What Makes Some People More Productive Than Others
Last year, Harvard Business Review published a survey to help professionals assess their own personal productivity. The research focused on seven habits: developing daily routines, planning your schedule, coping with messages, getting a lot done, running effective meetings, honing communication skills, and delegating tasks to others. Three patterns stood out to the researchers: One, working smarter, not longer hours, is key to accomplishing more of a person’s top priorities. Two, age and seniority were highly correlated with personal productivity — older, more senior professionals recorded higher scores than their younger, more junior counterparts. Three, the overall productivity scores of male and female professionals were nearly the same. However, women tended to score higher when it came to running effective meetings. Men, meanwhile, were more likely than women to get quickly to a final product/decision.
The researchers further concluded that to become more productive, you should develop an array of specific habits. This holds true for busy professionals who are also board members. First, tackle your workload based on your top priorities and then act with a definite objective. One suggestion was to sketch out preliminary conclusions before embarking on a major project. Second, develop effective techniques for managing the overload of information and tasks. The authors recommend delegating tasks that do not further top priorities and breaking large projects into pieces. Finally, understand the needs of colleagues when it comes to shorter meetings, more responsive communications, and clear directions.
Harvard Business Review (03/28/19) Pozen, Robert C.; Downey, Kevin
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