Do you feel like you’re still in holiday mode?
It can be hard to return to the nine to five grind after a long relaxing break. When you take a seat at your desk for the first time in a while, you’re no doubt looking for ways to get motivated and improve your productivity so that you don’t end up falling behind.
So what can you do to get yourself back into your work groove? There are plenty of strategies and methods that can help improve your productivity, but these three concepts are widely renowned by some of the world’s top entrepreneurs and could be just what you’re looking for when you’re just not feeling it.
The Gail Matthews Effect
Gail Matthews is a psychology professor at California’s Dominican University and has spent over three decades researching career development psychology. One of her studies was related to goals and outcomes. She was able to find that writing goals down can increase the likelihood of you achieving them by 62%.
So start your week with three goals written on post-it notes and place them on your monitor so that they’re always in your face. When you complete one of these goals, scrunch it up and throw it away. Then write down another one and put it with your other two. If you find success in using this method and you’re achieving your goals, then this should become a part of your normal routine.
The Pareto Principle
My direct reports used to hate me saying 80/20. But that’s exactly what The Pareto Principle is. It states that 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes. It can mean that you’ll spend 80% of your time on 20% of your team in the workplace. It could also refer to 80% of your performance coming from 20% of your people.
So how do you make this principle work for you? Rather than trying to do absolutely everything and attend all of the meetings you get invited to, assess what is important. It could be the organisation’s goals, what your boss wants, and what is going to help take your team forward. You’ll quickly realise that you’ll reduce your workload by 80% if you focus solely on the 20%.
The final trick is a mindset principle that was first developed by Cyril Northcote Parkinson. He wrote an essay for the Economist where he stated that work expands to fill the time allocated to it. For example, if you have a report that’s due in two weeks, then you’ll take this long to complete it. But if the exact same document was due in 24 hours, you’ll finish it in a day.
So when you’ve set your goals, or you receive a request to complete a task from your manager, give yourself a deadline to complete it by. Don’t indulge and leave it for days. Aim for 24 hours. You might end up surprising yourself by how quickly you can get it done.
Improve Your Productivity Today
It might sound like an impossible task to improve your productivity the moment you return from a holiday. But implementing these principles and adjusting your mindset can make the transition easier and improve your performance a lot quicker than just waiting for the motivation to come.
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