Tuesday, July 17, 2018

How do you get in a productive zone?

We all want to increase our productivity. But too often we are distracted, procrastinate, stressed, or waste time going down dead ends.
I think there are two distinct kinds of productivity.
The first is creative, where we can clearly conceive a project, solve a problem, or draft a useful outline.
The second is the actual completion of a task, whether writing a paper or report, or making corrections, ... This is less creative and more mundane, but can consume large amounts of time, particularly if one stops and starts on the task many times.

How might you increase your productivity?
I think this is quite personal and maybe even somewhat random.
It might be very different for different people. It can be different at different times.
Factors to consider include the following.

Physical space and environment. 
Some people need a regular quiet work space that is free from distractions. Others will function well in a noisy cafe or an open plan office, maybe with headphones with loud music!

Some people function well with deadlines. Others crumble under the pressure. Some work well with short bursts during the day. Others need to block out a day or even a week to focus on something.

Involvement of others.
Some people will work best alone on a task, with minimal interactions with others. Others will barely function without input and feedback from others at many points in the process.

Good managers are sensitive to this diversity of needs and will aim to provide the appropriate environment for different individuals.

This post was stimulated by a recent experience how something came together and I was able to get a lot of work done on a specific task during a couple of plane flights. This seemed a bit random because these days I rarely work on flights because it is really non-productive.

What do you think?
What helps you get in the right "zone"?

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