Here is an excerpt from an article written by Robert C. Pozen for Harvard Business Review and the HBR Blog Network. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, obtain subscription information, and receive HBR email alerts, please click here.
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Are you feeling overwhelmed by your obligations at work and home? You are in good company. A majority of U.S. employees complain that they feel overwhelmed, according to surveys. As a coach and mentor focusing on productivity, I’ve heard this complaint hundreds of times, from managers and officials across the world.
Productivity has many aspects. When thinking about your productivity, you need to first understand your priorities, and then you can plan your schedule to focus on your top priorities and downplay your routine functions. On a daily basis, you need to reduce the amount of time you spend on getting through the small stuff that clutters up your life, and hone your skills at more effectively dealing with your colleagues. Both will go a long way toward helping you achieve your goals.
To help professionals assess how well they are doing on each aspect of productivity, I created a tool called the Pozen Productivity Rating, in conjunction with Trefis, a data analytics company. This tool consists of 21 questions, divided into seven categories. The first and second categories probe your habits on establishing daily routines and planning your schedule. The third and fourth ask about your ability to overcome the key personal constraints — like email and procrastination — that keep you from getting things done. The final three categories assess your skills at forging productive relationships within your organization, through effective meetings, communications, and delegation.
By responding honestly to the questions below, you’ll get an accurate rating of the current state of your productivity, followed by a feedback report that will offer some practical tips on how you can improve.
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Here is a direct link to the complete article, and, to Pozen’s productivity self-assessment