5 Steps to Supreme Productivity

by Ron Haynes

DSC_0271.JPGHow do you know when you’re effective? How do YOU achieve supreme productivity? What criteria do you use to insure you’re efficiently hitting your targets at work or at home? If you’re like me, you have goals, plans, and schedules all over the place, and while many of them overlap each other, others are in conflict. You may really be efficient at juggling all of this and getting to the end of your priority list by the end of the day, but have you been truly effective and productive in what you’ve completed? There are times I question myself at the end of the day saying, “What DID I accomplish today?” Some days, it seems like I just barely made it through the day, but on those days where I know I was productive, proactive, and able to identify my accomplishments, it feels great!

Here are a few tips that I’ve been able to use to improve my productivity. See if these productivity tools can help you:

1. Focus on one task at a time. The myth of multitasking is the drumbeat these days and everyone seems to be writing about it. It’s true, you really cannot be effective and do two important things at the same time. Sure, you can walk and chew gum, but you cannot focus on an important project for your boss while also leading a meeting of your direct reports.

If you’ve said, “I’ve got so much to do, I don’t even know where to start!” You know the feeling of being overwhelmed. You’ll have to prioritize your tasks and then focus on the one that’s the most important. Concentrate your full attention on it, so you can complete it, get it off your plate and move on to the next prioritized task. Try using a time multiplier to help you get those multiple things done and completed.

Supreme productivity focuses on bringing a task to completion.

2. Be results oriented. Results are what matters and to reach peak productivity, you’ll have to become a results based leader.

Life is short, so it’s vitally important to set both personal and professional goals that enable you to achieve your dreams and ambitions. I knew a guy who went to a toy store and bought about 4,500 marbles, putting them all in a big 5 gallon pickle jar. Each marble represented one week of his life and, since he was 30, he immediately took 1,560 of them out. Those were the weeks he had already expended and thereafter, each Sunday morning, he took another marble out and threw it away. He said the visualization of watching the jar slowly empty was incredibly effective in helping him prioritize his goals and to remember that he only had so many weeks to accomplish them.

Productivity improvement comes from a results orientation.

While setting goals costs you nothing but a little time and thought, failing to do so can result in failure and regret.

3. Capitalize on your strengths.
Make them work for you by finding a job that allows you to make good use of your talents and interests. You’ll find that you are happier, healthier and more effective. If, for example, your talents and interests lie in administrative functions, find a job that allows you to take best advantage of those strengths. If you’re an outdoors person, you won’t be happy cooped up in an office.

4. Make the most of your unscheduled time. This is a powerful concept for making the best use of time, at least it is for me. I find that I MUST have time to collect my thoughts, make goals, and concentrate on solutions to problems. But the only way I’m able to find time for myself is to actually schedule some downtime. I will explain to co-workers that I need 15 minutes of uninterrupted time and then take it by closing my office door and holding a phone up to my ear. It works!

Increase your efficiency by scheduling down time.

5. Make good decisions. Make wise decisions. Make the best long term decisions. When you make a decision, get all the information you need, ask others for their input and suggestions, consider all the alternatives and then make the decision.

The best way to develop decisiveness is with the very next decision you have to make.–Napoleon Hill

Remember, to not decide is to decide.

photo credit: selena marie

[tags]business, business productivity, change, coaching, communication, consulting, development, efficiency, employee productivity, improve productivity, increase productivity, increased productivity, increasing productivity, leadership, management, office productivity, performance, personal productivity, productivity enhancement, productivity improvement, productivity improvements, productivity management, productivity measurement, productivity software, productivity tools, productivity training, quality, sales, sales productivity, seminars, software, speaker, staff productivity, time management, training, workforce productivity, workplace productivity[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Scott @ The Passive Dad

Establishing and sticking to one goal at a time can be very difficult. Especially when we are trying to accomplish family, career, and financial goals at the same time. I used to write down goals on paper, but now just kind of tuck them in the back of my mind.

Fantastic blog, and I’m sure you’ll reach your goal of 2k subcribers in a few months.

Mrs. Micah

I love multi-tasking, but I get so much more done if I don’t. Fortunately, I’m beginning to see this and it’s having a good effect on my productivity. Sometimes it’s not “knowing” that brings about the change, it’s trying it out and seeing that it works.

Richard Rinyai


Another tip I would like to add to this is to break your tasks down into manageable chunks. This way, you don’t feel overwhelmed doing the whole project and you can check off the items as you go along. This will help you manage your time better as well.


Richard Rinyai


Ron – Real productivity is absolutely about bringing tasks to completion. If you aren’t, then your system is failing. It is important to complete tasks and get them done right the first time to enhance productivity. Great tips!

Kent @ The Financial Philosopher

I assume this factor of productivity is implied in your post but I have found that most people fail to identify what it is they are trying to produce.

If we are speaking of life in general, the first step in productivity is defining priorities. For example, if the highest priorites are family and health, then I’m not so sure that staying late at the office to “climb the corporate ladder” is productive.

Sure, we can “produce” almost any result we put our minds to but if our priorites and pursuits are not in alignment, then whatever it is that we produce has little or no meaning…

“But this is that which will indeed dignify and exalt knowledge, if contemplation and action may be more nearly and straitly conjoined and united together than they have been…” ~ Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning

Sara at On Simplicity

I love that you mentioned making good decisions. That’s really what it comes down to for me. When I make good decisions, the right things get done, and done well. Bad decisions are very tempting, though!

The marble idea is great, but a bit morbid. Actually watching my life go by would hard to do!

Vir Taaj

Nice tips, but i agree with the fifth one, Make good decisions, that is what helps the most! :)

nice post…


Great list, but I have a small issue with #5. Asking people around you for input, or suggestions can sometimes lead you down the wrong path.

You must first look at their achievements and success on the subject matter, would you ask someone how to loose weight if they were overweight?


True, but even an overweight person could give you good information…that you SHOULDN’T take! :D You can learn something from almost everyone.

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