some, failed at many. However, the problem that I realized with the Goal Method is that it puts you under pressure to complete a goal within a set timeline. (Read my article : Ditch the Goals and Build Systems that work Everytime )

This deadline pressure can sometimes be so great that it can interfere with the quality of your deliverable. Sometimes the goals are such that they just cannot be fit into a SMART framework.

I have observed that a system driven approach generally yields better and long lasting results than a goal driven approach. But but I leave that choice with you.

By using one or more of these productivity methods and frameworks, you can become more organized, productive, and successful in 2023.

Try incorporating these productivity improvement techniques into your daily routine and watch your productivity skyrocket.

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