Peter Boolkah.  Business coach, speaker and entrepreneur.
Peter Boolkah is an award winning business expert, consultant and coach with over 30 years experience helping businesses to grow and scale up. He has offices in the UK and US.

Member Article

Why you should avoid the productivity comfort zone.

What does productivity mean to you? It is often misunderstood. When people talk about being productive I hear them discuss issues like “How much can I get through on my to-do list”. There is this idea that being productive equals working harder or pedalling faster. To-do lists are extremely important. They helps us remind ourselves of the tasks that we need to get through in a day. The challenge is, what if my to-do list is wrong? What if my to-do list is no longer appropriate because the tasks have changed or there is a new management structure in place?

Procrastination is dangerous. Procrastination can result in tasks not being dealt with and a CEO or leader feeling like they are getting swallowed up. I am working with a client where we have spent the last six months putting a solid infrastructure into his business. We strengthened and bolstered the management team by hiring additional people to make up the executive team. This ensures the right positions are being filled by the right people who can do the job. However, the CEO is still telling me he is working harder and harder. I had a look at his very comprehensive to- do list. The CEO is still doing the jobs he needs to delegate. This was greatly affecting his ability to be productive. His to do list wasn’t making him more productive, it was making him less productive and having a detrimental impact on the business.

When you are running a business or company you must master the art of delegation or you won’t be productive. You must hire people who are going to be productive. Ensure that your hires are the correct people for that particular role. Is that role fulfilled elsewhere for example? If you are more productive, you will add value to your organization. The more productive your business the more value it has. Whatever your leadership role is, CEO, finance director or in an upper leadership position look through your to do list and ask yourself these appropriate tasks that will allow me to move my department and business forward. If the answer is no then you need to assess who you need to hire to take these tasks off your hands.

The CEO I mentioned before kept those tasks on his list and didn’t delegate because they were habitual tasks. He had been doing them for so long they were ingrained. He was comfortable with those tasks but others could action them. He needed to delegate to the staff he was employing to take care of those tasks. So we got ruthless. I looked at that list and together we got rid of 90% of the tasks to the members of his executive team who had the expertise to carry out the tasks. It was hard because he procrastinated and did not want to let some tasks go but eventually he understood the importance of the exercise. He had hired a new team and was not using them effectively which had a big impact on how productive he was.

The idea is to grow our businesses and keep moving forward. Often we need to change faster than we do. We need to take stock and look at which parts of our business are productive. We also need to assess how productive we are as an individual. Always take stock of where you are when you are looking to maximise value and growth potential. If being productive is a challenge for you or you find you are falling into the depths of procrastination then know you can make a transition. Look at your to do lists and turn them into to stop lists. Which members of your team can take the strain off you so you can focus on the right things.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Lucy Hood .

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