Victor is a marketing executive at a real estate firm in Nigeria. He has a serious challenge. He feels he’s not performing at an optimum level, that he’s not as productive as he should be at work, but he’s always so busy. Ever felt the same way?
Victor is not the only professional that faces this challenge. You probably face the same challenge too. You’re busy all day working but you don’t seem to be making any progress. And what’s worse? More tasks just keep piling up.
What can Victor, and professionals like him do to improve productivity at work? How can you stop being busy and start being productive? The answer may lie in your daily work structure.
A recent study revealed that the 8 hour work day structure doesn’t help improve productivity levels. Why? Because professionals don’t allow enough time to recoup their energy levels, which in turn affect their productivity levels.
Victor’s normal day structure was him resuming at 9 am and working till 1 pm. He takes an hour break and continues work from 2 pm till 5 pm. Between 9 am to 1 pm, Victor has to fight through distractions (such as checking his social networks, chatting with colleagues, answering text messages and so on) and fatigue. Because he accomplishes little between 9 am to 1 pm, he cuts down his break time, sometimes he even works through his break time and continues working till 5 pm.
See where this structure is flawed?
Even with the most disciplined professional, once the body is fatigued, mental strength also reduces. This means less motivation or discipline to keep distractions away or focusing on a task.
The brain performs better when you give it time to rest. Several studies show that your energy level is directly proportional to your productivity level and even mental agility.
So how did Victor re-structure his day? He’s now following the Pomodoro Technique. This technique is a time management method that breaks down work loads into intervals that is separated by short breaks. So Victor works for 50 minutes straight and then takes a 10 minute break. This method now offers Victor enough time to regain his energy levels and allows him to focus on one task at each work interval.
This method works effectively when
- You avoid distractions during your work time interval (this means no Facebook or Youtube for your 50 minutes)
- You take real rest away from your work during your 10 minute break (try reading a book or chatting with a colleague)
- You use a timer to keep track (use the Tomato Timer http://tomato-timer.com/#)
Achieving your marketing goals requires you to be productivity each and every day. Try out this technique and share the results in the comments below.