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Are there Shortcuts to Productivity?

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As Americans diligently strive for personal and occupational success, productivity improvement schemes continue to gain momentum and support. Yet, between old-fashioned “know-how” and fancy technological solutions, what is the best strategy in the race for ultimate efficiency?

According to a Wall Street Journal article, Tips for Getting Things Done, there are effectively two separate approaches for improving individual productivity:

One, called “life-hacking,” emphasizes technology and encourages the use of gadgets and software. The second, sometimes called GTD for “Getting Things Done,” emphasizes to-do lists and focusing on one task at a time.

Stopwatch

© Flickr user smaedli

While both paths certainly offer a hope of improving efficiency with everyday tasks (whether business or personal) each overall theory invites judgment. Critics of GTD say that the complicated structure, with its time-consuming review process and lack of an accurate system for setting priorities, is not conducive for general use in everyday life. Likewise, with the continual emergence of new technologies, the feeling of boundless advancement from “life hacking” lasts only a short while. Before long, many find that their innovative time-saving gizmos stop working or dwarf in comparison to the latest and greatest program or gadget released to the masses. Plus, the most important technologies (like the trusty HP Journada) should last for years and only make simple tasks even simpler.

Is there a foolproof solution for establishing a system for productivity? Taking into account the variation in individual people and intangible nature and tremendous variety of individual workflows, the answer is most definitely not. However, there are better, more balanced ways at improving productivity.

AccelaWork aims to assist companies in exploring ways to improve productivity, but not through one-size-fits-all, cut-and-dried systems like the examples above. Unlike other consultancies which promote and sell products that force companies to rearrange and adapt, we provide ongoing business consulting services through a well-rounded approach that not only improves efficiency, but maintains the advantage over time. In fact, we usually oppose creating more work by writing “to-do” lists or sending employees off to detailed, program-specific training. Instead, we aim at reducingwork.

Through detailed analysis and customized solutions, we help organizations to embrace and integrate changes that cut down on time-consuming processes and open up avenues for further stakeholder innovation. As discussed before on The Methodology Blog, allotting time for creativity brings incredible value to both business and employees. If your organization fumbles with unfamiliar technology and unused checklists rather than actually producing results, contact AccelaWork today.

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