At Speak Creative, we have a great team. We accomplish a great deal of work in a short amount of time. We have multiple projects being worked on by multiple teams on multiple timetables. It’s enough to make even the most organized person a bit crazy.
During our recent planning retreat, as we worked on our goals for the company as a whole, we took time to focus on how to increase business productivity. What is business productivity?
Business productivity is taking control of our time, our work and our goals.
It would be easy to just work fast. You can be a fast worker at any job and still not be productive. Productivity is about making sure you are spending your time in the best ways and in the best places. Like a financial budget, where every dollar gets a name, a time budget is a priority and task planner to help assign time and give it a name and place.
When you have those things in line, it’s easier to say no to the things don’t fit in that plan or make the decision to rearrange to fit something new in.
You can do a search on Google and quickly come up with thousands of results on how to be most efficient with your time, setting goals, and setting priorities and the best productivity tools. There are hundreds of books and articles on the subjects and a variety of products like planners, calendars and whiteboards to help you make a daily plan.
We created our own daily planner at Speak to help address our particular circumstances and increase our business productivity. Here’s a glance at our planner sheet:
Download our Planner!
Everyone on the team has access to the planning sheet and can print as many copies as they need. We intentionally want people to use paper and pen to write to each day. There’s a great connection made in the brain that’s healthy and useful in productivity. And in the digital age, it’s not a bad discipline to practice.
We limit our priority list to 5 each day - ideally, 3 would be even better. Too many goals for one day and it’s likely you’ll feel deflated and unaccomplished if you don’t meet each one.
Be realistic when you are setting your priorities and goals.
You’ll notice that we included a place to estimate the time to spend on each priority. This may or may not complete the priority. Either way it helps us take control of our time. Even after a priority for the day has been reached, such as a new website launch, there could still be an actionable item left relating to that priority. We wanted to capture that step to help us plan our next day.
Some other sections we included are for to-do’s and ideas and a place to write down any items that need to carryover or can wait until tomorrow. A time log or schedule helps you track the time you’ve spent on tasks that might not be in your calendar. It’s those little things that come up that unchecked could really turn into a time drain. We also included a place to doodle- the perfect place to keep creativity flowing.
It's important to talk about wins.
An important section to us is our Today’s Wins section. A win is anything you can celebrate. It may not be a big check mark toward a goal or huge new client but if it’s a victory to you, we celebrate it. Noting those small wins and big wins each day helps the feeling of productivity rise even in the midst of an off track day.
We added our company core values at the bottom of our page because we want to keep this in front of us. Our values serve as a guide to all that we do. It’s nice to look back at our work and see how our values are reflected in the things we accomplish everyday.
All of this is just a guide, not a rule.
We don’t expect anyone at Speak to turn in their planner sheets at the end of the week. We do want each employee to be a success in their career at Speak. Providing resources to help employees gain productivity and see wins in their work helps create success and movement not just for our employees but also for our clients in the end.
When it comes to setting goals and being productive with your business, the best method is the method that helps you get things done. Whichever method you use, being intentional about how you spend your time, being honest about where you can make improvements and making actionable plans will be time well spent.
How does your company monitor your business productivity? We'd love to know. Leave us a comment!