Law of inertia
Inertia comes from the Latin word, iners, meaning idle, or lazy.
Take a minute to reflect on how you usually begin your work day.
Walking in late, discussing the ‘nail biting semifinal’ telecast, talking about a new restaurant in the neighborhood, updating someone on the movie you watched last night, expressing opinions on sensational news headlines, commenting on rumored celebrity break-ups, updating social media status, sharing trivia, heading upstairs for a coffee, cigarette…
‘An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force’ ~ Newton’s first law of motion
Inertia ensures people who quickly get into working mode continue to work while those who are slow in settling in take a longer time to settle in and get to be productive.
A slow, casual start with your attention on everything but your work usually leads to unproductive behavior through the day until the tempo is broken by some firefighting or rushed requirements from your colleagues, your boss. In contrast if you love to attack your work early with enthusiasm and gusto you are likely to make the most of your work day.
One of the first things I do with my clients in my coaching work is to make them aware of their current behavior. So think about your own working style. Do you usually start with a productive mindset and then stay so through the morning. How are your energy levels post lunch, after coffee breaks and towards end of the day. What about interruptions, how many do you have to put up with, how many have you consciously reduced, eliminated.
Observe your productive behavior patterns, when do you feel your best, when does your energy peak, when are you full of ideas, when do you have the most motivation to work. Also look at what sucks away your energy, where are you being unproductive and what could be triggering that.
What are your learnings? How could you use the same to be even more productive?
Awareness is the first step towards being highly productive at the workplace.
‘In order to cause a shadow to disappear, you must throw light on it’
~ Shakti Gawain
Well begun is half done
When you get into the workplace, begin quickly, focus, concentrate, reduce the number of interruptions, work in capsules of time and take few breaks. This way you will use your energy well, get most of your work done early and have some buffer time for unavoidable, rushed, last minute requests, tasks that are bound to come your way.
Another effective habit is to spend a few minutes planning and prioritizing the next day before you wind up the current one. You then have the advantage to start working on the most important tasks as soon as you walk in thus getting a head start and
making the most of your energy.
Change what matters
Becoming highly productive does not happen by accident. It needs reflection, planning and change. Identify what has to change and how it will improve your productivity before you even begin. Let your revised approach be based on feedback, performance data and facts. Ensure changes you are making are those that lead to better results. Work to become a shining example of someone who understands the value of time, energy and uses it wisely.
In closing, ever heard of a leisurely run brainstorming session to generate ideas?
Highly unlikely, isn’t it?
Productivity loves speed.
Points to ponder
1. How would you benefit by being more productive at work?
2. How would your team, your firm benefit from your increased productivity?
3. What can you start doing from today to be more productive?
4. What can you stop doing from today to be more productive?
5. Who could help you be more productive, your boss, a coach, a colleague?