Boost Productivity? Make Every Day an October Monday
Are you a morning person? Do you do your best work at the end of the day? What time of the day are you most productive? What time of the day do you feel most creative?
An interesting survey by The Creative Group reveals that between 9 a.m. and noon is the golden hour for the world of marketing. The Creative Group connects creative, digital, marketing, advertising and PR talent with companies looking for help on upcoming projects.
For many workers, productivity ebbs and flows throughout the day – and throughout each week and across the year. Of course, if you are in a widget factory, productivity may be measured by units per hour. No ebbing and flowing accepted.
Say 10 widgets an hour is the expectation. All the schedules are built upon that output: suppliers, line workers, packaging and warehousing, shipping, etc., is based on that productivity. Your 10 widgets an hour for your eight-hour shift, that’s 80 widgets a day, times the 10 employees working five days a week. 10 x 8 x 10 x 5 = 4,000 widgets. Whew. That’s a grind.
11 A.M. MONDAY. OCTOBER. BUSY?
But in the non-factory world, the productivity equation is murky, less defined. You’re may be more productive at some time of the day than another. Some months you may soar. Of course, someone just had to see what month that was. That would be Priceonomics, which analyzed data from 1.8 million projects and 28 millions tasks from Redbooth, a project management company, and discovered this:
The peak of productivity for workers comes at 11 a.m. on a Monday in October.
Monday? No surprise. Most workers hit the door rarin’ to go on Monday. Fridays? Not so much.
More tasks are completed on Mondays (20.4% vs. 20.2% for Tuesdays).
The promise of lunch must spur productivity. The high-water mark for tasks completed comes at 11 a.m. and workers finish with a flurry just before breaking for lunch. They come to work mostly rested up and free of distractions.
Why October? Probably because folks just have to get all their projects done before all those big holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Day – get in the way.
TRY THESE TIPS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
So to boost your productivity, it is easy. Just make more widgets in the time allotted. Practice, practice, practice. If you’re not a widget maker, we’ve got some strategies to share that might pay off with more days that have customers, colleagues and the bosses singing your praises.
Track time, set deadlines
At KMC, we track the time we spend on every project. Workamajig is the tool we use to keep projects on track, communicate budgets and deadlines and record time allotted and spent on client work.
If you don’t have a time-management tool in place, you may not track time as meticulously as you should. Lacking a sense of accountability and urgency, projects can tend to drag on, get strung out over time.
We call out morning meetings “standup.” Most folks are sitting, though, especially now that we’re working remotely and gather on Zoom’s Hollywood Squares/Brady Bunch display, not around our big conference table. There is something about true standup meetings that keeps folks more engaged, focused and to the point. After all, they want to get back to their chair, sit down and get to work.
Defend your calendar
Speaking of standup meetings and afternoon meetings and breakfast meetings and lunch meetings? Are the meetings piling up? Are they all essential? Can a short memo cover the territory?
It sounds so productive and efficient. It is not. Often multitasking involves juggling too many balls at one time, which can lead to dropped balls and less than stellar results. Focusing on a single task and completing it before moving on to the next one often yields the best outcome.
Take a break or two
Taking time to get up and move, take a short walk, do a plank or two, stroll around the block – whatever you can to get your eyes off your monitor for a few minutes. And keep your cell phone in your pocket, too! Even better if you can work up a sweat with lunch break trip to the gym (and a post-workout shower)!
Corral, attack the little things
If on your plate you have several quick tasks mixed in with your longer projects, get those quickies out of the way. Tackle them and move them on to their next stop so colleagues or clients can keep the project moving – and you can celebrate checking them off your list.
Many of these tips for improving productivity also improve creativity. A double bonus. If you are getting more work done but the quality is lacking, that’s not a good thing.
Try these additional tips to stimulate your creativity:
Follow the flicker
If you have the germ of an idea, a spark that flits across your consciousness, jot it down. Text yourself. Dictate a short memo. If it comes to you as you fall asleep, don’t roll over and vow to remember it in the morning. You won’t. Take 20 seconds, capture the thought and build on it the next day.
Create browsing time
Set aside time every day to peek at the work of others – websites, blogs, designs, social surprises. Visit your favorite places. See something that intrigues you? Make a note or a copy and save it to your inspiration folder.
Take a risk, show it off
Regularly wander out of the box when you’re on a project. Put a wild notion out there with your other stunning, but safer, options. Who knows, it may survive in its entirety or be refined into a creative keeper.