How To Increase Your ProductivityJun 20, 2022
How productive are you? Over the years, I’ve learned to love and hate this question. I loved the question when I was highly effective, doing quality work that mattered.
Unfortunately, I’ve hated the question more than I’ve loved it. It’s simply much easier to be unproductive than productive. So many things have to be right to sustain high productivity. All it takes is to have one thing off to experience a significant drop. It doesn’t seem fair but that’s the way it is!
Below are some common obstacles to consistently high productivity that I commonly hear about
- I can’t seem to get started.
- I keep procrastinating on the things that take effort and focus.
- I started but can’t seem to ”get into a groove.”
- I got into a groove but lost momentum and jumped into something else.
- I kept momentum for a few days but then reverted to old habits and lost the momentum.
- I felt bad about myself for my productivity lapses which pushed me to engage in more unproductive behaviors.
- I kept allowing phone, email, co-workers, social media, etc., to distract me from doing quality work.
How many of the above challenges do you relate to?
As a coach and advisor to recruiting firms, many of my clients want and need my help to overcome their productivity problems. Due to my own productivity challenges, I’ve done a tremendous amount of training and research on productivity over the years. This has enabled me to combine what I’ve learned into a step-by-step process to increase recruiter productivity
So how do you consistently improve your productivity? This is a great question that’s been asked for thousands of years. And there’s no shortage of advice. If you look on Amazon, you’ll find an overwhelming assortment of planners and books promising to help you become more productive. Obviously, the demand is enormous. But do these tools and techniques work consistently over time for most recruiters?
From my experience, the answer is usually NO. Below are the common issues that negate the effectiveness of productivity tools and techniques for most people.
- They purchase productivity products but don’t actually read, learn, or use them.
- They experience an initial increase in productivity but then get pulled back into their old habits.
- Productivity in the recruiting industry is more complex than in most other industries due to:
- Constant interruptions, many of which you can’t ignore
- Fires to put out
- Sudden shifts in direction due to decisions on the part of your clients and candidates
- Most productivity tools don’t address the specific nuances of the recruiting industry.
The productivity factors that are rarely mentioned
Because productivity tools and techniques don’t implement themselves, most people underappreciate the difficulty of making their usage a habit. How often have you known what to do, had adequate tools and techniques, but still didn’t take the action you intended? Sustainable productivity requires a habit of consistent focus and effort.
Consistent focus and effort that’s both enjoyable and satisfying (and thus sustainable) depends upon your level of health & well-being and your level of motivation. The impact of motivation on productivity is evident to most people. However, many underestimate how significantly their health & well-being affects their productivity. Your energy level, ability to focus, think and make decisions, emotional state, and motivation are all directly impacted by your level of health & well-being.
If you’re experiencing a significant problem in any area of your well-being, your productivity can go down to zero. For example, if you are sick, injured, or in a down emotional state, how effectively will you implement the tools and techniques of productivity? That’s why I believe the formula for sustainable productivity is Level of Health & well-being + level of motivation + quality of tools and techniques = level of sustainable productivity.
To increase your productivity on a sustainable basis
The main takeaway I’d like you to get is that most people will not solve their productivity issues solely by having quality tools and techniques. The problem is multidimensional and requires addressing all three elements of the above formula for sustainable productivity.
- Utilize quality tools and techniques customized to the recruiting industry's needs. This should be a part of the recruiter training you provide for your team.
- Identify and address the issues that diminish your health & well-being. This means taking an objective look at your health level in the following areas: physical, mental/cognitive, emotional, and spiritual (purpose and meaning).
- Focus on upgrading your long-term habits in the above areas rather than expecting some quick, enthusiastic efforts to do the trick.