The 21st century is becoming the age of innovation. It seems like every single day we are developing a new piece of technology to make us more productive, smarter or better-rounded as individuals and workers. These developments are leading to a meteoric rise in the number of entrepreneurs in many different sectors. Although ideas and capital are important parts of entrepreneurship; the most important currency in business and entrepreneurship is actually productivity. In a world as quickly changing and developing as ours is at the moment, productivity is king.
In a world where self-motivation and personal efficiency have become so important, productivity is no longer something that can simply just be left on the side-lines. Productive people build productive businesses, and a productive business is a profitable business. Using your time for the best purposes and in the best way is crucial to the success of anyone who is looking to progress in their career or area of expertise. In this article, we are going to pick apart some common and well-known productivity theories and either prove or disprove them. Over the years, there have been many productivity theories and thoughts that have been popularized without much research or proof. We hope that these few pages will help you steer yourself and your career in the correct direction.
#1 Productivity Lie — Let’s Skip Sleep to Be Productive
This is one of the most common misconceptions in the business world, especially in high-pressure working environments or intense careers. It is strange to think that we as a business world have convinced ourselves that productivity can be achieved through skipping out on the rest that our bodies need in order to be productive whatsoever. The whole reason our bodies are made to need sleep is so our minds and bodies have time to rest and reset in order to achieve their full potential the next day.
A lot of high pressures working environments are infamous for a number of people in stressful jobs and positions within the company staying overnight because they have so much work to do and want to save the commute, staying overnight to finish a project, or working for days and nights on end to get something done before a deadline. These ideals have been popularized through television and social media as well. Working harder through longer hours and depriving your body of relaxation and resetting the time it needs to operate is actually very dangerous for your mental and physical wellbeing. A lot of people who work overnight or skip out on sleep to get work done are the ones who suffer from burnout or medical issues early down the line.
If you are thinking about doing this or considering it for the future, do everything you can in your power to avoid it! At the end of the day, proper rest and relaxation will do you much better in both the long and short term than over-working. Let your body be ready to achieve what you need to do the next day, and it will reward you for it in the short term by being a load more productive than it would have been if it were tired, and also in the long term when it comes to your mental and physical wellbeing.
#2 Productivity Lie — It is More Productive to Work Alone Rather Than With a Team
It is easy to make this mistake when thinking about people who have ‘made it big’ in the business and entrepreneur world. When you think of Facebook, you think of Mark Zuckerberg, for example. Even when we think of our favourite movies, football teams, TV shows, or companies; we usually jump straight to the one person who we think has influenced it all or had the most impact. This makes our minds think that these people have done it all on their own. This is absolutely not the case. Without the team surrounding Mark Zuckerberg the whole way through, Facebook might still be a laptop in a dorm room.
Steve Jobs, for example, would not have made Apple what it is without an incredibly strong team surrounding him. Without people surrounding you and helping you in the day-to-day, there is a limit and cap which sits on what can be achieved. Although teams do have leaders like those people that our minds originally jump to; productivity will only be optimized when teams work together and not individually.
The world that we operate in now with remote working and individual working becoming the new normal; many people have begun to work alone more than they used to. It is important to remember that although remote work has been necessary, it is not the optimal way to work and be productive for the long term. Here are three disadvantages from the overuse of lone working on productivity:
1: Diminishing Dynamic Feedback from Peers and Colleagues
When you work in a bubble of me, myself, and I; it is easy to let yourself become pigeon holed with your ideas and your work. This is called ‘hamstringing’ all of your ideas; and it can make your work become repetitive and boring. It also means that you may be carrying mistakes between different bits of work and projects. When you work in a team, you are able to get feedback and constructive criticism from colleagues as well as those above you. This has a positive impact on the productivity and accuracy of your work output.
2: Your Potential is Limited
The dreams of ‘self-made’ success are very silly, in my book at least. Although it is definitely possible to work yourself all the way up to success. Potential is limited when you work as one person. It is important to maximize your productivity, and the simple way to do this is to work in a group.
3: Your Stress Levels Will Increase
Stress levels during lone working are commonly a lot higher than those during group working. It is always more stressful during a big project if you are dealing with it alone than if you are doing it in a team environment. Extra tasks and little mistakes can be handled easier when there are people looking over things twice and spotting your work. A team is most useful when they work together rather than alone. Even though it might cost a little bit more to bring extra people into a team, it will end up being incredibly beneficial in the long run.
Top Tips for Productivity that can be Implemented Easily
So, the first important thing to understand about productivity is what not to do. Now that we have explored the myths behind some interpretations of productivity; we can move on to some top tips for productivity. These top tips apply to all industries, even though they must be altered to fit different industries. Here are seven top tips for productivity that can be implemented to increase efficiency.
1: Try out a Virtual Assistant
We have gone over the dangers and downsides of working through the time you should be resting and also those of lone working. You can address both of these productivity issues by trying out the use of a virtual assistant. By nature, a virtual assistant does all the little things that you would need to do if they were not there. All the paperwork, all the admin, all the silly little things that take up extra time. Virtual assistants are usually remote workers who have high productivity levels because of low distraction levels. Hiring a remote assistant in this role will take a lot of things off of your own plate and allow you to indirectly work within a team without too much expense as it is only one person. Virtual assistant services are a great idea for a busy business.
2: Getting Someone to Help with Administration and Paperwork
Tip number two actually ties into tip number one. A virtual assistant can help with practically anything you need as long as they have the skills and training. It is crucial (especially as your workload grows and gets bigger over time) to have a team underneath you who worries about the menial work. If you have a day full of meetings and deadlines, you definitely don’t want to be worried about getting coffee for guests or answering the phone. If you do all of this on top of your own work, you will become overstretched and your productivity will dip heavily. Getting someone to assist you with things such as travel arranging, appointment booking, and other niggly bits will greatly increase your productivity. Someone helping with these bits and bobs can also remote work.
3: Digital and Social Media Marketing Delegation
If you are struggling for time or even lack the knowledge and expertise to handle social media marketing and digital interactions, then you need to hire someone to deal with this. The best thing about this position is it can be done remotely as well. The person who you employ to be in this position needs to know how to handle search engine optimization, a digital marketing professional, and know their way around the internet very well. Hire a social media manager! You won’t regret it.
4: Graphic Design Assistant
Your virtual assistant can also take charge of your needs when it comes to graphic design and other creative bits. As much as you might enjoy doing all the little creative bits, they are often time-consuming and something that can be taken off your hands by the right person.
5: Hiring a Virtual Assistant will Decrease you Overhead
Virtual assistants are amazing for companies because of the fact that they do not need all the perks, benefits, and operation costs that normal employees require. You can technically provide these for virtual assistants, but there is no requirement to do so as a company. Virtual assistants will typically not cost as much as normal assistants, and either way, your company overheads will be decreased.
6: Try out the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a practice and technique invented and practiced by Francesco Cirillo to deal with time management. Time management is known to be the most important thing for business people to understand. If you do not know how to manage your time, you will not be a productive and efficient member of staff.
7: Keep a Track of Your Objectives
One of the best ways to improve and increase productivity and efficiency is to keep a track of everything you need to get done. It is important to constantly keep a track of what you need to do and achieve in every day that you are working. The best way to constantly do this is to do so through a virtual assistant. Being organized is crucial to being productive.
Productivity is a difficult thing to fully understand. There are so many ways to understand productivity; and there are some myths about productivity that it is important to debunk. First of all, it is crucial to understand that you cannot prioritize doing work over giving your body rest and relaxation. You will be a lot more productive if you are fully rested. Also, it is important to understand that working in a team is naturally more productive than working alone. Hiring a virtual assistant is a good idea to help out with administrative tasks, and you can hire some of the top virtual assistants in the United States if you do some research. Hiring a remote team and utilizing a remote workforce can be very productive and increase the efficiency of your on-site team as well. Remote employees such as virtual assistants are usually cheaper because they do not require fringe benefits and managing a remote team can be easier to do because they are all working in their own personal working environments.
About the Author:
Emily Henry is an online writer at Essay Writing Services. She has been involved in many projects. Emily likes discussing and writing on management, marketing, and finances.