July 17, 2018

Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours

In his book Extreme Productivity:  Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours author Robert Pozen reveals his secrets and strategies for productivity and high performance, focusing on results produced rather than simply hours worked.

Pozen lays out 6 steps to analyze whether your efforts are supporting your most critical business goals and objectives. We all rush from meeting to meeting or various activities without giving much thought to the rationale for our hectic schedules.

We spend too little time on activities that support our highest goals and have a serious mismatch between priorities and time allocations.  Think carefully about why you are engaging in any activity and what you expect to get out of it.  Establish your highest-ranking goals and determine whether your schedule is consistent with this ranking.  This process has 6 steps:

  1. Write everything down:  Include routine tasks that you have to do daily or weekly and longer-term projects.  Include short and long-term goals.  Add these aspirations to your list.
  2. Organize by time horizon:  Divide your list into 3 time categories:   A-  Career aims:  Long-term goals over at least 5 years  B-  Objectives:  Professional goals over the next 3 months to 2 years  C-  Targets:  Action steps that should guide your work on a weekly or daily basis
  3. Rank your objectives:  Think about what you want to do, what you’re good at and what the world needs from you.  These are distinctly different.  Determining “what you want to do” is critical to your ranking decisions.  “What am I good at”, which objectives play to your strengths.  “What the world needs from you”, determine what your clients, your organization needs most from you
  4. Rank your targets:  Your targets or action steps will typically fall into 1 of 2 categories, which will help you accomplish your objectives.  Decide which targets belong in which category and then try to rank them
  5. Estimate how you spend your time:  Once you have ranked your objectives and targets, determine how effectively your schedule matches your high-priority goals.  Take out your calendar and answer these 6 questions:
  • How many hours do you spend at work vs. other activities?
  • What are the 3 main work activities on which you spend the most time?
  • How many hours each week do you spend on meetings, reports and responding to emails or social media?
  • Will your weekly schedule be similar a year from now?
  • How will you measure success and failure over the next year?
  • Compare your allocations of time with your ranked list of objectives and targets.  What percentage of your time do you spend on activities that help you meet your highest objectives and lower-ranking items?

6. Address the mismatch:  You will likely find that you are spending no more than half your time on your highest priorities.

Colleen Saunders is a 20 year veteran in the mortgage industry, serving Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville and Toronto and offering all mortgage related services such as 2nd mortgages, private mortgages and more.