Productivity And Human Resource

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Successful economic performance of an enterprise is a pre-requisite for the growth and security of its employees. The role of productivity therefore assumes great importance.

Improving productivity has always been a live issue for managements. As the profitability of an organization mostly depends on improvement in productivity therefore, managers are always striving to find ways for achieving the target of improved productivity. Productivity is usually defined mechanically, as the ratio between input and the output. But, it is in fact an Organizational challenge encompassing the human, cultural, technological and moral aspects. It is an all-out effort in every sphere of activity of the organization towards achieving the target of most efficient management of all the available resources.

“Money”, ‘Machine”, “Material” and “Method” all have their share of importance for increasing productivity But, it is “Man” i.e. the human resource which dominates the show. No amount of money, technological ingenuity or work innovation will do the trick. Unless the most vital resource, i.e. the human resource is ready to rise to the occasion there is no chance of meeting this challenge. Undue emphasis on engineering aspects may, affect the Esprit De Corps and culture of the Organization. Thus the human resource of the organization should form the focal point for any movement towards increasing productivity. Productivity being an attitude, it cannot be transplanted in the body of the Organization. It could only be cultivated by a systematic process involving much initial spade work in the form of a sound organization structure, maintenance of equilibrium vis–vis various activities within the organization as well as clear-cut organizational goals.

The philosophy and the Basic principles underlying the spirit of the organization play an important role in the quest for improved productivity. It is for the Top Management to give spiritual leadership. A high degree of morality, integrity, fair play and justice finding manifestation, in its practices could go a long way in preparing the right kind of soil for nurturing productivity. Any discrepancy, between “the Preaching” and ” the Practice” will erode the management’s credibility. Organizational climate and working environment have a very important bearing on the drive for improving productivity. A communication system which is conductive to an open dialogue between the management and employees, where there is a free flow of information on a two-way basis help in creating the most congenial atmosphere for improving productivity. Mutual trust, mutual respect and sharing of common goals is a sign of the most harmonious relationship between the management and employees, which is a sine qua non for building the morale of employees and their orientation towards improving productivity.

There is no gain-saying that Managerial Leadership can inspire the employees towards peak performance. We are passing through a time of change. Autocracy is giving way to democracy. There is a growing hatred for any form of force or authority. Managers cannot remain oblivious of the happenings around them. They must change their style to suit the realities of time. It is time leadership through example and excellence replace the leadership through status and authority.

The Management must set very high performance standards for its own work, if it warns its workforce to follow suit. Management inefficiencies in the form of ill planning, inadequate safety arrangements, worn out equipment, irregular supply of raw material, inability to take decision at the right time result in the management becoming a target of reticule and affect the morale of employees. Management should make sure smooth and hazard free operations if it wants to prove its credentials before the workforce.

Once the management is able to convince its workforce about its own integrity, credibility and efficiency the next step is employee development. It is for the managers to inspire, guide and improve the quality of their work. The foremost step is this connection would be the very concept of work. Work should not remain only as a mode of earning livelihood, but a source of serf- satisfaction and self-realization. Thus, careful job- design and placement taking into account worker’s ability, skills, mental orientation and versatility is of paramount importance. It is necessary to follow the principle of right person at the right job at the right time. Workers should also have complete knowledge of the job they are doing not only in the sense of its immediate implications, but its wholesome effect and contribution towards the company’s objectives.

Productivity is often confused merely with more work by the workforce. However, it relates more to better planning than the squeezing of the workforce to the last limit. It represents improvement in the working qualities of employees, by innovations in planning and organizing the available resources. Improving performance is more a result of intelligent planning and effective implementation than the extra sweating of the workers. The efficiency of the workers cannot be increased by over burdening them with work, but by reorganizing their work in such a way that they are able to apply their skills in the most effective manner. Repetition and greater experience of the work (specialization) help in increasing the efficiency to a certain extent, after which it starts giving a negative feedback due to boredom and monotony of the work, adversely affecting the efficiency. Thus continuous motivation of the workers is the only way out for achieving improved productivity.

The first step, maintenance (retaining employees as opposed to turn over) relate to work conditions, inter-se relationship vertical as well as horizontal, technical supervision and personal status. Good working conditions, good relationship between superiors and the subordinates and among employees, may not in itself give motivation, but their absence certainly have an adverse effect on the efforts towards motivation of employees. The second step in motivation is about satisfaction. An uninterested or disgruntled employee can never give his best. He will remain submerged in his own worries and problems. Such an employee has a very demoralizing effect on the rest of the workforce. If, the problems affecting his performance are job-related, then resort to job redesigning, replacement, job enrichment or even job rotation will be helpful. In case of emotional and psychological problems the medium of counseling provides the best solution.

The third step is the analysis of the situation for motivation. The motivational needs of an employee cover the range of physical and financial well-being, companionship, love and affection, self-respect, self-accomplishment, autonomy and prospects. However, motivational patterns of employees do not stay constant. They keep on changing and it becomes necessary to keep track and to stay abreast of the latest situation for effective motivation. It varies with time, environment and people. However there is a general recognition that security, success, accomplishment and longing have a salutary effect on the employees resulting in their motivation towards improved performance. A system which gives a fillip to the worker’s desire and ability for creation and achievement is necessary. The most important act on management’s part in this connection is to delegate responsibility to the workers about their work along with the required information for controlling the same. This would create a true feeling of belonging and participation and manifest that the workers are responsible members with special place of value and not merely technical factors. The, realization, that one knows the real situation, that one is important and could take initiative and decisions without fear, create a feeling of security and elation and builds up the morale of the workers. Workers, if convinced that their efforts would lead to desirable objectives will respond enthusiastically to genuine opportunities to create and give their best.

The management should instill a spirit of dynamic search for growth in its workforce and give them the opportunities for fully using their talents and skills. Mediocrity or stagnation in work standards may destroy the available talent and skills. It is, therefore, imperative to set high albeit achievable standards of performance to realize the energies of the workers.

Management must pursue the objective of higher productivity not merely for its own benefit, but as a source of continuous improvement in employees work life. Matching the needs of the workforce to the achievement of organizational objectives, provide the right kind of impetus for peak performance. The employees began to attach themselves with the successes of the organization. It is, therefore necessary that company’s prosperity be reflected in the living standards of its employees. Good human relations are sometimes confused with complete surrender or indulgent leniency by the management. The misconception creates several problems, lack of discipline being one of them. Firmness or discipline carefully undertaken without hurting the self-respect of employees may itself act as a motivating force. Wastes or unnecessary costs in the garb of liberalization and experimentation are dangerous. Leakages, un- productive habits and attitudes adversely affect the efforts towards improving productivity. Management should give a lead in this field also by strictly adhering to sell-discipline, simplicity and austerity. The whole exercise in achieving higher productivity may end in futility if careful consideration is not given to end or control these factors. It is therefore incumbent on the management and the employees to act jointly to avoid these troubled waters, if they want to reap the full harvest of productivity

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Source by Tasneem Hameed

Indoor Plant Hire Improves Office Moral And Productivity

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As a member of an indoor plant hire company in Sydney, Australia, we are well aware of the reaction people in offices have to indoor plants. When we freshly install plants the staff's reaction is nearly always positive and welcoming, and most people would like to have a plant near their desk. The plants appear to improve staff morale. On the other hand, taking away the plants is not popular, and we have been asked at times by management to remove the plants when the staff is not there, to try and limit the impact of their removal on morale.

I suppose it does make sense that people have an affinity with greenery. It is part of nature, and we have lived close to plants for millions of years, it is only recently that we have started to lock ourselves into concrete boxes well away from nature. I suppose, as the saying goes, indoor plants bring the outside … inside.

The other thing we have observed is that people love well cared for and healthy plants, but it depresses them when a plant is not looking its best. We sometimes get calls from concerned clients, worrying about a plant that might have a yellow leaf (and is otherwise quite healthy), but they are worried that it might be dying, and they are concerned. Healthy and well cared for plants improve morale, but sick plants do not. In fact they could depress morale.

Over the years many studies have been carried out that support our observations.
In 1986, a study by Joan Aitken and Rodger Palmer from the University of Missouri found that:

1. The majority of both men and women in the study thought of indoor plants as giving an impression of warmth in the work environment.

2. The effective use of indoor plants may give the impression of a well run organization. The title of their paper was, very appropriately, "The use of plants to promote a warmth and caring in a business environment." Which business would not want to have a well run and caring work place? Well it seems that having well cared for indoor plants helps to achieve that, and the best way to do that is to have a professional indoor plant hire service.

In 1999 the Oxford Brookes University carried out a study entitled "Green Plants for the Feel Good Factor", which is concluded that:

1. People's perception of an indoor space is more positive in the presence of indoor plants.

2. The indoor space was perceived as more relaxed and less stressful with indoor plants.

3. Both men and women displayed a preference to sit close to plants.

The Green Building Council of Australia awards "Green Star" points for the use of indoor plants in their assessment of the environmental friendliness of a building's interior, but only if the plants are visible to all work stations. In view of the above studies this seems a very perceptive condition.
One other study merits a mention, and that is a study by Engelbert Kötter working on behalf of the Bavarian State Ministry of Nourishment, Agriculture and Forestry. The study was carried out in 94 offices and over a two year period, and found that:

1. The environment in offices with plants felt fresher, made them feel less stressed, made the working feel more human and in general seem to up-grade their environment

2. Plants in offices improved employee's perception of their well-being as well as improving the comfort-factor of the offices.

3. With improved conditions and perceptions, office employee's will enjoy their work situation better; happy employees = more output and happy bosses.

More information on the other benefits of indoor plants in an office environment can be obtained by entering the following search words into Google "benefits of indoor plants".

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Source by Rudy Ursem

Teachers – Time and Paper Management – Annotated Bibliography (A – L) Books on Productivity

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Certain principles related to time and paper management are timeless. Here’s an annotated bibliography of ‘oldies but goodies.’

Aslett, Don. (1991). Not for packrats only: How to clean up, clear out, and dejunk your life forever. New York: Plume Books.

This guy is the king of clean-up! And, he makes it fun to read about cleaning up. See if you can top any of his stories with examples from your own life of strange things you’ve saved, etc. This book is a motivator for me.

Bittel, Lester R. (1991). Right on time! The complete guide for time-pressured managers. New York: McGraw Hill.

This book is the most far removed from education of any of the ones I’ve actually bought or checked out of the library, but, there are still good ideas for teachers in terms of figuring out how your time is spent, becoming more productive, etc. Worth checking out from a library, but not buying.

Bliss, Edwin C. (1983). Doing it now. New York: Bantam Books.

This book, along with Getting Things Done by the same author, are considered classics in this field. Both are simple to read, but with clear truths for those of us who need to manage our time better.

Braiker, Harriet B. (1986). The type E woman: How to overcome the stress of being everything to everybody. New York: New American Library.

What can I say–the subtitle says it all. My guess is that most of you will recognize the description of the Type E woman. I have told friends of mine to run, not walk, to their nearest bookstore to buy this.

Burka, Jane B. and Yuen, Lenora M. (1983). Procrastination: Why you do it, what to do about it. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

The authors, both psychologists, offer a look at the “why” of procrastination–but they don’t stop there. They go on to help us get past the why. Very readable.

Covey, Stephen R., Merrill, A. Roger, and Merrill, Rebecca R. (1994). First Things First, New York: Simon & Schuser.

Well, this is one of those heavy books. You may recognize Stephen R. Covey’s name from his bestseller, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This book is similarly outstanding. I found that I could not read it for any length of time because there is just too much. This is the book for when you are ready to think about your unifying principles and how to decide what is important in your life.

Culp, Stephanie. (1990). Conquering the paper pile-up: How to sort, organize, file, and store every piece of paper in your home and office. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books.

Other than to agree with the full title, there’s not much I can say about this book except that if we all followed the ideas in her book (with our own personal modifications), our classrooms and offices (and homes) would be much different than they are now.

Fiore, Neil. (1989). The NOW habit: A strategic program for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc.

This book is for people who have become big-time procrastinators and who also never allow themselves to play. There are some interesting ideas within the covers.

Frank, Milo O. (1989). How to run a successful meeting in half the time. New York: Simon & Shuster.

This book offers good suggestions to anyone who has to call meetings–even occasionally. You might even want to highlight a few pages and send to someone you know–just to be helpful, of course…

Hedrick, Lucy H. (1990). Five days to an organized life: The fast, easy, and permanent system for getting things done…and doing things better. New York: Dell Publishing.

This book is essentially a workbook–and is to be used as such. If you really need someone to tell you exactly what to do to get more organized, she offers a step-by-step way. You might choose to take five weeks to a more organized life instead of just five days. I think the latter is really asking a lot!

Hemphill, Barbara. (1988). Taming the paper tiger: Organizing the paper in your life. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co.

Hemphill deals with all of the paper in your life–in the kitchen, at work, your taxes, etc. Lots of good suggestions.

Keyes, Ralph. (1991). Timelock: How life got so hectic and what you can do about it. New York: HarperCollins.

This book is quite different from all the others on this list in that Keyes explores the reasons why we have all the others on this list. He offers a fascinating look at the history of time and our compulsion with managing it. He’s interviewed hundreds of people and their stories about the lock that time has on their lives sound quite familiar. Worth reading for some perspective.

Klein, Ruth. (1993). Where did the time go? The working woman’s guide to creative time management. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing.

This woman obviously is speaking from experience. Many of us can identify. She divides women into three motivational styles and then bases her suggestions for time management on each of the motivational styles.

Lakein, Alan. (1973). How to get control of your time and your life. New York: New American Library.

This is the classic in the field. Essentially all other experts in time management refer to this book. Although it is dated (i.e., the examples refer to men who are at work and women who are homemakers), there are still some good ideas here. I would recommend trying to find it at a library or used paperback book store. It is worth reading.

LeBoeuf, Michael. (1979). Working smart! How to accomplish more in half the time. New York: Warner Books.

An inexpensive paperback that offers a lot of good information on how we mentally get ourselves into working too hard and too long and too frantically–and then how to try to back off from this pace–and still feel good about what we’re getting done.

Just because books were published 10 or 20 years ago doesn’t mean they are out-of-date. Find some of these at your local library or online. See what might be useful to you. Just one tip can make a difference.

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Source by Meggin McIntosh

90 Minute Jam Session

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The 90-minute Jam Session is your key to insane productivity. How do you get more of your most vital priorities done? Furthermore, can these 90-minute jam sessions help you level up? Not to mention help you leapfrog the average competitor and increase your revenues.

This simple technique will help you become more effective with your job, family, and other activities. I am going to show you how to become insanely productive while eliminating the things that keep you tied down. You will identify your most vital functions.

The Busy Myth

Being busy is a myth. For instance, you Do Not have to get everything done. You don’t have to be “Busy”. Busyness is a form of laziness. As a matter of fact, busyness keeps you from working on your most valuable priorities. People wear busyness like a badge of honor. Don’t be Busy be Effective.

Insane Productivity

I learned how to be insanely productive from Darren Hardy’s, Insane Productivity Program. I invested in this program and within 90 days my productivity tripled. I became the leader in sales in the last quarter of 2017. I got more done in less time and also learned how to delegate, defer, and delete items from my daily routine.

In addition to becoming more effective in sales, I was able to eliminate social media distractions, stop interruptions, and free myself from “Multi-Tasking”. Furthermore, I was able to increase my skills in sales and marketing. The 90 Minute Jam session helped me focus on my Most Vital Priorities (MVPs) of the day. This technique was the breakthrough I needed to make it to the next level.

The Challenge

If you understand the Pomodoro Technique (working in intervals followed by short breaks). The 90 minute is derived from that. Here is the challenge. For the next 5 days, I challenge you to put the 90 Minute Jam Session to a test. Implement the steps below.

Your 90 Minute Jam Session

Step One: Pick Your Most Vital Priority (MVP)

Commit to spending at least 3 hours per day on your Most Vital Priority. You will break that down into 90-minute work intervals. Your MVP is the most important task you have on that day. For example, my MVP is closing sales. I focus my time on closing deals.

First, you don’t have 10 priorities. If you have more than three priorities then you have none. Pick your top three, then from that three, pick your number one. Remember this is the most important task of the day. This one task trumps everything else. Those who spend time on their most vital skills destroy their competition.

Athletes spend countless hours improving their craft. Entertainers are constantly practicing their fundamentals. They spend time on their MVPs.

“If you have more than 3 priorities then you don’t have any” – Jim Collins

Step Two: Schedule Your 90 Minute Jam Sessions

Schedule your Jam sessions. Write it down… make it happen. Also, get a timer. Set it for 90 minutes and get to work. Only work on one task for that 90 minutes. Do not multitask. Your mind can only do one cognitive function at a time.

Indeed you will get into a zone. At first, ninety minutes may seem like an eternity. You will look at the timer and only 20 minutes have passed. Keep going your focus will intensify and you will be amazed at how much work you can get done in that 90-minute session.

Step Three: Close The Windows

This is the most important key to your 90-minute Jam Session. You must Close The Windows at all cost. When you are in a zone and you get distracted studies show that it takes 25 minutes to get back into the zone. You just lost 25 minutes of productivity because of distractions.

Closing the windows means that you are fighting the Weapons of Mass Distractions:

  • 1. Phone Calls (Unless it’s your MVP)
  • 2. Text Messages
  • 3. Notifications
  • 4. Social Media
  • 5. Email
  • 6. TV
  • 7. Kids
  • 8. Co-workers
  • 9. Anything that distracts your from your MVP

Consequently, these WMD’s are so prevalent that people accept it as normal. Normal equals average and if you want to be average then stop reading this article.

When you enter your jam session. Turn your notifications off. Put a put “do not disturb sign” on your door. Only work with one or two tabs open with your computer. Do not check your email or social media. Let those around you know that this is your sacred time.

Refresh

After your 90 minutes is complete. Take a break. Refresh. Disengage from your work. Go for a walk, jog, do push-ups, or go drink some water. Give your mind a break. Then hop back into focus mode.

Why It Works

When you focus on your MVP with a planned strategy you will become insanely productive. Furthermore, your bottom-line results will increase. Instead of doing 10 things good you can focus on the 1 to 3 vital functions that help you succeed. Again, I challenge you to try this for the next 5 days.

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Source by Charles Fitzgerald Butler

Avoid 7 Time and Life-Robbing Mistakes and See Your Productivity Soar

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41 practical and quick ways to get on top of that mountain of work and free up time for the important things that really matter

By Dr Bill Robb, PhD, DEd

We are all required to do more and more with less and less. This is taking its toll on our productivity, our health and unfortunately on family life. This is a great pity because over 20 years of doing face-to-face time management workshops I’ve found that many of us are making easily avoidable mistakes that cost us dearly in time – and money.

Time is all we have to achieve our dreams and to succeed. Time also is the key ingredient in enjoying our family and life. This report will help you overcome the tyranny of “too much to do and too little time to do it in”. I’ve chosen the seven biggest mistakes and offered 41 ways for avoiding them.

I suggest reading about one mistake per day – don’t rush. Think about the suggestions and figure out a way to apply them in your office or home. You’ll be pleasantly surprised if you apply just a few of the 41 suggestions. ALL SUCCESS!!

MISTAKE NO. 1 Not getting clear what you want

Just think how often we interact with people.

We have appointments and meetings. We give presentations and attend conferences. We ask people to do things for us. We write letters to them and write reports for them and make telephone calls to them.

In all these interactions, and more, the main reason we lose valuable time is not getting clear what we want. I know this sounds so simple that you may not see the value in this suggestion so here are just a few examples.

1. You are unhappy in your current job. So you’re going to ask the boss for a change. If you go in and just talk about how unhappy you are you’ll come across as complaining – you give a problem without a solution and the boss switches off and you don’t get what you want.

2. As a boss, you ask one of your employees to write a report on the health and safety standards in the factory. If you don’t tell the employee that you want an excuse to spend the $30,000 that’s left in the health and safety budget, they’ll go away and spend three weeks detailing everything! I know because it happened. So all that work and you still don’t have your excuse.

3. You chair a certain meeting. Someone is waffling off the point (there is always one – isn’t there). You try to bring him back on track and he says, “What I’m saying is important”. You don’t think it is and a mini-argument develops. If you don’t have the purpose of the meeting clear, it’s very difficult to make judgements about the relevance of any contribution and your meetings take longer than they should.

Do you see what I mean? Getting clear what you want is a compass to keep you on track. It will help you shorten reports and letters because you can get to the point more quickly. Similarly when you know what you want the time you take on telephone calls will reduce because once you’ve achieved your objective you can politely end the call.

From now on just take 30 seconds to ask yourself, “What do I want from this interaction and can I get it any easier or quicker way?”

MISTAKE NO. 2 Not doing enough to escape from meetings

If you’re like most human beings your biggest bugbear with time management is MEETINGS!!! Often we find it difficult to break the habit – we can’t see how to save time when faced with meeting after meeting.

Please forgive me being so blunt about you not doing enough to escape. I’m being a little controversial to try and help. Let’s take the case where you think you don’t have choice – you have to attend a meeting because your boss or client expects it!

But do you really have to attend? Look at some of these ideas.

4. Could you not explain in detail how you could do something else that would be a valuable help to the team/department instead of squandering the time in the meeting? Will the boss really refuse when he/she knows you’ll be giving value and won’t just be skiving off?

5. If your request is refused could you not ask to be excused half way through or get permission to attend half way through? Again, you’d have a genuine reason to show how you can do more to help your boss or client or department in the time when you won’t attend.

6. If someone has to be at that meeting does it have to be you? Could you find someone who could go in your place? It could be a colleague – and you’ll help her out with something. It could be a junior colleague who would find the experience exciting and a chance for personal development Naturally you’d brief them properly and inform the Chair.

7. Even when you personally have to attend a meeting there are things you can do to rescue your time. For example, if you’re fairly senior you could offer to compile the agenda and even chair the meeting. If this will save a few hours, why not? You could participate effectively by talking only when you can contribute to the objective, by politely asking people to get to the point, by intervening when people are arguing pointlessly or by asking if people are ready to make a decision.

8. Of course you want to be professional but if your boss or client doesn’t accept any of the above, take some other work with you and do it in the meeting (even if it’s thinking about something). Be careful and pretend to participate now and again by making a comment or asking a question.

MISTAKE NO. 3 Allowing reports to take over

You know what it’s like. You spend weeks preparing a report and no one reads it properly. Or you’ve done a brilliant job with the research and the layout and someone says, “Bill, ‘received’ is spelt wrongly on page 64”. To take back some control over our working lives we need to control the way we deal with reports.

9. Think of a report you’re required to write and ask the boss/client if you can scrap it. Show the boss what you’ll do in the time saved. Please do try this because some bosses don’t have time to think about the value of every report. So by not having to do a report you help yourself and your organisation.

10. When you hear the word “report” get into the habit of thinking, “Is there another way I could get the client/boss the information they require?” Perhaps a short memo or oral report would have more impact and you could get them the information more quickly. Remember bosses don’t want reports – they want information to help them make decisions.

11. If scrapping a report is not allowed, ask for the frequency to be reduced. For example, just imagine how great it would be if you could submit a report once per quarter instead of once per month. Just ask – you’ll be successful 50% of the time.

12. If a report has to be written, find someone who would welcome the opportunity. An experienced assistant could draft an outline. You could commission an outside person to do it. Perhaps you have a colleague you could trade with. He may enjoy and be good at writing reports. You could take on a task he doesn’t like or at which he is not as good as you are.

13. Ensure you fully understand the report brief and what exactly you have to do? Ask the person commissioning the report WHY he wants it. If you can get a sound answer to this question you’ll free-up tons of time. Knowing “why” enables you to use your initiative – to find quicker ways – to get the information required.

14. Watch out for the “take home trap”. Because it’s nothing to do with facing people directly we tend to put off our report writing and end up taking it home. To avoid this trap select a day and time slot in the diary and budget, say, two hours for writing the report. Do whatever it takes to meet this time limit.

15. Remember the 80/20 rule. You’ll have achieved 80% perfection in the time you take to prepare the second draft. After that, get another person to read it and correct errors and then submit it. This is not an excuse for poor presentation but time spent labouring over every word and every issue about the cover and layout is not time-effective.

By now you’ll be getting into the swing of finding ways to protect your time. Keep thinking – that’s the answer!

MISTAKE NO. 4 Under-estimating the time-guzzling nature of telephone calls

There’s no doubt that most of us underestimate the time they spend on the telephone by about ONE-THIRD. You know yourself that a five-minute call can turn into a twenty-minute one. The telephone is great – it saves us attending meetings but at the same time if uncontrolled it swallows our time. So although the seven tips in this lesson are easy to follow – you must start applying them if you’re not doing so already.

16. Gently and politely keep bringing the person you’re speaking to back to what you want or to what he/she wants from you. Naturally, you won’t be rude about this. Allow 30 seconds of social chat and then say something like “Sounds like you had a good time in Spain Bill. Could I ask for your help on…?” Or “Hi John. How are you keeping? [then after the response] “Listen, would you be able to meet on…?”

17. Have necessary data/notes at hand before starting the call. Not only does this save time, it gives others the signal that you’re organised. If you’re telephoning to make an appointment with someone, have your diary ready and mark up the dates you want.

18. Set time limits for longer calls. Tell people what this limit is right at the start of the conversation. After the usual brief social introduction, say something like, “Bill, I need only three minutes of your time” or “Jane have you got two minutes?”

19. End the call politely once you have achieved what you set out to achieve. Say something like, “Thanks Sue, I won’t keep you any longer”. “Thanks for your time George, it was good talking to you – have to rush – see you next week at…”. I know this sounds robot-like and rude, but with just a little practice it becomes a natural and professional way of doing business.

20. Get people’s direct numbers and avoid the delay of having to go through reception. Also, ask for peoples’ mobile telephone numbers: if you can’t get them on a landline you can usually reach them on their mobile telephones. Most senior people and most decision-makers get into the office early and leave late, so telephone before 08.30 or after 17.00.

21. Be very pleasant to receptionists and personal assistants. Of course you would do this anyway because it’s the right thing to do. However, be extra nice. Introduce yourself, take five seconds for small talk, explain your problem and say “please” and “thank you”. A simple “please” can save you days when you gain access to a decision maker.

22. Every week ask a colleague to take your calls for an hour so you can get something else done. You can reciprocate some other day or do some other task for that colleague that he/she hates doing.

MISTAKE NO. 5 Under-using or over-using technology

How would we survive without our technology? Imagine how slow everything would be and how much “donkey work” we’d still be doing. Just think of the time we’d waste if we had to write complex reports without the word processor!

However, as you know, this wonderful technology can quickly enslave us if we don’t watch out. It speeds things up and if we allow it, it can rule our lives. So here are some thoughts on using technology to free up our time – time we can use to improve the quality of our lives.

23. Use an answer machine to filter telephone calls and take messages. It is now good business practice to do this. However, get back to people as quickly as possible. Get the latest model that allows you to retrieve messages and change your message remotely from any telephone.

24. Keep your mobile telephone switched off most of the time and DON’T give out your number to everyone. Having your mobile switched on means that anyone with your number can contact you anytime, anywhere. This creates an open invitation and people WILL contact you – even with trivial matters. If you’re worried that people can’t cope without you this signals a need to develop your people more.

25. Double your productivity by using a dictaphone. If you’ve never used one your own voice sounds strange at first but it takes only a week or so to get used to. Use the dictaphone for minutes of meetings, short notes when you’re travelling (but not driving, of course) and for first drafts of lengthy letters. Get someone else to transcribe the tapes.

26. Make sure you know and your staff knows how to get maximum benefit from the equipment you have. For example, modern telephone systems allow you to do all sorts of time saving things like storing most-used numbers. Photocopiers enable you to collate, staple and even put top sheets on an existing document.

27. Move even more to electronic storage and delivery. The more data/paperwork we have digitised the quicker we can search it. You can set up a mail merge and print letters to 1000 people (personalised) while you get on with something else. Ask people if electronic versions of reports and invoices are acceptable? They are becoming more so – and indeed- preferred.

28. Don’t waste time reading instruction manuals for everyday domestic and office technological items. They are almost always badly written and too complicated. Get help – now! Find someone (a friend, a child, a neighbour or professional) who can explain things to you – even pay them – it’s worth it

MISTAKE NO. 6 Failing to organise the mass of information

There is no doubt that we humans are suffering from information overload at work and in our social lives. We’re suffering from over-choice and struggling to make sense of all the data pumped at us all day, every day. I know from hard experience that you’ll find the following eight suggestions brilliant!

29. Educate people by explaining that they don’t have to send you reports/data/newsletter any more. Cut down on your subscriptions – even free ones and bin newsletters/magazines unopened. Do you really need to read the newspaper everyday?

30. Store information on CD-ROM or floppy disc and store documents electronically for fast transfer and faster searching. Contract a company to do the scanning for you – it’s too labour intensive for you or your staff.

31. Devise a filing system that works for you. It’s difficult to describe any one useful system because it depends on what you need. As an example here’s what I have: A file for each workshop or product such as Effective Time Management, Effective Presentation Skills, Effective Leadership and about twenty others; a file for each client; a file for each administrative task such as accounts, expenses, and invoices; a file for each major supplier; a file for each current project. Even though many of my projects are short term, each has its own A4 folder into which all relevant paper is placed.

32. Keep vital family/domestic information in one folder and keep that folder in one place. Just think about the time we waste looking for things such as insurance policies, bank account numbers, loan details, vehicle registrations, roadworthy certificates, licences and so on.

33. This week, plan in your diary, just one hour to go through and discard stuff you don’t need. Do the same for next week and the week after that. One hour a week and you’ll save half a day!

34. Compile your own directories. Most of us will do this to some extent for say telephone number and addresses. But it’s surprising how much time you’ll save if you keep even more numbers such as those of main contacts in other departments and supplier companies. Also, do this for domestic purposes – local cinemas, friendly trades people, airport, train station, hotel venues and the children’s school.

35. For each project you have on the go (and a project could be anything – work and domestic – produce a project summary top sheet. This top sheet will keep a running record of the last action taken and what you have to do next. This is great for people picking up where you left off and for you to transfer items to your “to do” list.

In the last part of this report we’ll get into some real good stuff – how to use your subconscious mind to help you overcome PROCRASTINATION.

MISTAKE NO. 7 Not fighting procrastinating hard enough

All the techniques in the world and all the fancy, expensive time management systems won’t help if our subconscious sabotages you. Procrastination is a terrible subconscious barrier so let’s learn how to overcome it.

Procrastination is intentionally, habitually or unconsciously putting off something that you KNOW should be done today. In this short report we can’t go into the many reasons why we humans procrastinate so I’ll get straight into seven very useful “tricks”.

36. Trick your subconscious by saying, “I’ll do just five-minute’s worth – that’s all just five minutes then I’ll stop”. Guess what happens? Once you’ve started you feel okay about continuing. Keep taking small bearable steps with breaks in between. This is usually not time-effective, but if this is what’s needed to help you overcome procrastination, why not?

37. Just begin. The difficulty is in beginning. Often it’s the thinking of what to do and how to do it that causes the inertia. Once you’ve done that it’s easy. Start anywhere – start with anything. Do a table of contents of a report, for example.

38. Remind yourself that it will get worse – generate some positive fear. This is what happens by default anyway. We keep putting off until the fear of negative consequences is greater that the fear of doing the task – then we act in a hurry with all the accompanying stress. Don’t wait for the real fear of your boss’s telephone call asking why the project isn’t complete. Keep reminding yourself that unpleasant tasks do not become more pleasant with time.

39. Ask for help – as early on as possible. Seek assistance and consult with your manager and colleagues and anyone else. Why struggle when a comment or suggestion from another could give you the key to overcome inertia and save hours?

40. Do the difficult things first. If you do the smallest but most difficult thing first that gets it over and done and the rest seems easier. For example, if you’re doing a series of staff appraisals start with the ones that make you feel a bit uneasy because you’ll have to ask someone to improve their performance.

41. Visualise, as much as you can, how good you’ll feel. Just imagine the relief you’ll feel when the budget for the year is completed, the accounts are with the accountants or when the long report is submitted.

For 20 years Dr Bill has helped people and organisations get better results by using their time to maximum advantage. He’s passionate about saving and making time because it’s all we have to achieve our goals and dreams. Bill tells it like it is. Learn more about taking back control of your time and life at http://www.mytimemanagementsecrets.com

Copyright (c) 2004 Dr William Robb

Electronic publishing permitted but publication in print prohibited without written permission

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Source by Bill Robb

Boost the Productivity of Your Website With WordPress Plugins

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When it began in 2003, WordPress was just a "blogging platform". Then, what led to its engrossing popularity? What made WordPress the top choice or Website developers? Since its release, WordPress has been evolving with each passing day. It has been working over the years to improve its interface, functionalities, and services. Among its various commendable moves it has been making towards improvisation, one of the biggest was to offering WP plug-ins to the users. To remind you, plug-ins are the tools that allow users to add certain additional functionalities to their existing websites, making them more productive. Let us have a look at the key benefits of using WordPress plug-ins to build your websites:

Enhanced Security

Since WordPress is an Open-Source platform where professionals from across the world work altogether, data security was the first concern of users. Thanks to the various WordPress plugins that ensure complete security today. The idea behind years of IT security has culminated into one unique plugin, 'Security Ninja'. It is a plugin that secures both the developer's as well as their client's information creating a secure online experience.

Booking and Email Forms

While WordPress is a direct rival to Blogger, it has taken up the crown with its widget functionality. There are certain WordPress plugins out there allowing webmasters create email and booking forms without coding. This is great for small businesses wanting to build a user-friendly platform for their customers to render their information.

Effective SEO

There's no doubt that WordPress is the only platform to offer the maximum numbers of marketing plugins. With a plethora of SEO plugins to choose from, it offers a distinct advantage. This is because SEO is today the most powerful tool for any website or blog to retain its online presence. So, if you want your website to be viewed and reviewed by a large number of visitors, equip your website with WordPress SEO plugins to increase your search engine rankings.

Increased Support

WordPress is a real advantage for those who run e-commerce or product sales business. With the Live Chat plugin for WordPress, you can interact and discuss issues with your customers in real time. Customers love it when they get the opportunity to talk to a real person. So, if you to build long-term, reliable relationship with your customers, add the live chat feature to your website.

Social Media Sharing

WordPress offers the easiest format to install SM plugins allowing you to add social media buttons to your websites. This provides users a way to share your content on their social media channels, which further helps you in enhancing your brand recognition. So, if you want to expand your brand awareness and customer base, you need to have easily accessible share buttons on your WordPress sites.

Try it out by using the share buttons given below.

Conclusion

WordPress plugins are additions to your website making it as good as you want it to be. All you need to do is to use the right plugin for the right purpose to take advantage.

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Source by Joe Hart Brown

Boosting Your Productivity Overnight

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Introduction:

What I'm showing you here is so stupidly simple at first glance – you may very well pass over it without much thought. But, I can guarantee you productivity, organization and progress will be made if you just try it out for a couple of days. There's a lot more to this simple strategy than meets the eye.

The Goal For This Post:

To help you get better organized and get stuff done.

The Actual System:

Get a whiteboard, or whatever else you can find to write on – and list down 6 categories.

Like so …

Personal Category

Reading Category

Writing Category

Content Category

Traffic Category

Education Category

If you think of any activity or task you have to complete to take your business to the next level, you'll find it can easily slot into any of the above categories. It sounds very simplistic – and it is at that. But don't hit the back button without hearing me out. Even in its simplicity, this has proved very powerful for me since I started to implement it.

Here's how you would structure this …

Personal Category:

You put anything outside of your business into this category. If you have to go to the gym, meet a friend, attend your child's play (see what I did there) go for a walk, meet the parents (again) or even if you meditate for example, they all go into this category. Groundbreaking stuff eh?

Reading Category:

Whether it's a blog post, a traffic strategy, research, or just a book related to your business – they go into this category.

Writing Category:

If you do email marketing you obviously have to write messages to send to your list. If you're blogging you need to write articles for your website – and if you write guest posts – they get put into this category.

Content Category:

Anything from creating a video for YouTube to working on a report, or a new eBook, goes in here.

Traffic Category:

This should be the most important category on your list. Anything from social media direct marketing, right on up to paid advertising and the likes of forum posting will go into this category. Although guest posting for example can be thought of as a traffic generation strategy, the results are not immediate, so you keep that task for the "writing 'category.

Education Category:

Procrastination and Information overload stem from using this category too much. But now, you only use it for specific tasks. For instance, if you have a webinar to attend, or a marketing video to watch – they get placed into this category.

Note: You MUST place at least "one" task into each category the night before – and you MUST complete each one the next day. The order at which you approach each task is entirely up to yourself. This is a lot more powerful than just writing a list of "things to do" on a whiteboard (piece of paper – whatever) than you may think. This way of organizing your "to do" list forces your mind to dump out a wider scope of ideas to work on.

Here's How I Set Mine Up For Today:

Personal Category:

Go for a run.

Meditate.

Make Dentists appointment

Organize office.

Traffic Category:

Place banner advertisement

5 comments on bookmarked blogs

10 Forum posts

Place website link on 5 selected fan pages

Writing Category:

Write blog post (this one)

Write autoresponder message

Reading Category:

Read 3 bookmarked blog posts

Read Scientific Advertising eBook (1 hour)

Content Category:

Spend 1 hour on new book

Create new sales page

Education Category:

Watch Tony Robbins "Business Mastery Course"

Reflect on today & schedule for tomorrow

Total time = 7 – 8 hours

Every part of my business, from generating leads, creating content, branding and education is covered within the above schedule. Over a short amount of time I have seen my online business grow in every area, whereas before, everything I did was one sided and only certain aspects of my business where getting attention.

Each day there will be different tasks to do in each category. I believe if you follow a similar approach like the one above your productivity will massively Increase over time due to the compound effect. Even if you decide to put small tasks into each category, your productivity will still be compounded over time and results will definitely show.

I find Information overload becomes less of a problem with a system like this – and you never neglect any part of your business as a result. Try it.

Have a great day.

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Source by Declan O Flaherty

Teachers – Put Pockets in Your School Day – Increase Your Productivity and Reduce Your Stress

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Much of a teacher's day is structured and you can be mindful of how to put margins into those structures. Here are five ways for how to do so:

  1. Arrive at school with adequate time to get yourself "settled" for the day. If you are arriving at the last possible minute, then you already feel rushed and out of control and the school day has barely begun. Get there with time to spare. It affects everything the rest of the day. Being 'late' is not professional, not calming, and not a way to live your life.
  2. Walk past the teachers' lounge. You can add 10, 20, 30 minutes or more to your school day by being in your classroom or office rather than in the lounge. This is regardless of whether your school's lounge is a positive or negative place. Think about times you have fun into the teacher work room / lounge for just a few minutes during your prep period and all of a sudden, your entire prep period has disappeared. You just lost a 'pocket' of time that you could have used.
  3. Greet your students at the door. Make this a habit and a part of your routine so you are ready to start instruction the moment your students enter the classroom. Our students need the contact and the positive interaction with us as soon as they arrive.
  4. Set a gentle-sounding tone on your watch, PDA, computer, or other device to notify you when the class period is nearly over. You now have a time pocket to provide closure for the students and yourself (vs. scrambling to complete your sentence and / or your assignment as students are preparing to move to the next class or activity).
  5. Establish routines whereby students are responsible for classroom clean-up and maintenance. The students outnumber you and their "mess" outpaces yours. Many hands make light work. You all share the room and definitely need to 'share' the clean up. Mostly, you need to be supervising rather than doing the maintenance.

These are all strategies that will give you professional pockets so you can take care of yourself and your students.

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Source by Meggin McIntosh

Hotel Sales Software Drives Productivity and Revenues Absolutely Effectively

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Every big business in contemporary times requires some such CRM software that takes care of all the complexities. Imagine having a road map that provides all the details at a glance. The dashboard does bring together diverse elements and it does appear that the entire scenario is visible with a few clicks. While it seemed certain that the software does have the power to manage such a load of information, the reality is better than any dream. Imagine those big hotels that do roaring business each day with perhaps a hundred guest rooms and several restaurants. Further, the hotel chain may have several branches spread out across a few nations. Each branch would administer the seemingly impossible to manage data by means of the Hotel Sales Software with great ease.

The S.M.A.R.T framework

Through the CRM, it is possible to be Specific and Measurable, Action-Oriented and Realistic, besides being Trackable. All the hotel staff do not work at a single destination within the premises of the building. Some are out shopping for raw materials while others are attending meetings or court cases. Sales staff is busy canvassing. The CRM keeps track of who is where and informs how they may be contacted. It is thus possible to keep in touch across long distances and busy schedules. A compact working force that knows who is where and doing what is active and dynamic with little waste of time.

Businesses primarily motivate sales

Getting serious about the sales funnel is achieved very effectively. Leads are managed well to ensure that follow up action is carried out. Priorities are sorted out with staff assigned to such follow up action. Revenue generation became so much simpler with a few simple clicks. Building strategies to earn the long time loyalty of clients just got so much easier by bringing them all under one roof.

The entire map is highly visible with all the details

Running a competitive business is no less than fighting a battle with certain ethics, of course. Get the entire view in terms of the monthly, weekly or daily information. All the information is live like watching the new channels on television with all the updates as soon as they happen. Some aspects are the House Market Volume, Positioning, the Revenue & Budget Goals, Competitive Set Analysis and much more. Hotel Sales Software really has no limits and is all accommodating.

Generate reports like the Annual Marketing Plan report with a click. Earlier, all the information belonged to bulky hard copy files that are now blended so well together and making a lot more sense.

Editing and updating relevant information

With all the software tools gifted by technology, maintaining the information and making changes according to need has become a dream. Getting new clients and incomes would be entered within a few minutes. Deleting, updating and adding statistics would be easily done. The grids work out so well in presenting tabulated information, facts and figures and other relevant information so accurately. Contact information, addresses, phone numbers are all there to be accessed from any location with the password and the internet.

Marketing and productivity

At a glance, the entire organizational structure is visible. How is the sales team working? How is the time spent? Prospects may be studied as definite or weak chances. Adopting the Calendar view, weekly activities could be organized with a positive approach. Market segments are better understood and the sales targeted more specifically. Tips are distributed to motivate better sales.

Controlling and motivating the workforce

Like the driver of the bus, not only is communication established live with all the workers at all times, but motivating messages and important notices, announcements and reminders are regularly passed along. The communication takes the place of physical meetings that would otherwise be cumbersome for so many employees to attend amidst the duties, some at faraway locations. Remote meetings and putting heads together are happening all the time to bring cohesion and unity.

Hotel Sales Software is the best thing that could have happened and it positively impacts the hotel, tourism, hospitality and catering sectors that have many branches in corporate surroundings. One can imagine the many applications like yachts and resorts, guest houses and eating establishments in holiday destinations. With the tourism industry rapidly growing as people travel more and more for work and pleasure, the software is proving to be a mighty blessing for all concerned in improving productivity, sales, cooperation and revenues.

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Source by Harikrishna Patel

Increase Your Productivity by Finding Time for Quiet

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Distractions are everywhere today, and quiet is hard to come by. It’s a fact of life in the 21st century.

We live in an age of constant connection, instant access and googling everything. And as wonderful as that can be, sometimes don’t you just feel besieged with task, choices, opportunities, and information?

The on-line marketing expert Connie Ragen Green once wrote: “Choose time every day that is designated just for you.” She then went on to specifically suggest that you find time for an hour of quiet contemplation and then an hour of productive writing.

While two one-hour blocks of time may be difficult to find each day, I enthusiastically support the general idea of setting aside time every day for quiet. And here’s why I say that:

  • Self-care is the root of your successful time management. It replenishes your energy and sharpens your focus.
  • It reinforces your sense of your own power. You are in charge of your time choices, and you always have choices, no matter what. This helps overcome stress and feelings of victimization that can accompany overwhelm.
  • Giving yourself the gift of time for quiet and contemplation gets your creative ideas flowing like water from its well-spring.

BONUS TIP: As I mentioned above, finding two one-hour blocks of time in your day won’t always be possible — at least not for most of us. So, one thing I’ve found very helpful in my own life is to “think small.”

You might try looking at your time in 15-minute increments. That way you’re less likely to set aside an activity (like spending quiet time) by telling yourself you just don’t have enough hours in the day. You can nearly always find 10 or 15-minutes.

And you know what? You’ll be amazed at how thinking in these smaller time increments can change things for you. Chunking tasks down into smaller timeframes makes them that-much-more possible, whether it’s a self-care activity or something on your to-do list, Smaller steps make it easier to start, and you can’t get anywhere until you do start — so “thinking 15” is an excellent addition to your time toolbox!

How do you make time for quiet and contemplation in your life?

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Source by Paula Eder