Productivity is crucial to the success of any organization. Much time and money is spent creating systems to both increase it and track it.
Managers strive to extract the most out of each employee, meeting, project and initiative. Sometimes though, all of that focus on multitasking and increasing productivity can become a distraction to actually being productive in a fast-paced environment. With endless check-ins, checklists and meetings, how can we effectively discern the difference between busyness and productivity?
Here are 4 must-read books for increased productivity that any employer (or employee) should read if interested in being not busy, but truly productive.
- Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
This book is for anyone who’s ever felt stretched too thin or that their time is constantly hijacked by the agendas of others. The way of the Essentialist, according to McKeown, isn’t about getting more done in less time, but rather, only getting the right things done, the things that really matter. He calls for a systematic discipline in discerning what is essential and jettisoning everything that is not. After reading, organizations may find themselves asking not how they can get the most out of each employee but rather, how can they enable each employee to make their highest contribution by doing less, in order to do more. Read the book.
- Getting Things Done: The Art the Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
One of the most influential business books of its era, and the ultimate book on personal organization, ‘GTD’ has spawned an entire culture of organizational and personal productivity tools. Allen believes it’s possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and yet still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control. He explains how we already have everything we need to achieve this high-performance state, we just need a system to implement it. This book is for anyone who’d like to live and work at elevated levels of effectiveness and efficiency, without losing their sanity. Read the book.
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Ways To Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in less Time by Brian Tracy
The idea is that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, that’s probably the worst thing you’ll have to do that day. Strange, sure, but think about it. If we can tackle the most important, most challenging tasks first, the ones we’re most likely to procrastinate on, we’ll make a far greater impact. The point is that there’s just no way to get everything done in life. Understanding what the most important tasks are, and organizing our time to ensure they’re done first, allows us to get more done faster and also be more effective. Decision, discipline, and determination, Tracy argues, are the core of what is vital to effective time management. Read the book.
- The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is The Key To High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
A different approach to productivity, The Power of Full Engagement combines what Fast Company refers to as “..the gritty toughmindedness of the best coaches with the gentle-but-insistent inspiration of the most effective spiritual advisers”. We’re all rushed, we all face crushing workloads, and we’re all trying to cram all that we can into each day, but it’s not necessarily working. Time management isn’t working. There’s never enough time so it won’t matter if we try to manage it better. What Loehr and Schwartz propose is a shift in focus. They demonstrate that managing our energy, not our time, is the key to high performance and effective life balance. It’s a scientific approach and step-by-step program that will help you create highly specific, positive energy management rituals to make lasting changes to your life and increase your overall productivity. Read the book.
In a day and age where everyone is busier than ever, how could you give your organization a leg up by ensuring employees are not just busy while being busy, but also, productive? If you’d like to learn more about how a custom talent management strategy could help you create sustainable productivity practices to drive long-term results, contact us today.