Productivity is about doing more in less time. While this sounds simple, as we all know, achieving a higher level of productivity is easier said than done, especially in recent times with the pandemic forcing us to stay away from the office and work from home. According to Harvard studies, employees found that completing the same number of tasks required them to increase their work hours with 48.5 minutes when working from home instead of the office.
If you want to improve your focus at work and become more productive, this article will provide the foundation to plan your time and to improve productivity using key points from one of The Roll’s fundamental business coaching models, “the GROW model”. The GROW model works by invoking individuals to reflect on their current state, desired future, and how to narrow the distance between these two.
1. Goals - Know your desire and set your goals
The first part of the model is about Goals. Knowing what you want to accomplish is a vital first step before starting to make a detailed plan. Reflect and try to get a clear picture of your goals. For example, if you are a manager, begin to ask yourself what you want to achieve. It can be a long-term goal such as creating a High-Performance culture with good leadership or a short-term goal like increasing the next quarter's sales. If you can, try to break down long-term goals into smaller milestones that will help you on the way. Ask yourself how much time and effort you are willing to devote to get what you desire. By visualizing your plan’s positive outcomes, you'll be able to draw on a greater sense of motivation to sustain you in your efforts.
2. Reality - Understand your limitations and be realistic
After achieving a thorough understanding of your goals, the next step is to get a clear vision of your current state. It is not always easy to objectively assess your own abilities so approach a trusted collogue and ask for an honest appraisal or consider the feedback you have received in the past and base your evaluation on these sources. The following questions might be helpful in developing a realistic view of yourself:
- How is your current state?
- What feedback have you had in relation to this state?
- How would your peers describe your current state?
Reflect on how much you can get done in a day and avoid multitasking as this has been shown (Harvard studies) to lower productivity by as much as 40%.
3. Options - Explore your options and bridge the gap between reality and dream
There are often many ways we can reach our goals, but some are more efficient than others. For example, if a middle manager wants the freedom of running her own business but is lacking sufficient funding, her options might include:
1. Taking a loan from the bank
2. Asking friends and family for financial support
3. Using savings
Out-of-the-box thinking is indispensable when considering the different paths. Maybe an unconventional alternative could be the best option? For example, this manager’s current company might be willing to let her set up an independent division or to give funding for a long-term project.
There are usually many ways to complete a task. Only by thinking creatively and by considering all options can the most efficient solution to bridge the gap between reality and dream be found.
4. Will - Take the actions and stay committed to the plan
When it comes to putting words into actions, it is hard to commence without knowing the specific steps you are to take. To obtain clarity on your actions, break your plan into smaller tasks and create personal deadlines.For example, if you want to finish a 300- pages book in ten days, you must read 30 pages each day. If it feels unattainable to this every day, you may have to readjust your 10-day deadline. To be better committed to the plan, reward yourself when accomplishing a goal. Another great way is to share your goals with friends. This can give you the extra motivation and pressure to make you tick off those goals on your list. Visualizing the feeling you will have once you reach your goal will also drive you forward even if you meet sudden difficulties.
There is no easy recipe for executing your plans, but being honest with yourself and getting external help when required will help you to follow through and achieve your goals.
5. Review your plan and note down the obstacles
When things don’t go as well as expected or when there are unforeseen difficulties, it is a great chance for us to learn how to adapt. If the plan is not realistic to carry out, try cutting it into smaller parts and make some of them a priority. Being flexible is important in the long run. If the plan is not relevant anymore because your goals have changed, it is important to revise it to make sure it stays up to date with your personal development.
The GROW coaching model is a professional and simple model that can help you gain control of your time and work to achieve your goals. This model is a fundamental part of The Roll’s coaching sessions, used to help our clients obtain clarity on their situation and to customize a personal plan going forward to maximize potential. Use these tips from the blog to try out the model yourself and turn your goals and dreams into accomplishments.
If you're interested in learning how to take your leadership and team development skills to the next level, click here to read about 4 ways you can expect to benefit from executive coaching.