“Less is more” in every sense of the word in the Lean mindset. You want to work smarter and more efficiently, eliminating waste in processes. Think about this in context of your life and daily activities. How do I practically do more with less, you ask? It may seem counterintuitive advice for success. Let’s explore the various ways you can grow your productivity through less. After all, we cannot increase the hours in the day but we can increase our focus. Think of it as decluttering your life.
·Watch out for time wasters
oTurn off notifications! That means email pop-ups, chiming alerts, and yes, even those red icons alerting you have 14,000 unread emails on your phone! Is it really helpful to have those turned on? Reducing notifications will improve your focus.
oUnsubscribe from email inbox junk that you don’t even read. Are you unwittingly clogging your inbox, and your mind, with clutter? Unsubscribe! If you don’t read it, don’t use it, can’t be bothered with it, UNSUBSCRIBE! Think about if there is a blog you’ve been following for years, but have outgrown. Unsubscribe! I delete hundreds of unsolicited emails per day just so I can get to the meat, those emails that will directly impact my work.
oTime flies when you’re on the internet. Do you log into Facebook or Pinterest 5 times a day for 5 minutes? Those little 5-minute Facebook (and his friends) excursions can add up in a hurry. Per login, 5 days per week, you are burning 2 hours per week!!
oPut down the phone! Make sure you’re present in your work and life. Don’t take that phone to meetings. If you do, don’t you dare look at it! This conveys you’re bored or uninterested in the other team members you’re there to meet with. Whatever is on that phone can wait! I promise they will find you later if it is important.
·Block your calendar. When you are a busy person, it is essential to track where your time goes. It can be hard to find time to complete tasks. Block time off in your calendar to focus on specific projects and deadlines. These “meetings with yourself” will permit you to focus on high priority tasks.
·Schedule me time via taking your accrued vacation days. You will be happier and more productive. It is a company benefit for a reason, and not so you can just accumulate them and let them sit there.
·Avoid emails at home. If you’re like me, you may get angry when you receive emails after company hours. You know what I learned? The sender doesn’t expect you to respond just because they wrote the email at 10pm; it is you that is putting that pressure on yourself and you who can set you free! If you’re not sure if your boss expects a reply at late hours, then ask. There is little you can do to solve most work problems outside of work hours. I turn off my work email from loading to my phone unless I am away at a conference and considered “working remotely”.
·Transform your commute time to education time. Instead of listening to the radio, do what I do and listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook.
Which leads me to my last point…
·Learn from the best. Believe it or not, you’re not alone. Read books and blogs, and listen to podcasts to learn what worked for others. No sense reinventing the wheel.