Keep it simple.
Anytime you are faced with a group of people you are presenting to, whether it’s a sales pitch or a safety meeting, you have to keep it simple. The amount of day-to-day activity that the average person has today is far greater than it ever has been and thus, people’s focus is more scattered. So keeping your presentations simple and to the point with clear and concise language is key. People will not remember everything you said in your presentation or meeting, and not everyone will remember the same thing, so how then do you ensure people walk away with your full message? It’s not by talking more, I can tell you that much! Honing in on people’s needs is vital. In a room full of people who tend to make decisions based off of context rather than information, isolating their needs and appealing to them is important. One of, if not the biggest reason why people will buy something or do something these days is to reduce stress and increase efficiency. Appealing to those needs and employing simplicity rather than explaining a plethora of facts about your company or product will take you further than you imagine.
Productivity comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms so it can be hard to identify what true productivity its. People hate to feel unproductive at the end of the day. And nothing is worse than burning your engines hot all day and having a longer “to-do” list at the days end. Ironically, stressing out about being productive or increasing productivity makes you less productive. So how can you get it back to basics?
First and foremost you need to define what productivity means to you and your business or career. Then you need to track your time and activities to isolate which things are of high, low, or no value. Once you have this information you can trim out your time wasters; the activities which hold no productive value to you. Just this will free up some time for you to focus on that which is productive and reduce your stress levels. If you still need to increase your productivity then set out to reduce the time spent on 25% to 50% of your low value activities either by way of elimination, consolidation, delegation, or automation; thus increasing the available time you have for high value, productive activities. Remember not to compromise the end result of your business or goals if you decide to eliminate low value activities, they must be eliminated objectively and without haste. Furthermore, the quality of your tasks must not be compromised either if you decide to consolidate, delegate, or automate any of them.
“Never mistake motion for action” –Benjamin Franklin. Busywork is very prominent these days because there is just SO much that could be done. In order to avoid busywork we have to set goals, and plans to reach those goals. Without a goal and game plan people tend to find themselves shuffling around for hours and getting absolutely nowhere, which leads to a larger more looming list of tasks for the next day. This pattern can continue and perpetuate until the stress levels of low productivity and feelings of no accomplishment overwhelm a person and they break. The expression “movers and shakers” outlines this principle quite clearly. Movers are people who take action and thus tend to be more successful. Shakers are in constant motion, but go nowhere (fast).
Getting your business back to these basics can be more challenging than they seem but will yield great results. Simplicity, productivity, and activity are three major keys to all successful businesses.