Do you ever struggle to keep your focus intact while working or often fail to meet your deadlines? Well, you’re not alone. The world we live in nowadays is full of distractions, and it’s not a piece of cake to keep focusing on something for a long time.
Unfortunately, an average employee today has a lot on his or her plate, which eventually results in a lot of time wastage while juggling between different obligations.
Everyone wants to utilize their time the best way and finish their tasks without wasting a lot of time. Not only does it help them boost their productivity, but they also end up with ample time for other activities like going out with friends after finishing their work.
So, what’s the secret to managing a productive work schedule? Well, you have got to choose a suitable productivity system that suits you. Believe me! It has more to offer than you think!
In this article, we’ll be going through a scheme that you should employ to choose the best productivity system for yourself or your team. Make sure you stick to the end to become ready to roll in your professional life!
What is a Productivity System?
A productivity system is a piece of software that set specific rules or guidelines that tell how the user should go about executing and completing their work to achieve the most efficiency and meet their goals well before deadlines.
Productivity systems use several techniques that calculate your tasks or obligations according to the timeline and your personality. Your schedule is set keeping in view factors such as more productive hours, task priorities, and so on.
All of this helps you arrange your tasks in the most efficient manner, making you achieve the most in the least time possible. All your questions such as when to do it and how important it is are consequently answered.
Now, let’s move on to the actual guide where we will be seeing the points to consider when choosing the best productivity system.
How Do You Choose a Productivity System?
Choosing the right productivity system isn’t as hard as you think. You just have to follow through a concrete set of steps and find the system which fits them best.
Here are the four aspects to consider when choosing a productivity system or tool:
- Access You Personality – How you like to do things.
- Pick Your Function – The specific tasks you want to accomplish.
- Know Your Environment – The people around you and other tools you use.
- Give it a Shot – Try it for at least a month.
I’m 101% sure that by employing the above-mentioned tactics, you will be able to land a perfect productivity system for yourself which will take your efficiency to a next level. Even though the points mentioned are pretty much self-explanatory, let’s go through detailed descriptions along with some examples to make sure you know enough.
Access You Personality – How you like to do stuff
Not all fingers are the same. Every individual is gifted with a different type of personality, and everybody does things their way. Why am I saying all this? Well, the way you approach your problems is a major decider in choosing yourself the right productivity system.
Most people have a shorter span of attention, after which their productivity starts to decrease drastically. For people, it’s important to keep taking regular breaks to avoid wasting time once their attention spans end.
It was just an example that comes under the hood of knowing your baseline capability to concentrate for a specific period.
Just like that, there are other factors to consider about your personality as well. For example, another personal trait could be being prone to start things but not ending them. It’s another widespread issue. Most people start things out but lose concentration or motivation midway, which cripples the whole purpose of that specific activity. And because it was left unfinished, the time put into it is considered almost a total waste.
So, choosing a productivity system that matches your personality and fits your traits is crucial for success. Otherwise, not only will the system fail, but it could also take things downhill by forcing you to follow a path you’re not meant to walk on.
Some people pick visual information better, while some do well with abstract. It could be another factor to consider when choosing the right productivity system according to your needs plays a vital role. No matter what your learning style is or how you like things laid out, you’ll always have a choice as there are plenty of productivity systems out there.
For example, The Eisenhower Matrix is a system that could be beneficial if you’re into visual learning, and Agile Results could be followed if you feel comfortable with the information in abstract form.
Pick Your Function – The specific tasks you want to accomplish
Everybody uses productivity systems to accomplish their own sets of tasks, and while these systems incorporate the needs of most individuals, irrespective of what their specific tasks might be, it’s best to know yours and analyze different productivity systems according to it. It works better than you think.
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For example, some peoples’ jobs require paying focus to different things in a short time, while other peoples’ jobs require rather long working hours. For instance, a manager is someone who cannot stick to a specific task for long since he has to overlook different departments and make sure they’re running smoothly.
On the other hand, a code or a content writer has well-established goals, and he needs to keep working on the same thing for at least hours before he gets finished. It’s precisely how your functions or job affect the choice of a productivity system.
If you’re someone who needs to overlook multiple things like a manager, it’ll be quite beneficial for you to pick organizational methods like GTD (Getting Things Done). It has an impressive layout of details for this category of individuals since it offers features like labeling different tasks as “do” – “defer” – “assign” – and so on.
Now, for the other type of people we discussed, who work on the same thing for hours before finishing it and moving on to the next job, there are methods like Don’t Break the Chain and Eat That Frog (not literally xD). Such methods encourage you to get done with the more challenging tasks first so that the rest of the way becomes easy. These methods also help you stay committed and motivated by dividing your work into equally difficult tasks concerning the time they require putting in.
Know Your Environment – The people around you and other tools you use
The environment you’re working in is probably the factor that people tend to overlook the most while choosing a productivity system. I think this should be the first thing to consider because no matter how good of a productivity system you choose – if the environment doesn’t match the actions that the software suggests, you’re never going to be able to follow them.
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For example, imagine you’re hired to design critical algorithms to solve complex problems for re-designing a company’s infrastructure. Now, the work area you get assigned is the hall where all the clatter takes place. The area is noisy, hustle can be seen everywhere, and it’s hard to spot a moment that involves silence or peace.
How productive do you think you can be in such a place while keeping your goal of designing the algorithm in mind? Well, you can imagine. Let me tell you, even if you figure yourself out a perfect productivity system according to your personality, it’ll be of minimal use if you forgot to take the environment into account.
So, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind the challenges, or sometimes the benefits posed by the environment. If you’re in for a job that requires continuous working hours, an environment where employee interaction is minimal and the surrounding area nice and quiet would be perfect!
Keep in mind that being called for frequent meetings and other team-based tasks could be as destructive as noisy environments. There are various systems out there that encourage parting your ways from actions that kill your concentration such as small-talk with employees. A great example of such a system could be Timeboxing.
You can probably imagine why big companies nowadays offer a variety of different environments. Employee productivity experiences a sharp boost, resulting and the business booming as well.
Give it a Shot – Try it for at least a month
A lot of people get caught in confusion when choosing a productivity system. It’s because they find several systems that might suit them, but since they have a choice and one system could work better than the other, they give in to the greed of finding the best one.
There’s a very straightforward solution to such problems: Pick anything! If you have multiple systems fitting your requirements, but there are still ample to choose from, don’t worry! All of them are designed for the same task, and whatever you use, eventually you will get used to it, and even if you don’t, you can switch after giving it a try. And it won’t hurt you in any way.
Nevertheless, when you randomly pick a specific system, there’s a chance that another one could have performed better. But if you tangle into such a thought, there will be no end to it, and the time you were saving by following a productivity system will be lost switching your picks here.
So, choose a system. Stick to it for the next 30 days, and I’m 90% sure that you won’t run into any problems, rather end up boosting your productivity significantly. However, in the worst-case scenario, even if things don’t get settled, you could simply move on to the next one you had on your watch. And it’s not like these 30 days went past without any betterment in your productivity since no system is that bad, the only reason you might consider changing it is if you reckon something could perform EVEN BETTER for you.
What is the Best Productivity System?
As we saw above in the article, every individual is different in his way and hence has a different set of productivity systems that suits them the best. Due to this, it’s hard to crown a single productivity system as being the best.
However, some very well-known productivity systems have been tried and tested by thousands of professionals, so they’re guaranteed to work better than most, if not all.
So, here are the best overall productivity systems:
a) Zen to Done (ZTD)
Made to focus on the habits rather than the system, ZTD is known for its amazingly simple working and quick startup time. However, it might not work for all environment types since the focus is on getting your tasks done rather than building the system to do them.
b) Don’t Break the Chain
Specifically made for creative people and occupations, this system focuses on helping them get more organized and systematic in their workflows, as well as disciplined about their tasks. It helps take out procrastination and boost consistency but is tricky when it comes to planning full days.
Pomodoro is based on dividing tasks into successive sprints and taking 5-minute breaks after every 25 minutes. After every 4 Pomodoros, a longer break is taken. It helps to enhance your work-life balance and eliminate burnout. However, it may limit flexibility from high-pressure jobs.
Kanban revolves around observing workflows using visualization techniques. Kanban boards are used to review how tasks are going and taking any necessary actions. It helps lift productivity as a team and enhances synchronization.
Nevertheless, I would suggest observing yourself and your surroundings, as we’ve seen in the previous section before you start digging into the best productivity system for yourself. This way, you’re bound to end up on the best productivity system that works for YOU!
People are busier than ever, and we have never had a world full of distractions as we do now. While a lot of people and organizations already are tied to some productivity systems, it’s high time the rest of them also consider adapting them to boost their work-life balances and start achieving more in lesser time.
However, choosing the right productivity system is often the biggest worry people face after they have decided to use it. Throughout this article, we have seen some top of drawer methods that could help you successfully picking the right productivity system for yourself.
So, make sure you go through it thoroughly before you consider starting the hunt for the best system out there for you. Good luck!