I read an article this week about falling productivity, diminishing profits, and the correlation between profits and wages. Specifically, Michael Brennan, Productivity Commission Chair called for a ‘national focus’ to “Combat sluggish labour productivity which is driving disappointing wages growth and damaging the economy.” He concluded that increasing productivity has to be the focus to bolster the take-home pay of workers.
When we increase productivity, in most instances it will lead to greater profits. The key is to look at productivity at an individual level, so I will address the nuts and bolts of how to do this. I will share some simple tips and methods that I use with my clients.
Ultimately, productivity starts with the individual, and then the combined efforts of the team contributing to the overall results. The first step, therefore, is to scrutinize ourselves in how we show up in our business every day. Ensuring productivity and effectiveness in what we do will contribute to overall productivity and potentially improve profitability.
What are the best ways to maintain and increase productivity?
When I take on a new client, I always inspect their current situation. What works well, and specifically what’s NOT working? It so happens, often the client’s MINDSET is sluggish and needs some work first. This is clear from the words they used, how they operate and their body language. They often admit to having unhelpful habits such as procrastination, distraction, or lack of daily planning and focus.
Fortunately, the result is usually positive in relation to their business performance, productivity and effective time management. This all starts by creating better, helpful habits that increase productivity and focus.
Sometimes, a stern word to self is helpful.
Ultimately, engaging a sprinkling of discipline, a strong desire to succeed, a sometimes stern word with self will boost self motivations. A focus on creating rituals, routines, and habits will hence become automatic. Importantly, helping people do the things they know they should but don’t do. Putting this all together, we notice the start of transformational results. Implementation of simple, proven strategies, techniques and tools that are key. Navigating around our brain’s bias to keep us safe and comfortable at all costs is critical. Both are essential to increase productivity and to create an awesome mindset.
And with a team, we need to ensure they are engaged, have meaning and purpose, and a clear reason they come to work. Shared goals and values communicated precisely and eloquently are essential, backed up by behaviours that illustrate this.
Getting clear on why you are in business is key to increase productivity.
Here are a few steps to help you increase productivity.
- Take some time to reflect on WHY you are in business or go to work every day. Get crystal clear on this and drill down until you connect with a core driving emotion or benefit, such as freedom, peace or fulfilment.
- Next, it’s vital to ensure your WHY and goals align. If they aren’t, it will be difficult to keep focused and productive.
- Values work comes next. Drilling down deep into values is key for finding intrinsic motivation and better still, inspiration. Misaligned values are often a cause of poor habits and lack of productivity.
Minimising distraction is essential to increase productivity.
- Too often people get distracted frequently during the day. (Our attention span is around eight seconds which is less than a goldfish!) Therefore, tools to help keep your focus are essential for every person in a business, at every level.
- Creating helpful and healthy habits is critical. Habits that help you stay on track and maintain a focus on what is important. Avoiding the dreadful distraction virus is key. Often these are simple habits we all ‘know’ we should do but don’t. Habits such as planning, scheduling tasks, re-setting between tasks and timing tasks. Identifying keystone habits that drive other helpful habits is also important.
- Finally, create some small, non-negotiable ACTION steps and set a tracking system and accountability structure. In addition, introducing rewards along the way and celebrations. Both incentives will help you keep on track and feeling more motivated. Your brain sends you a short of serotonin when you celebrate and acknowledge your wins.
Self-awareness and a desire for continual improvement is important
While the above seems simple, the truth is many people do not have that level of self-awareness to see what and how they are doing every day. It doesn’t take into account redundant MINDSET programs running in your subconscious mind, hidden from your awareness. This is an important area that I focus on. Clearing out the old to make way for the new and making the familiar, unfamiliar and the unfamiliar, familiar. This is a critical step to increase productivity, meaning and, naturally, profits.
Once my clients take ownership of their new habits and strategies, they then have the tools required to turn “sluggish productivity” into a vibrant outcome of increasing productivity.
Ultimately, what makes the difference is combining Mindset, Strategy and Action with accountability and rewards. I believe this is the way to combat a sluggish economy or falling business growth. Going back to basics and committing to simple yet powerful techniques to maintain focus is essential.
Tweak your Mindset and ensure you set it for success
In conclusion, the best way to increase productivity and profits is to tweak your Mindset and ensure it is set for success! Creating helpful habits and having a plan to stick with them is critical. Accountability and seeking help are often success drivers. We cannot see ourselves from the same perspective as someone else can. True yet often hard to get to grips with. So, perhaps we need to teach more of these simple techniques in businesses and in our Public Service to combat sluggish labour productivity, boost profits and pay?
While we are not machines and even supermen and superwomen get stuck from time to time, learning as many tools and strategies to train and discipline our mind muscle to stay on track is paramount to increase productivity and profits.
So, my question for you to consider is:
‘What is the first thing you need to address in yourself and your Mindset, to increase productivity and ultimately lift your profits?
I would love to hear from you.
About the Author
- Curious how Mindset Coaching can help you achieve your results? Schedule a call on my online calendar. Reach out and let’s talk. Let’s see how together we can work towards helping you achieve the results you want and be your very best.
- Looking to discover how to do the things you know you should but don’t? Grab a copy of my free PDF guide Your Winning Mindset