3 Ways to Hack Your Organizational Productivity
Posted on 11/19/2012
The key to good marketing is determination. As a company, you need the discipline to execute long-term marketing strategies, meticulously test your results and then tweak your future endeavors after figuring out what really works for your business.
The difficultly, then, lies not only in making sure your marketing plan is on track, but that you personally can stay disciplined. The corporate workplace makes it easy to get bogged down, burnt out and simply procrastinate, instead of making strides in your projects.
Here are three ways your organization can hack their productivity by getting individuals to motivate themselves.
Change Your Language and Mental Scripts
Half of an organization’s problems with productivity have to do with the engrained patterns and mental scripts which have become part of our daily routines, and end up becoming destructive.
For example, think about that departmental meeting at 10 a.m. every Monday morning. Everyone’s probably just gotten settled into the routine of a new week, and thanks to that mental interruption, Monday mornings are forever doomed to be unproductive. Why don’t you reschedule the meeting? Because that’s the time you’re used to.
It isn’t just our daily routines that keep us from being productive. Another problem is our language, and the words we use to talk about our work. At meetings, instead of saying that you “want to” do X, try saying you “will” do it. Instead of “I’m going to try to do X”, say “I’m implementing Y in order to achieve X.” Instead of “we should,” try, “every morning we’ve scheduled.”
Make these changes and you’ll find your language noticeably affects the way you follow through on your agenda.
Use Goals — But Don’t Abuse Them
Goals are powerful motivators individuals and organizations can use to accomplish great things. But there’s a dark side to goal-setting. In some cases, sharing your goals publically will actually reduce your likelihood of achieving them. The pleasure associated with achieving the goal is prematurely awarded simply for sharing it, reducing your mental incentive to actually do it.
Furthermore, many goals are too ambitious, vague or impossible to achieve. When your department has goals like these, they end up being destructive and actually squash out individuals’ motivation.
The first way to avoid bad goal-setting is by choosing measurable goals that can actually be quantified. A second way is to avoid unrealistic goals that discourage instead of motivate. Finally you and your business can think in terms of “themes” instead of goals.
Themes are like mission statements: they help drive your business to a larger goal. A personal theme would be “to make every action I do provide value to the customer,” or “always tell stories to connect with others.” Focusing big-picture helps lend the little details significance.
Segment Your Productivity — Then Do It
Our third hack for your organizational productivity is to intentionally segment your day’s work. It’s draining to work on the same task all day, especially if it’s the daily grind of routine work instead of a novel project. Days like this encourage focus to wander, and don’t reward you for getting tasks done—after all, you only have more of the same to look forward to.
Instead, segment your day into chunks that are mentally easier to manage. For a certain percentage of your day, budget all your focus on the little-picture, ordinary details. That way, you’ll do them quickly and efficiently, without your focus wandering. Then, move on to another project, maybe a team or social effort. In a third chunk, work on the big-picture projects that advance your business’s vision and inspire you.
This practice keeps you mentally stimulated, instead of mentally fatigued. The fact that you alone are segmenting your day bolsters your sense of autonomy, which is important for workplace satisfaction.
Another way you can think of this practice is as selective procrastination. You’re encouraging yourself to put off one thing and doing other things instead, which is what procrastination is, by definition. Segmentation uses small chunks of focus to work on one thing, while procrastinating on the others.
Using these three techniques will allow you to reframe the way you tackle your business’s daily work. A productive, motivated marketing team goes a long way to making sure your business and the individuals within it will continue to thrive.