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Three Unsuspected Influences That Affect Your Productivity

There are three “Productivity influences” that will affect your workflow - in a positive or negative way.

What you work on, how efficient you are, and what gets done tomorrow depends on how aware you are of each of these influences. Here is what you need to know so that you can get more done, very effectively, faster.

It's the Way We Do Things Around Here

The first influence that you encounter is what I call homeostasis. It’s a scientific term that describes a “systems-normal” situation; a set-point or state of stable equilibrium. Productively speaking, your homeostasis is the things you do - in the order you do them - every day that has now become your “normal” way of working.

What tools and gear do you always have with you? What applications are always running on your computer? What time of the day do you send the most email? Where do you go when it’s time to do big-deal thinking about your product, your service, your customers and your goals for next year?

You know you’ve “normalized” your workflow if, when you do something a different way, or chose not to do it altogether, it feels unnatural, as if something was missing or wrong. Obviously, your productivity is impacted if you can’t get on the Internet, if your favorite coffee shop is closed, if your battery is dead and you can’t work in your normal way.

ACTION: Over the next week, be much more aware of the habits and routines you’ve put in to place. As you work, ask yourself if there may be a better way of getting something done. The fastest way I know of doing this is to watch someone else work; I always see something anew.

Location, Location, Location

The second influence is Context. The place where you work changes what you do, how effectively you do it, and how well it gets done. The things around you and the atmosphere you’re in affect how you use your time. Want to be more productive? Improve your context.

Consider the following questions related to the context where you work: Do you often spend time looking for things you need to do your job? Do you like or feel comfortable using the tools and devices that you use? Do the devices available work the way they are supposed to? Are people using other tools that you should try in order to work more efficiently? Are you inspired by your surroundings when you try to get something done?

The purpose of asking yourself these questions is to help you think about how context influences you in a positive or negative way. When you want to get something important done, change your context.

ACTION: Over the next week, identify the contexts you do most of your work in. Experiment doing different kinds of work (thinking, planning, responding, creating, etc) in contexts you believe will support the work you need to do.

It's Not What You Work On, It's Who's Working Around You

The third influence is your network. The people you spend the most time with influence your productivity. Take risks and try to meet new people and build your social network. Not your social media network, I mean the real, actual, one-to-one, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart conversations you have with those people you call friends.

People tend to influence our mind-set and behavior. If you spend time with people who want you to achieve more and are extremely supportive of you, your goals and your potential, this will reflect on your own life and achievements. Think of someone who just might have a positive influence on you and introduce yourself! (I look forward to meeting you!)

ACTION: Make a list of the 5 people you have spent the most time with over the past week. Next, rank in order from 1-5 (1= most, 5= least) how supportive each person has been to you being maximally productive. If possible, spend an hour or two less next week with the people at the bottom of the list.

Take 15 minutes right now to schedule these actions.

Write your ideas about how you can work over the next few days and be open to the changing the influence these aspects of workflow have over you. Experiment with one or two of the actions for 5 days and see how they influence you in a different – hopefully, positive - way.

Related Posts:

Let Me Tell You How I Conquered the "To Do" list

How Distractions Will Help You Perform Better

The Art and Science of Setting A Goal

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Jason Womack invests his time, energy and focus serving as an agent of change. He is an adviser and consultant to companies and governments, the author of blogs, articles and books on productivity, business performance and teams managing through rapid change. Learn more about Jason at www.TimeToGetMomentum.co. Follow along at www.Twitter.com/jasonwomack.

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Jason Womack invests his time, energy and focus serving as an agent of change. He is an adviser and consultant to companies and governments, the author of blogs, articles and books on productivity, business performance and teams managing through rapid change. Learn more about Jason at www.TimeToGetMomentum.com. Follow along at www.Twitter.com/jasonwomack. - See more at: http://www.alps411.com/blog/your-best-just-got-better/how-distractions-will-help-you-perform-better#sthash.UyaEFHQ9.dpuf
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Jason Womack invests his time, energy and focus serving as an agent of change. He is an adviser and consultant to companies and governments, the author of blogs, articles and books on productivity, business performance and teams managing through rapid change. Learn more about Jason at www.TimeToGetMomentum.com. Follow along at www.Twitter.com/jasonwomack. - See more at: http://www.alps411.com/blog/your-best-just-got-better/how-distractions-will-help-you-perform-better#sthash.UyaEFHQ9.dpuf

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