Planning and preparing to be productive is a full-time job, let alone the time actually spent being productive. From the early morning review, to focussing on being ‘focussed’ and not flicking from one social media notification to the other, being productive is tiring.
Being productive is rewarding (let’s face it you get loads done) and the satisfaction of ticking tasks off your list gives a great deal of satisfaction.
During all this productivity, you can forget how the process can change you; for the good and the bad.
Productivity ‘side effects’
For example; you can be productive and efficient at finding and applying for your dream job. However, there can be an emotional impact as some employers, recruiters or whoever, can say ‘no’ in less than friendly ways (that’s assuming they respond to you). This takes a toll on motivation and you can end up questioning your abilities.
Therefore, I deem it important to put reflection and development time as part of my daily productivity routine. As part of my end of day review I assess how productive my day has been, what I have/have not achieved and what my priorities are for tomorrow.
In the early days of this review process I felt that something was missing. My practical self was satisfied, yet I felt that at an emotional level I was left wanting. I knew I was happy with my achievements but there was more to my day i.e. what had I learnt – the good and the bad, and what would I do differently next time.
Over time I quickly incorporated the cha, cha, cha’s. into my daily productivity routine.
Make Cha, Cha, Cha’s an essential part of your daily productivity routine
The Cha, Cha, Cha’s are not of the ballroom variety. They allow you to step back and reflect on your day from three perspectives;
- Champion – what have been your highlights / key achievements
- Challenge – what have been your challenges that you have faced, and
- Change – having recognised the above what would you do differently next time
End of day productivity routine
Below is an outline of my end of day productivity routine. It takes 10-15 mins.
1. Find a quiet space where you can write and think. You don’t want any distractions
2. I split an A4 blank sheet into four sections, heading each section with photo, champion, challenge and change (here’s a template)
3. Once I’ve got my template I start with adding an image that has had some meaning to my day; a half eaten sandwich, showing I was so busy that I didn’t have time to finish lunch or maybe a screen shot of an email saying how happy a customer was with my support. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it means something to you
4. Next, I brainstorm asking;
- ‘What have I achieved today?’: I consider this question from an output, physical, emotional and spiritual perspective
- ‘What could have gone better?’: I’m careful how I reflect on this question. It can be too easy for it to turn into a rant, to blame everyone else for my bad day. I remain balanced and try to be constructive in my reflection. I want to learn so I don’t repeat mistakes – being honest with yourself is vital
- ‘What would I change?’: For clarity, this is asking what you would change about yourself. Examples might include; need to be more physically active, remember to have more breaks away from the desk, how I respond to criticism and so on
Practice, practice, practice
As with most things in life, practice makes perfect. Here’s a few tips that you may find useful;
- Be disciplined – do this every working day
- Enjoy it – it shouldn’t be a chore
- Reflect – this is when I have some of the best conversations of the day
- Be honest with yourself – the only person you can cheat is yourself
Here are some of the benefits of following the process above’
- From start to finish the whole process takes ten minutes.
- It’s rewarding
- An opportunity to learn about me
- From this, I can be better today than I was yesterday
This process enables me to acknowledge my achievements regardless of how difficult the day might have been. It allows me to find the positives – if I choose to ‘see’ them. Whilst the Cha, Cha, Cha process is therapeutic it is necessary to act upon your learning. You’ll become more productive, learn loads and be more content with yourself.
If this post has resonated with you please do feel free to reach out to me for a quick conversation about how I might be able to help you with your process improvement project? Whether we decide to do business or not I’m sure you’ll gain meaningful insights from our conversation?
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About the author
Abdul Ghani is founder and director at Exceed Excellence. Abdul has twenty year’s experience of hands on Lean implementation, project and change management. He is an improvement coach and an inspirational leader with multi-sector continuous/quality improvement expertise.
Abdul’s key strengths are seeing through complexity, identifying and delivering improvement and to quickly establish rapport and trust with stakeholders. Abdul has project managed / delivered improvement programmes and mentored / coached staff, at all levels, through major transformation programmes. Click here to get in touch or here to make an appointment for a quick phone call. Whether we decide to do business together or not, I’m sure you’ll find our conversation valuable!
About Exceed Excellence
Exceed Excellence works with organisations to improve operational excellence capability to deliver high quality, right cost and right time services / products for their customers. We achieve this using workshops, masterclasses and/or consultancy. Most importantly, we’ll work with you to improve the skills, productivity and capability of your most valuable resources – your people!