As we approach the end of the year, we all can get a little overwhelmed when trying to stay productive at work while Holiday activities start popping up—from Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping to family Holiday feasts and New Year’s festivities. However, no matter what time of year it is, you just need to remember the three P’s of productivity—Priorities, Power and Practicality—to stay on top of your game at the office and continue to turn out successful work for your clients.
It is important to understand your daily and weekly priorities—knowing the difference between the things that must get done and the things that should get done can have a huge impact on your ability to meet expectations and be productive. And, there are different levels of priorities too. You have to account for your clients’ priorities, your boss’, co-workers’ as well as your own. It’s important to understand how priorities impact timelines across the team and account. If you put off something because you see another task has a higher priority, you might not be giving other people involved the time to do their part. This could be other people in the internal review process, editors you’re trying to set up briefings with—remembering your work is one part of the process is key.
My best advice is to start each day by making a fresh to do list. Some might be able to get by with a weekly to do list, but we all know that a lot can change in 24 hours and is why a daily priority reset is helpful. At the top of your list are the things that must get done before you close down for the day, followed by tomorrow’s deadlines and so on.
This “P” is the most important for my own ability to be productive. It is crucial to understand when in the day/week you have the most brain power and natural ability to get things done. For me, this is in the morning between the hours of 9:00am – 12:00pm. So, I try to reserve this timeslot to accomplish the tasks that are more challenging for me. I use the rest of my day to accomplish tasks that are easier. However, everyone is different and should take the time to learn his/her most efficient times. Power through those hours! You should find you start accomplishing those challenging activities much faster and with greater ease.
I often have to remind myself (and my team) that we can’t get everything done in one day. You have to remain practical about what you can accomplish. By that I mean that you (a) have to give yourself enough time to complete tasks efficiently and effectively without rushing through it, and (b) communicate to your team when you need help. Nothing can hurt a team’s productivity more than when deadlines are missed without warning. It will set your accomplishments back, as well as the team’s. Additionally, if you get too overloaded with tasks, you will begin focusing on how stressed you are rather than completing your best work.
The reality of productivity is that employees are happiest when they feel like they are accomplishing high-quality work and helping their clients achieve their market objectives. By following these three P’s of productivity, hopefully you will also find a little peace as you close out 2016.