5 Key Tips from a Productivity Expert

There are a few people in this world who can call themselves a productivity expert – John Denn is one of them.

We spoke to the interim management executive about how to increase productivity and got some great tips. The productivity expert shared 5 secrets from his forthcoming book: DRUMBEAT Business Productivity Playbook.

Productivity expert advice – Turn off the notifications

Something almost anybody can agree on is that notifications are threatening productivity in America. Even if it hasn’t affected the amount of work done, it has definitely ruined the quality of work done.

According to Basex research, work interruptions cost the American economy $588 billion a year. More so, it makes you lose progress by taking up to 15 minutes of your work every time you get up from your desk. Getting back takes time to get back to speed on where you were last time and recollect your thoughts. The longer the interruption, the more minutes you need to get back on track.

Productivity expert advice – Work according to your style

Don’t work against your nature. You should be self-aware of your style of working and living, and work accordingly. Major psychological theories call this self-actualization. It is “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities.” Instead of planning your work by tasks, take a bottom-up approach and plan according to the hours you work best.

Productivity expert Denn strongly believes that going against your inherent nature is a big mistake. For example, if you’re a morning person but a lot of your business happens at night, such as in the hotel industry, it’s not a good idea to stay up and work against your body clock. You won’t enjoy what you’re doing and you’ll only deliver poor results.

Productivity expert advice – Get your sleep

“If you’re tired, you’re going to start cutting corners,” Denn says. “If your people aren’t getting enough sleep, your productivity is maybe cut in half. And I mean productivity not just for you, but for your entire company.”

When you’re tired you won’t do the extra effort. You won’t research that topic. You won’t review things before submission. You just want to get it over and done with. When you reach that point, you’re making bad decisions.

Experts advise sleeping seven to nine hours. Studies have shown that sleeping less than 6 hours correlates with more mistakes at the office and more time spent finishing tasks. Not to mention, less sleep is not good for your health.

Productivity expert advice – Find your third place

John Denn recommends finding a third place exclusively for work. Not your home or office, but a third place. It can be a coffee shop, a park, a club or even the waiting room at your car dealer while your car is getting serviced.

Turn off your notifications and sit down to that book you’ve always wanted to write or that report you’ve been meaning to complete. Denn says, “A third place changes your perspective. If you’re at home, you’ve got all the personal stuff that’s pulling you. If you’re at work, you’ve got all the professional stuff that’s pulling you. But if you’re at a coffee shop, you have new sensations, new smells which also helps the creative mind for innovative work and you just won’t get the interruptions.”

Productivity expert advice – Write down your ideas

At the end of a team brainstorming session or a solo deep thinking one in the car, voice record or write down your ideas on to what Denn calls “an external memory device.” Organize your ideas by subject or date so that they are easily accessible and don’t get lost.

Having all these great ideas helps you hit the ground running when starting your next session. You don’t have to recreate your thought process and can just move forward with your last great idea.

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